It’s frustrating to see when two people who have so much in common – the same interests, the same sense of humor, the same goals – never become a couple. The same heartbreak often occurs among sales and marketing teams.
In order for a fulfilling relationship to be sustained over the long-term (yes, a technical description of a romantic concept), there needs to be strong communication. Similarly, achieving alignment between marketing and sales departments is the largest opportunity for improving business performance today, and it all comes down to communication between the two groups. They need to speak the same language.
But that is easier said than done. While both departments are highly dependent on each other, they can also have different motivations and metrics – and that’s a significant problem – since the only metric in the end that really counts is revenue. The two groups can have conflicting perspectives on what it takes to achieve long-term revenue goals. For example, the sales department often has a short-term focus because of the pressure of making quarterly revenue targets. Marketing not only has to support these revenue targets but also has to generate awareness and leads to fuel the sales engine in subsequent quarters. This is why it is not always ideal for an organization’s marketing department to report directly to the sales VP. Ultimately future growth can be compromised by the demand for short-term revenue.
So how do you marry the two so that everyone is happy, including the bottom-line?
Marketing and sales can work together more effectively by collaborating and gaining insight into each other’s success metrics. In the most productive scenario, good marketing will ENABLE the sale. Marketing draws customers’ attention, describes the offer and explains the value. But let’s face it – marketing needs sales to nurture the relationship, build a business case and close the deal. Without sales, there probably won’t be a sale. And marketing exists to make the sales process easier so the company makes more sales.
It all comes down to communication.
“Integration is not a dreamland of endless possibilities with revolutionary marketing results at the end of a rainbow. It’s an ongoing process made up of many discrete but valuable steps, each contributing to the greater cause.”
If you’ve ever heard a good piano player, you know that by themselves they can create beautiful music. But, combine the piano with a guitar, saxophone, vocalist and a few other pieces. Suddenly, you have a richer and more powerful sound.
Similarly, marketing tools may deliver one level of results when used alone or independent of each other. However, when you combine the tools into an integrated marketing plan – a cohesive symphony of marketing efforts with coordinated timing and consistent messaging – the synergy increases results dramatically.
The goal is to make all aspects of marketing communication media work together as a unified force, rather than allowing each to work in isolation, which maximizes their cost effectiveness.