Since the dawn of time, sales and marketing have been entwined with each other, yet pitted against each other.
Despite sharing a department and often office space, sales and marketing have typically not been all that amicable; marketing has different goals and techniques than sales, and your sales reps might ponder why the marketing team is even necessary, since they close all the deals! Yet companies are slowly realizing sales and marketing are truly at their best when they work together.
The Great Divide
Typically, the division between sales and marketing looks a little like this: Marketers dream up campaigns and concern themselves with creative. They’re focused on broadcasting messages to the masses. Sales reps, on the other hand, have a narrower focus. They talk to existing customers, make pitches to would-be consumers, and close deals.
In this set-up, the sales reps typically see themselves as doing the “heavy lifting” of generating income for the company. It’s their labour that translates directly into sales, after all. Marketing, on the other hand, has a more intangible effect on sales and the company’s profits—yes, you need to get the word out, but typically, an ad has to percolate with the consumer before it becomes a sale. Ads might have little to no effect on consumer purchases!
With this set-up in mind, it’s little wonder sales and marketing are sometimes a little antagonistic toward each other. But businesses—including yours—benefit when sales and marketing work together.
This reality has become more apparent as companies shift toward inbound strategies for both marketing and sales. Gone are the days when billboard ads and TV spots were the be-all, end-all of marketing; inbound marketing now focuses on generating leads—something traditionally considered part of the sales team’s job.
Why Integration Works
Some sales and marketing teams have resisted inbound because they think it threatens their jobs; sales reps might feel a little threatened by marketing’s move into what was traditionally their territory, while marketing might wonder why they’re suddenly taking on more responsibility.
The truth is the two teams have always overlapped because they have the same end goal: generating better profits for the company. They’ve just had different methods of achieving this. Inbound techniques bring the two teams closer together than ever, creating additional overlap between responsibilities and even techniques and tactics.
Inbound Makes It Easy
With inbound marketing and selling, sales and marketing become more entwined. Marketers are now generating leads, which they can then pass along to the sales team. These leads are typically better qualified. They’re often up to 60 percent of the way through the sales cycle, so they’re ready to seal the deal by the time they’re handed over to your sales reps.
The result is increased efficiency. Marketing is now targeting messages to particular groups and certain outlets—they’re not wasting money putting up huge billboards or buying Superbowl ads to hit a demographic you don’t even serve. The leads they turn over are primed to buy, which means your sales team spends less time chasing dead ends and more time closing.
When these efficiencies become apparent, not only will your sales increase, but the harmony in your sales and marketing department will likely soar as well. As the teams realize they work better together, making life easier for each other, they’ll get more done and be happier to do it.