Marketing vs Sales:We’re Making Touchdowns & They’re Scoring Homeruns

Marketing vs Sales:We’re Making Touchdowns & They’re Scoring Homeruns

sales_v_marketing_scoreboard.jpgWhen sales teams (and often owners) meet with us, their main question is: “Will your services increase my sales?” When marketing pros meet with us they ask us, “How can you improve my online image and customer engagement?”

Many people outside the department want to lump sales and marketing into one big group, but often the teams within that group aren’t even speaking the same language. Setting goals with both teams can be like setting scoring goals with a football team and baseball team. The methods, strategy, and even scoring rules aren’t even remotely the same. Yet sales expects marketing to send them leads and marketing expects sales to close the leads they send. If you’ve worked in either department you understand the frustration.

One of the main concerns from the sales team is quality of leads. This infographic from reveals that 70% of the buying process is complete by the time a customer speaks to someone in the sales department and 53% of those sales leads are developed by the sales department compared to 24% by the marketing department.

Clearly if we are talking bottom line sales, the sales department needs to have a hand in setting goals. However, without engagement, brand awareness and some of that warm and fuzzy stuff the marketing department likes so much the company wouldn’t have much of a reputation.

While we watch the marketing vs sales battle continue in almost every company, we know we have to make some changes in order to make both departments more successful. Coming from the marketing side of the equation, I know it’s hard to put a profit number on some of what we do. Maybe, we can start by asking the sales team how we can help them best.

What questions are you asked during the sales presentation over and over?

Maybe we aren’t doing enough to make sure all the leads really understand the benefits of the product or service our sales department is selling. Can sales help us put together blog posts, videos or infographics to use during the marketing phase and lead qualification phase to eliminate more of these questions?

What’s the number one reason sales fall through?

We really thought we sent you a qualified lead. Maybe, it wasn’t. Did we send the lead too early? Were they not price qualified or did they not really understand our product or service? If we know more about what qualifies as a good SALES lead and not just what qualifies as good MARKETING lead we can do more to get the right leads to the sales department.

What sales materials do you actually need?

If 90% of sales material isn’t actually used by sales people, we need to make some changes. Talk to your sales team about what exactly they need. Can you use your B2B website to offer some of those materials? Is your B2B website even helpful to your sales team or is it so marketing focused it does them no good?

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In this sales vs marketing battle, the marketing team shouldn’t be the only ones reaching out. The sales team should make their own efforts to understand marketing’s goals–and make efforts to help them reach their goals. It starts by understanding they are also interested in the bottom line, but getting there involves engaging the customer and making him or her want their product.

What is your analytics information telling you about the people coming to our website or engaging with us on social media?

In other words, are the customers visiting the website and engaging with us the same types of customers we’re selling to through the sales cycle? What else do you know about them that we should know? The more information we have, the better we can make the sale specific to their needs.

What information do you need me to gather from leads at a trade show for you to be able to follow up with those leads?

Some of the leads I generate are ready to buy, I’ll close those. Others aren’t there yet but they might be later. Can you follow up with these and help me push them through the sale cycle a little?

How can I refer people to our social media or our website and help my sales cycle?

It’s not that I don’t like what you’re doing on social media, I just don’t know how sending my leads there will help me out any. What’s the benefit to my customer for me to send them to social media?

When marketing and sales realize how their work impacts the each other, they are more likely to reach out and make better efforts to work together. All marketing and sales efforts come down to closed business. Both departments must work together to see that number rise.

What’s the most creative thing your company has done to help end the marketing vs sales battles?