The difficulty of aligning the objectives of sales and marketing departments is a long-standing issue that’s has been covered extensively for years. Yet many companies still struggle to get their sales and marketing teams on the same page. Many times, the tension arises when marketing hands a lead off to the sales department.
Sales wants to know what criteria marketing is using to qualify their leads and how they’ve conditioned the buyers before the lead makes it to them. Given the complexity of many sales and marketing operations, it can be difficult to effectively communicate what happened on the marketing of the equation with simple notes in the CRM system or an email to the salesperson.
While there are many approaches to resolving this tension, I’d like to suggest two: bring sales and marketing together for regular meetings, and create marketing and sales training videos to educate both sides of the equation. At Software Advice, a research firm that helps buyers find the right enterprise software, we do the latter.
Bring Sales and Marketing Together for Regular Meetings
You need Sales and Marketing to have regular meetings about lead qualification criteria to have Sales understand why Marketing is disqualifying certain leads (and to double-check that they’re not disqualifying a few hidden gems). The best way to manage this process is to have Marketing and Sales meet frequently. Start off having weekly meetings, then move to once a month afterwards.
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Of course, communication needs to extend beyond these regular meetings and there should be a constant feedback loop. Today, many social collaboration tools allow sales and marketing teams to keep in touch at this level. For instance, forum discussions provided by social platforms can help resolve leads issues. If sales is having a difficult time qualifying leads from a particular campaign, the sales team can create a forum discussion explaining their difficulties and ask marketing to explain how they’ve educated the prospect with their marketing materials. Then each can department can keep in constant contact to suggest ways to improve the marketing campaign and lead qualification process.
Improve Collaboration with On-Demand Training Videos
The second option is to have sales and marketing create training videos to help everyone get a better understanding of the full lifecycle of revenue generation. We’ve created videos explaining the our inbound lead generation process, how we go about bringing visitors to our website and what we use to generate website conversions.
On the marketing side of the equation, we’ve created videos to help our marketing team better understand how our inside salespeople get past the gatekeeper on the phone, understand the customer’s need and drive the call through the qualification process. While neither side ever has to step into the other’s role, having the resource available to enhance the level of understanding (and appreciation) each side has for the other’s job has allowed us to operate more efficiently and effectively.
While we decided to host our videos on our company intranet, collaborative learning platforms like Knoodle make it easy to share video and notes with the team so they’re immediately accessible. These collaboration tools can help you continuously improve your sales and marketing alignment by providing an on-demand source of information so that any time someone has a question about the sales or marketing process, they’re only ever a click away from an answer.
These ideas won’t resolve all the alignment issues that can occur between sales and marketing departments but they can help take steps toward getting everyone on the same page. How are you approaching this issue? Leave us a note in the comments section below.
Image credit: Men’s Health News
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