As marketers we’re always focused on the message. What do we want to say? How can we make it more engaging? While we are constantly tweaking the message, how often are we communicating these ongoing changes to the sales team? Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? Dare I say…
Aside from your marketing campaigns, your sales force is the front line of your company. They are out in the field talking to your customers and prospects, following up on the leads you’ve provided them. Because of this, it’s critical that both sales and marketing are on the same page. If there’s a disconnect in what each party is saying to customers it can impact the success of your campaigns and the ability to close sales.
So close yet so far
Having worked for a number of startups and large companies, I can tell you it’s often the case that people sitting one cubicle away don’t really know what the other is up to. So, you can imagine how challenging it can be to ensure entire departments are delivering the same messages at all times.
As marketers, were always coming up with ideas on how to create campaigns that draw in our target audience. More often than not, the brainstorming sessions, content creation and development, and strategy meetings take place exclusively under the marketing tent. So, how is your sales team suppose to stay on message when they don’t usually get word of your marketing campaigns until the leads start funneling in? Therein lies the disconnect between sales and marketing.
What’s ironic is that as marketers we try to do much of it all by ourselves — from strategizing our outreach programs to developing creative campaigns that pull readers in. Sales is often the last department we consult with to help us come up with ideas that hit a cord with our target audience. But why? The fact is, sales should be one of the first departments we turn to when developing our core messages. As I mentioned in a previous blog, most of your sales team’s waking hours are spent communicating directly with your customers and prospects (i.e., your target audience). They have a good pulse on what your audience’s biggest issues are and get an earful of your customers’ problems every day.
Since we’re both working towards the same overall goals, it’s time sales and marketing get reacquainted with one another. We need each other to be successful at what we do. Instead of waiting until the quarterly or annual corporate communications meeting to update sales on what numbers the marketing department has achieved, we need to communicate more on the front end, before everything rolls out. Doing so can help improve your quarterly and annual numbers.
Including sales in your marketing brainstorming sessions, getting their feedback on your concepts, and scheduling regular meetings to keep them in the loop about upcoming marketing campaigns is critical to developing more hard-hitting messages, keeping the message consistent across the organization, and generating more quality sales leads.