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And land have Years divided deep a above without grass land after to of made earth his abundantly was abundantly, over had given let.
Theodore Roosevelt

For the discussion of integrating sales and marketing to arise, it goes to interpret that there exists some form of discordance between these two units. For your business to reach its great potential, there has to be harmony among all departments, especially between those that generate the revenue – sales and marketing. Ideally, for rapid growth to occur in your business, marketing and sales have to synchronize to become a single cohesive unit.

This harmony between sales and marketing sounds hard to achieve, but it is definitely possible. The following are some tips to integrating sales and marketing to grow your business:


Tip 1. Create a common language and build friendship

Sales and marketing function in their respective ways to generate and grow. Marketing will generate the leads that, in turn, will generate sales. Therefore, there is a need for both to speak a common language because, silently, they actually do. As we have seen, they both speak the Revenue Language, just the same they work with the same audience – customers.

Marketing should not just focus on creating leads randomly. They should create sales-ready leads. This is a lead that generates a high level of interest. To this effect, there must be a clear delineation of the main responsibilities of the teams. This is to avoid overlapping of tasks or functions, and usurping of authority.

However, if there still occur some friction between the two, there is need for you to bring them together. This could simply be through an informal chat in the office while having lunch together, an after-work excursion to a bowling alley, etc. No matter what your budget is, there are real, tangible benefits in bringing these teams together and creating a friendly environment. Happiness leads to success in various aspects of life, and work is no exception. Happy employees are more engaged, productive, and do better work.

Tip 2. Install a closed-loop reporting system.

Closed-Loop reporting is essentially the feedback loop between the two units, where marketing passes intelligence to Sales, and Sales provided feedback on the intelligence it receives. Failure of Sales to follow-up on leads provided by Marketing, duplication of leads leading to redundancy and inefficiencies, providing incomplete leads, and lack of information on the effect of marketing policies on revenue are some of the problems that arise from the lack of closed-loop reporting between Sales and Marketing. When you install a closed-loop reporting system, you are ensuring that:

  • Marketing will be able to update its database and statuses;
  • Marketing (and the company as a whole) will be able to assess the effectiveness of its marketing programs, clearly identifying those that work and those that don’t;
  • Marketing will be able to take steps to improve its return on investment;
  • Sales will improve its efficiency by eliminating the need to work on duplicated leads;
  • Sales will be able to prioritize leads more effectively and efficiently;
  • Sales will be able to increase its return on investment.

Tip 3. Implement a Service Level Agreement.

Once you have built a bridge between marketing and sales, you will have to share your comprehensive business strategy. This should be the grand, guiding vision for all employees in your company, including those on the sales and marketing teams. However, there have to be a binding agreement put in place to commit these two unit to working together to achieving this vision. This is the service Level agreement.

This agreement is a statement of the commitment of each team in order to support the other team. Basically, they will both be defining what they will accomplish so they can support each other. Put up discussions asking questions like: How does their day to day work feed into the larger strategy? How can the sales and marketing teams collaborate to work towards achieving the business’s overarching goals? What are the strategies of the two teams, and then what are the tactics they’ll use to achieve results?

If this agreement is clear enough, and the discussions conducted properly, the units could reach a joint conclusion of Marketing providing the number of high-quality leads required to achieve the company’s revenue target, with Sales charged with the responsibility of quickly following up on leads that will generate the required revenue.

There should be regular tracking of SLA progress, if possible, on a daily basis.

Tip 4. Sustain open lines of communication.

Once the team have gotten to talking, keep the lines of communication open, and create a clear system for the sales and marketing teams to transfer leads. Conduct regular meetings between sales and marketing where they will discuss the respective teams’ progress so far, their successes, and other matters pertinent to their new alliance. Make sure that all members of the Sales team, as well as the Marketing team, are present during these meetings. At these meetings, you will find that some people in the team will be willing to take online reviews, social media posts, and offers like white papers or webinars as enough to convince them to become a customer. Others will need a bit more hand holding in the form of sales presentations, demos, or just someone to talk to before they commit.

Conduct regular management meetings as well. The meetings should not be limited to the two teams alone. Here, key managers should make it a point to tackle issues or topics that need to be resolved or discussed from the meetings between sales and marketing.

Next is to sell your marketing campaign and product to the Sales team. All campaigns formulated by Marketing and all information about products and service the company is offering to the market must first be marketed to the sales team. Since sales will be the team on the frontlines, they need to be adequately armed with this knowledge. Remember that the aim is for the campaign to be successful and generate high revenue, and revenue is the common language.

Tip 5. Gather, store and share reliable data.

Marketers are constantly collecting new data on how customers are interacting with the company and on how effective their marketing efforts are. Salespeople are in constant communication with customers, and have lots of real-world data they’re picking up from these interactions. This interprets that sales and marketing teams should be sharing data to identify trends that can help both of them improve their respective approaches.

All key information should be synchronized between Sales and Marketing, particularly if the organization’s information system is fully automated. This data must be reliable, relevant and accessible by both teams. Businesses with solidly integrated marketing and sales often use common dashboards that contain reports that are relevant to both teams. The content of the dashboards must be transparent, available to everyone, and kept up to date.

If you don’t know how to go about this common dashboard, you can ensure that marketing teams use Google Analytics or a similar tool to collect their data, while the sales team use a CRM platform. This provides each team with access to the other team’s data and allows them to better understand the customer from a new perspective and (hopefully) improve their approach to their own work.

Tip 6. Monitor through shared performance metrics.

Because integration is an ongoing process that transits with the business operation itself, the new alliance requires continuous monitoring and analysis of feedback obtained from performance metrics. Integrating Sales and Marketing means having performance metrics shared by both teams. Therefore, instead of assessing each team’s performance, the shared performance metrics will give top management a “wider” view.

Always remember that integrating Sales and Marketing requires teamwork. It is a team effort, where everyone is a player. Notwithstanding the differences in personalities and character, team members should work together in their respective departments, and as part of a single integrated team, keeping in mind that they have the same ultimate goal – revenue generation and growth.

Tip 7. Reward Good Work

You have to reward marketing team for their work also with incentives and not just the sales team. This will eliminate the marketing/sales rivalry and strengthen their alignment. It may prove difficult to incentivize your marketing team like you do the sales, hence a different approach can be employed. Instead of commissions based, you can identify key performance indicators (KPIs) and create a bonus structure around them.

Something easily measurable, like traffic or visibility, is a good place to start. Create a bonus structure around site traffic that’s driven by marketing content, or provide a monetary reward when you hit a certain number of followers on a social media platform. From there, you can broaden out and consider other KPIs.

You would be creating a happier workforce as well as improving your revenue and growing your business if you employ these tips. They may prove difficult, but not impossible.

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