End The Sales & Marketing War. With The Power Of Collaboration
The war between sales & marketing teams is not news to anyone anymore. First, the news was broken in whispers, then in loud discussions inside the meeting rooms and then announced to the whole world through every possible channel. Businesses spend a lot of time, money and efforts addressing this war and sometimes making sure that the war continues, as long as it contributes to the final numbers.
Story of the marketing team:
They are the people who build sense into the business offering on behalf of the customer. From sourcing prospects to closing a lead, the marketing team takes every stage into account while developing a solid plan. A plan which includes working on every interface of engagement with the customer like website, apps, events, marketing material, digital content, paid advertising, media channels, etc. The goal is to enable sales to go out there and get the customers in.
Story of the sales team:
It is the sales team that becomes the face of the company for the customer. Facing the customer with all the confidence of the world and saying that we are here to solve your problems is what sales teams are expected to do. That means that sales teams work hard to gain thorough knowledge about the problems of the customers and how their offerings solve these problems. Closing a deal is no more enough. The sales teams also have to deal with the what-should-we-expect-next kind of questions – in terms of service.
Actually, the marketing and sales teams want the same thing – getting more customers in. And they are both working hard in their own ways towards it. What is missing in their stories then?
Collaboration. Let us look at a few scenarios of collaboration which could change the way sales & marketing interact.
1) What if the marketing team could actually look at what happens with every contact and how the sales team is using the marketing tools effectively as well as ineffectively.
2) What if the sales team could raise concerns, queries and recommendations on how the marketing team could create content to influence the tough leads they are fighting for.
3) What if the marketing team could draw insights from how a certain list of leads responded to their content & plan?
4) What if sales could add their two bits of experiential knowledge to a brainstorming session in the marketing department?
This kind of collaboration requires a few ground rules like:
• The concept of winners & losers within the team should be replaced with the concept of team success. And a good collaborative tool can help facilitate this change.
• Encourage disciplined communication in the context of identifying opportunities, problems and solutions. When the sales & marketing team leaders get on the same platform, they can easily set up an environment that nurtures such conversations.
• Applaud sharing of tactical knowledge and use the collaborative tool to implement valuable inputs.
• Seek support from both teams on interdependent activities.
• Enable drawing insights, data and analysis from collaboration between the two teams.
Make up more rules that fit your processes and goals. According to Harvard Business Review, what causes conflict between these two critical teams is economics and culture. Collaborative tools can contribute significantly in minimising the cultural conflict and good economics can eventually become a feasible and desirable outcome.
That means that sales teams work hard to gain thorough knowledge about the problems of the customers and how their offerings solve these problems. Closing a deal is no more enough. The sales teams also have to deal with the what-should-we-expect-next kind of questions – in terms of service.