Gone are the days of separate sales teams and marketing teams. The wall that has traditionally stood between the two groups has increasingly been breaking down. Working together is a necessity to support the interactions and communications with potential customers.
The two teams may not, yet, be designed to be one – there is still a distinction between customer facing and market strategizing – yet a company cannot be successful in one area without consulting the other. The two teams fall beneath the same umbrella; the two teams are carrying the same stick.
In the spirit of sameness, clear communication and alignment are critical. Understanding who the salespeople are speaking to defines the company’s audience, which in turn directs how the marketing team designs their content and campaigns. Meanwhile, the avenue potential customers take defines how sales teams respond and strategize their relationship with a lead.
In order for this to happen, there needs to be a common language – that language is data. Data that is not isolated per team, but rather created and used by both teams. This allows each team to work off the same data foundation for the same future goal: growth. This is where a sophisticated lead management platform comes into play.
The concept of managing leads involves the following tactics: attract leads, respond to leads, nurture a lead relationship, and provide feedback to the organization based on interacting with a lead. Where and how these occur connects the sales and marketing teams.
Generally, this is where marketing shines. The team works to convert a mere passerby into a curious visitor in hopes to create a reaction that turns into consideration.
This is when the baton is passed between the two teams – marketing brought the potential customer to the door, now the salesperson needs to be prepared to answer it. This stage continues to be one of the most important as quicker response times tend to increase the likelihood of a successful transaction.
The sales team proves their strength in closing deals in this stage, which includes understanding of the customers’ problems and expectations. This is where perseverance is required.
Again, post-interaction, the baton is passed back to the marketing team from the sales team. Through the sales team’s experience, marketing can adjust its strategy to have a larger impact in the attraction stage using what was discovered through direct interaction with the customer.
It becomes clear that the data connection between sales and marketing isn’t just a bridge. It is an ever evolving (and never-ending) cycle of data analysis and communication. The strength of your foundation, of credible useable similar data, will define the success (or failure) of this cycle contributing to the connection or the separation of your sales and marketing teams.