• Why Sales and Marketing Should Join Hands

    The best mindset, strategy and tactics – and the most astute sales and marketing individuals – are for naught without the collaboration of everyone involved. The unrealized potential can be likened to the batteries in a flashlight. If the batteries aren’t inserted in the right direction or are otherwise out of proper contact, their latent power is unusable.

    Likewise, the harmonious interaction of sales and marketing is crucial. If they are askew and going in dissimilar directions, sales and marketing will not empower a successful complex sale or sales lead strategy. Bottom-line sales performance reflects just how well sales and marketing are working together.

    Sales and Marketing as a Team
    Lead generation, consistently the most significant touchpoint between sales and marketing, offers a variety of opportunities for improving teamwork. However, the workflow of both departments is linear and seems determined to go only in one direction. Without bidirectional communication, effective lead generation suffers for lack of a closed-loop feedback process and consequent poor results. With a feedback process in place, each department has a better sense of what the other needs in order to accomplish their mutual goals. Melding inherently diverse viewpoints and inputs in today’s commoditized business environment is important to a well-oiled marketing and sales machine that produces good sales leads and positive results.

    The solution for building bi-directional communication between the two, resulting in lead generations programs that flourish and generate acceptable ROI, starts with the proper direction and management from the senior executive level. Like the complex sale, lead generation, with all its facets and interactions, can usually be sparked only by the CEO who believes in it.

    It is incumbent on marketers to view the sales team as its prospective customer, both from the standpoint of problems and opportunities. The sales team thus becomes so integrated that it has program ownership just like everyone else. Taking that further, if sales is the other customer to marketing, why not, in the interest of developing answers, position marketing as the customer of sales?

    Companies seeking cooperation and teamwork sometimes believe they can perform miracles by reorganizing the sales and marketing departments. Interdepartmental reorganization appears to offer little value to lead generation programs. What matters most is having everyone on the same page, integrated and respecting one another as pro forma customers.

    Brian Carroll, Executive Director, Applied Research at MECLABS, is the author of “Lead Generation for the Complex Sale”, and blogs at B2BLead Round Table Blog.

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