The Marketing and Sales departments should preferably work with the same objectives: to ensure that the company has scalable, healthy growth and generates more and more value for the public and customers.
However, the way each of these areas generally works is significantly uneven. Different technologies are used, individual processes are adopted and results are measured with separate metrics. In short, they interpret the company's reality from two different perspectives.
The truth is that these two departments, when they need to work together, they don't always get along. When sales are lower than expected, the Marketing department often blames the sales team for poor execution of the sales process and poor utilization of Inbound-generated Leads. The Sales team, on the other hand, claims that Marketing is generating low-qualified leads and that they are not aware of how to attract the ideal profile of potential customers.
Another scenario is when the Sales department blame the Marketing team to lose interest when the lead is generated. At the same time, Marketing often claims that the Sales department does not provide enough feedback on customer engagement to help develop more content. In short, one department often underestimates the contributions of the other.
This lack of alignment can greatly delay your company's results and harm your customers' perception of the value generated by your service or product.
According to LSA Insider, 50% of sales time is wasted on unqualified leads. According to Blue Atlas, 95% of consumers close with companies that have offered them content at every stage of the purchase journey. According to Inside View, 43% of Marketing staff said the lack of accurate and shared data on key accounts and potential customers was the biggest challenge when it comes to aligning departments.
Well, with this data we cannot deny it, it is necessary to act with the purpose of unifying these departments as soon as possible.
Read in this article how to generate the integration of these two important areas to ensure high performance and, of course, a corporate environment with more growth potential.
Why integrate Sales and Marketing?
In addition to the scenarios we’ve already covered, there are several reasons worth the effort to integrate these two processes
1. Best definition of MQL (Marketing Qualified Leads):
The definition of “Qualified Lead” is the moment when Marketing determines that a lead is ready to be delivered to the Sales department (if your company works only with Inbound. If there is also the Outbound process internally, MQL will have more than one meaning, and you can read more about it here). The first and most important action to take is to work hard with the Marketing and Sales team to determine what a good lead actually looks like. Without a unified definition, the two teams will work from different points of view, which will generate a lot of wasted effort (which leads to wasted money).
Unless there is a clear definition and acceptance from both sides, the MQL stage won't do much for your company.
It is important that Marketing sits side by side with the Salespeople and regularly asks questions, such as: "What is a qualified Lead for you?", "Which type of Lead is the fastest to close a deal?" This does not mean that the Marketing sector should only provide these types of Leads (this information should be developed together with CRM data and market research), but it is essential to get as close as possible of creating a definition that Salespeople will be willing to work with.
2. Sales Cycle Reduction
Reducing the length of the sales cycle is vital to positively impact the company's ROI (Return on Investment).
Marketing professionals should always create content that generate leads more and more qualified in an effort to shorten the sales cycle.
However, with a longer decision-making process, the challenges are bigger. Yes, products and services that takes longer sales cycles generally cost more and generate more revenue. But marketers need to make sure they're not spending more of their budget to get the sale than the sale itself actually costs.
With the collaboration of the Sales team, it is possible to better understand the time of gaining customers, and which type of Lead is best to focus on so that there is a bigger conversion of customers in less time.
3. More organized sales funnel
There are 3 types of Sales Funnels: Outbound, Inbound or Hybrid.
Generally, managers prefer to separate the Funnels between Outbound Sales Funnel and Inbound Sales Funnel, thus making Marketing and Sales teams work separately.
The truth is that a Hybrid Funnel (which includes Outbound and Inbound) is the best option to avoid duplicate contacts and ensure that the prospecting team can better organize who they will contact (a Lead contacted twice is certainly not a good idea).
Also, the Hybrid Sales Funnel stages are the same as Outbound, with the exception of Inbound leads that will fall directly into the Demo stage if they are qualified. If they are not so qualified, they will go straight to the Connected Leads stage, to be qualified by the Sales team.
The advantage of this is that the Marketing and Sales team will have access to the same CRM and the same Sales Funnel, thus ensuring that there is no disorganization of contacts and more knowledge on both sides about the ideal customer profile for the company.
4. Time savings and fewer platforms
The fewer platforms your teams need to fill and check, the better it will be for the productivity of both teams (and less money your company will spent).
Tha managers should look at the scenario "from above" and carefully study all available platforms. Many tools already have several features included in the same system, such as Husbspot or Zendesk, which will ensure not only that the investment is lower, but also a more unified communication between Marketing and Sales, taking into account that both will need to check the same dashboards daily.
Best practices to integrate Marketing and Sales
Well, we have already proved by A+B the importance of this teams alignment, but how to successfully follow this path? Below are some important practices!
1. Improve team´s communication
As in any relationship, good communication is the foundation of success. When teams make decisions based on their own assumptions, they end up wasting good assets, and that includes understanding how the other team is working. This alignment of information must start with the Marketing and Sales managers who are usually the ones who start the internal "wars".
Therefore, encourage communicate constantly between Sales and Marketing, and document the progress of both against the determined KPIs, providing qualitative feedback regarding this evolution.
2. Create smart and realistic goals
This alignment of teams is useless if both have poorly formulated goals that are impossible to achieve. The board, along with the managers, need to study the company's maturity, sales cycle and available budget to understand if in fact the goals set are realistic. Then, if possible, integrate Marketing and Sales metrics. Once this is done, it will certainly be easier for them to have more desire to connect and achieve their goals.
3. Audit the contents
Basically, the Sales team needs good educational content, not only for individual learning, but to share with Leads. In this way, it is important that Marketing always check with the Sales team which topics generate the most value, and which subjects the Leads present as doubts during calls. Certainly, the calendar of new materials will be even richer, thus generating more results for everyone involved.
4. Create tasks together
As the two roles become increasingly aligned, it is important to create opportunities for Marketing and Sales professionals to work together, as this will make them even more familiar with each other's ways of thinking and acting.
Ensure that the Marketing team listens to some calls from salespeople, and that salespeople, in turn, help to develop content planning (as mentioned above), especially regarding customer's buying habits (types of interest, media they consume, etc.).
5. Set up similar reward systems
Well, we clearly see that the Sales team has an advantage in this case in most companies. If your Marketing team has similar reward systems to Sales, it is likely that this will increase the team's self-esteem, as well as their interest in understanding the sales processes more deeply. In this case, revising the general compensation policy might be an interesting option.
Can Marketing and Sales Teams Work Together?
The role of Marketing has radically evolved in recent years, consistently helping to increase sales, working with what we now call Sales Enablement.
Therefore, cultivating a good relationship between Sales and Marketing has never been more critical and necessary.
To promote better communication and more collaboration, leaders must strive to not only foster a single focus of interest, but also cultivate empathy at all times.
It is essential that both sectors keep up to date and stay informed about all scenarios, and a good start is to understand what is really being worked on in the company's Funnel.
The Insight Sales dashboard has a visually simplified report that will guarantee for both teams a quick read of the indicators and in real time, and, in this way, generating more engagement of Marketing and Sales employees with the numbers and growth of your company!