2776596693_8a5f0384e1_nWe know, we know. Sales and marketing collaborating and getting along is kind of like suggesting that cats should start helping dogs. But sincerely, if you want your company to succeed, it is actually essential that your sales team and your marketing team work effectively together. The question may be, “Well, how do we do that?” For the next three weeks we are going to offer you ideas regarding specifically how marketing can help support the sales department. This week, our focus is going to be on how marketing can create advertisements that will help the sales team.

1. Promote the products that the sales team suggests should be promoted

Often marketing will want to promote the products that look the prettiest in an ad. However, for an ad to truly help the sales team, it is best to ask what products should be the focus of a new ad. This may vary by audience. If you are advertising in several different publications that information should be reviewed with your sales force so that they can make recommendations based on demographics.

2. Find out what arguments the sales team faces in the field

Marketers can have the tendency to infuse advertisements with…let’s just say it…some fluffy marketing-speak. One of the best ways to use advertisements, however, is to use them as a way to combat some of the most common complaints or arguments that your sales team faces on calls. This not only will make the ad more effective in general, but it will also give your sales representatives something to point to and reference when they face those questions in a meeting.

3. Hammer away at perceived strong points of your competitors

Your sales team hears right from the source what your potential customers may like about your competitors. They might hear that your competitors offer better pricing, a product that is easier to use, or a product that lasts longer. If you can do so in a credible fashion, pick away at those points, perhaps simply by reiterating your own strengths in those areas. Give your sales force a way combat those arguments.

4. Advertise in channels that will reach who the sales team most wants to reach

The head of your sales department very probably has a strategy in mind regarding how he or she wants to attack the market. The marketing department should not be afraid to ask that they become privy to those plans. By learning what industries and what titles are the most important for the sales effort, marketing can use tools like BPA audits to find the publications that will be most effective.

5. Qualify/Measure your leads

Reporting to a sales person that your banner ad got 75 clicks is essentially worthless. Forwarding qualified names and contact information to your sales department is a lot more valuable. Whether you are advertising in print or online, there are plenty of ways to qualify the leads that the opportunity will garner. Ultimately, this is the real point of your advertising effort – to drive qualified leads to your sales force so that they can nurture those leads and get the sale.

We hope these recommendations spark some ideas for your company. Next week we’ll be talking about how marketing can use social media to help the sales force at your company, so stay tuned!

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rainiernavidad/2776596693/ via Creative Commons