I heard one of the most ridiculous statements a couple of months ago from a fellow marketer. He and I were discussing a recent meeting he’d had with the others on his marketing team. They were discussing a new management platform they were trying out, and how it was pretty hard to figure out the features.
“My team is great, but it is the sales people. They don’t have any idea how to properly create these widgets. So they are holding all of us back.”
I just couldn’t understand that. Why weren’t the teams working together? When I inquired a bit more it turned out that the teams didn’t work together on anything. In fact, a rivalry had broken out between the two teams, as they often blamed each other for things going wrong.
The marketing team thought the sales team was losing conversions because they weren’t implementing the hard work they were doing in promotion. The sales team thought that the marketing team were making promises that couldn’t be maintained, losing them commissions.
Peanut Butter and Jelly
The biggest problem with this mentality is that it separates things into two teams. But the truth is that both are working for the same side. If they would combine their efforts and keep one another on the same page then there would be greater results for both. Syncing their efforts are far more beneficial than refusing to work together.
For every business the sales team and the marketing team should be like peanut butter and jelly. While your situation might not be as dire or contentious as my friend’s, you may find that the two are not operating on the same harmonious level as you would like.
Here are some ways that the two sides can boost results by working together for the benefit of the brand.
If your teams aren’t talking to one another than they are not operating to the best of their abilities. Communication should be a requirement, which means making it easier for them to do so. You need a place for them to communicate, and to encourage them to use some of their time doing so, both in meetings and alone. Communication fosters loyalty.
You can use your own internal system for this, but there are so many excellent platforms now that you can use almost anything. Slack is a popular option as you can create customized channels that reflect your needs. But other programs, like Cyfe, have built in messengers that work alongside other features.
It’s a good idea to create an internal resource that would clearly present how all the teams can help each other. Using Flipsnack you can publicize your materials online for all your teams to easily access them.
Make a Sales Friendly FAQ Section
FAQ sections have remained a helpful and well loved area of websites even as live customer assistance via chat has become the norm. It is helpful for customer service teams because it opens them up to dealing with less common problems. Well-organized FAQ helps rankings and lead generation because when users find answers on your website, they feel more inclined to stay.
It is great for the sales team because it offers customers a chance to see what is being offered. It a useful for the marketing team because it gives them a way to communicate with customers based on issues they may be having.
The marketing and sales team can work together to discover the most likely questions that will need to be addressed. Remember to keep it short and sweet, only using the most common inquiries. This is why having both teams narrowing it down is so important.
Ask For Ideas For Both Departments
Ask a marketer for ideas and they are going to start coming up with ways to promote their brand right away. Ask a salesperson the same question and they will come up with answers to promote the brand as well. Why? Because in the end they are both trying to do the same thing: grow the company, get more customers, improve overall reputation, etc.
The difference is the direction from which the solution comes. Marketers have a behind the scenes look with all the related data it involves. Salespeople have the direct interaction with customers that change the way promotion may be viewed, with more anecdotal evidence than hard facts. Both provide something unique that adds to the discussion.
For the same reasons, the sales team should be involved in creation of marketing materials. Is your design team working on banners or promo videos? Your marketing team is likely to supervise the project, so should the sales team. They know well what those customers will respond better to. Use tools that make that collaboration easier.
Get Both Teams Work on A/B Tests
A/B testing is one of the key steps to increasing conversions. A1QA, a softaware testing company based in Lakewood, CO, has a solid overview of how it works and how it can improve the business online performance. It’s amazing how often the A/B testing process doesn’t take into account the marketing and sales experience.
A/B test often starts with the hypothesis: The web development team needs a theory: “Which minor website change may lead to higher conversions?” This is where the marketing and sales teams’ input is crucial. The marketing team can contribute their thoughts based on their analytics knowledge. And the sales team can make their judgement based on their actual experience with sales funnel.
Create Common Goals
Now that we see the aims between the two are the same, we can come up with some common goals that both teams can work on together. For example, they might want to increase conversions by improving their sales funnel, and they decide to do this by making better landing pages with more targeted content. Or they could decide to improve social media campaigns to build stronger relationships with influencers and drive interaction.
By working together they will see better results. All while doing what they would have been anyway, only in a more harmonious way that takes multiple factors into account. It is like increasing your workforce without having to hire a single extra person for the job!
Use Info The Other Side Possesses
This goes back to what was being done above. As should be obvious by now, using the expertise from both teams can give you a much bigger picture when deciding on your plans. Sales know customers, marketers know demographics, and together you can create a much more effective campaign that leads to both growth and boosted conversions.
By using the information all of you have you are going to end up better off. Some may be able to provide a perspective you never even thought about. Plus, you can plug that info right back into the other side as well, and even other teams and departments.
Your Teams Are Your Crew – Get Everybody On Board!
When you have a ship you can’t separate your crew members into cliques and expect not to sink. Everyone has a role to play and they do it together, as one entity working their own separate function that builds up to the whole.
Your business can operate the same way, with your sales and marketing teams helping your brand’s ship run smoothly. All it takes is a bit of communication and shared efforts… you will be amazed by the results.