As account-based sales and marketing continues to be adopted as an effective growth strategy for many organizations, bridging the gap between these two teams has become a top priority. Companies with greater alignment between sales and marketing earn significantly more revenue. Great relationships, integrated processes, closed loop reporting, and cohesive messaging are all key ingredients for productive collaboration. But like most ideas, what works in theory is tougher in practice.
Is “smarketing” actually working well within your organization? Based on candid conversations I’ve had with marketers, I can easily state that there’s room for improvement. It’s likely that there are still a lot of obstacles and not enough real communications taking place.
Here are a few ways to improve the relationship between marketing and sales.
Review the channels for communication, content distribution, and feedback loops between your marketing and sales teams. If these channels aren’t being properly leveraged, find out why. As a sales rep, one problem I’ve encountered is that sales often doesn’t use the content that marketing produces. Content may be difficult to find, inconvenient to share, or lack relevance for prospects.
At Uberflip, we’ve come up with a solution to solve this very problem: our email extension gives access into content hubs for sales people, and categorizes content to make it easier to find, distribute, share, and measure.
Uberflip's Chrome Extension enables sales to find, share, and measure content effectiveness.
Be Consistent With Your Brand and Messaging
A brand resonates more powerfully with every consistent, cohesive form of communication. Marketers should provide salespeople with the guidelines, content, ideas, and tools to promote a strong brand messaging throughout the buyer’s journey. And sales teams shouldn’t stray from their company’s brand and positioning.
However, it’s also important to allow sales to be flexible and creative in their correspondence with prospects. Guidelines are good, but freedom to experiment with what works, and to personalize messages that sound genuine, is especially important. Sales people are at the forefront of customer facing, human-to-human interactions.
One area where we’ve taken these ideas to the next level is to provide a solution for customized pages, or Sales Streams, that sales reps can create on their own to convey information. It’s highly personalized by the salesperson, with branding controlled by marketing (and for us at Uberflip, this tends to include lots of pink!).
Sales Streams are highly personalized by the salesperson, with branding controlled by marketing.
Keeping It Real and Telling It Like It Is
As a cliché that rings true for any relationship, communication with respect is key. Whether you’re in the marketing department or in sales, each team has a valuable perspective that can make the other better. To develop the strongest content, brand, and best results possible, it’s imperative to communicate openly about what’s working, and identify where conflicts exist. Overcoming obstacles, reducing competitiveness, and creating a symbiotic relationship between sales and marketing is well worth the work.
Learn more about how marketing can enable sales teams in our case study How LeanData Achieved an 8x Lift in Sales Pipeline.
About the Author
Working in Enterprise Customer Development, Heidi helps marketers in large organizations to leverage their content more powerfully. She enjoys life in downtown Toronto, visual arts, and travel.More Content by Heidi Vandermeer