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Partners: Are Your Sales and Marketing Teams on the Same Page?

Sales says, "If the marketing team would just give us better leads, we could close them."

Marketing says, "If the sales people would call a lead more than one time, they could turn inquiries into opportunities."

Sound familiar? How can you help sales and marketing teams work together for better results?

Develop Objectives and Goals Together
The first step to building a positive relationship between the sales and marketing teams (even if those "teams" only include one person) is to set realistic expectations on both sides of the fence. What is the primary objective of marketing efforts: lead generation, brand awareness or a combination of both? What are the sales goals and, specifically, how many deals does the sales team need to close to meet those goals?

The sales and marketing plan should tie activities together with expected lead-generation results. Make reasonable estimates for all sources of leads, from networking to marketing campaigns. A quick review of recent sales prospects, proposals and closes will help you estimate the number of leads that you need to meet the goals. On the marketing side, review what activities have generated the leads that ended in closed deals.

These suggestions may sound incredibly obvious, but it is amazing how rarely the sales and marketing teams sit down and rationally discuss past results to plan for a better future.

Collaborate on Marketing Campaigns To Build Effects
Your leads are probably coming from a variety of sources that sales and marketing are independently working. With collaboration, sales and marketing can amplify the results of those individual efforts. A few examples:

  • E-mail newsletter: Marketing sends out a monthly e-mail newsletter with a webinar as the call to action. The sales team can use the webinar as a reason to call all of their recent prospects and contacts.

  • Networking: A salesperson who attends a monthly networking group asks marketing to put together an educational webinar on a subject of interest to the group. Through social media such as LinkedIn, the salesperson can promote the webinar to provide value to his network group and build relationships.

  • Tradeshow: After the tradeshow, the sales and marketing teams select the top 10 (or 50) contacts made at the show. Together, the team develops a nurture campaign, which could include a high-value mailer, telemarketing and webinar to continue to build those relationships.

  • Cold calls: The sales team defines a list of 50 target accounts, then collects and verifies contact information within those accounts. Marketing creates an e-mail campaign and Web site landing page with messaging and an offer specifically directed to those accounts. Follow-up calls by the sales team reinforce the messaging and provide a call to action on voicemails.

Use CRM internally
If your sales and marketing teams are not sharing information now, it's time to fix that. Whether you can qualify for Microsoft Dynamics CRM seats through your partner program or not, it's worth the investment. Not only will it help your sales and marketing teams collaborate, it might give you a new line of business to offer customers.

How are you fostering sales and marketing team harmony? Send me a note and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on June 14, 2011


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