So many businesses today face a severe disconnect between marketing and sales – one that costs them time, opportunities, and ultimately deals. The only true way for companies to overcome this gap is through better communication.
We're talking not just communication between marketing and sales about where a certain sales opportunity stands, but also why it stands there; setting the right lead criteria, hand-off stages, and expectations.
Identifying (and Tackling) the Division
The two main communication errors that teams deal with between marketing and sales are, in general terms:
- Teams don't know when a proper transfer should occur between them.
- Teams are unsure what the other has told, or will tell, the other.
This can lead to problems as minor as some redundancy in a meeting or complete misalignment of a lead.
Sales can't steer a prospective client to one service while marketing has been grooming them for another; which is something that's completely avoidable with clearer cross-team communication.
Some ways to overcome these gaps are to involve key players in both processes. Invite marketing managers and even implementers on sales calls, to learn how sales progresses with the leads they send over.
Conversely, sales should work closely with marketing to provide feedback on what's working and what isn't. These might sound like common sense tips, but they make a world of difference when used consistently.
The Role of Marketing Automation
While making radical changes in marketing and sales communication will take time, there are plenty of tools that can streamline the process, or even offer quick wins.
The most significant of which are tools that enable marketing automation; automated lead scoring, list segmentation, and the like allow marketers to hand off higher quality leads to sales, and also gain some insight into how their sales process works – two of the biggest challenges of aligning both teams.
On the flip side, marketing automation "fills in the gaps" on a lead's profile - giving sales teams more information about leads that come in the door, as well as time and context to tailor their approach.