Realizing that 66 percent of people who make New Year’s Resolutions give them up in one month or less is fairly discouraging-especially if you’re a part of that statistic. But the one good thing about losing a resolution is the opportunity to make another, and if you’re in the sales and/or marketing world, we’ve got a perfect one: ending the war between sales and marketing.
So where do you even begin on such an abstract task? By following the steps below, you’ll put both of these teams on the road toward a truce.
It’s time for both teams to open up about the data they have. For marketing, that means sharing information about who is downloading which offers, where most of their contacts are coming from, and any behavioral data such as pages viewed by prospects. For sales, that means showing marketing how many leads they’ve worked that marketing has given them, which ones have turned into opportunities, which have closed, and which have gone nowhere.
Opening up communication like this will help both functions work together on a more practical level and can even be done through integrated software solutions.
Develop Lead Qualification Criteria Together
Now that all of the relevant information is out in the open, it’s time to meet and figure out what criteria make up a qualified lead for marketing and sales. Allowing each department to have a say in what makes an MQL and an SQL helps align each set of qualifications while giving more insight into why a certain lead was passed to sales or why it didn’t turn into an opportunity.
Align Buyer Personas
With your qualifications determined, build those out even further into buyer personas. When you’re creating these semi-fictional representations of your ideal buyer, brainstorm with both sales and marketing to ensure that they have the same vision or can come to an agreement about who their best leads are and which ones deserve the most focus. This exercise might be time-consuming, but it serves to further get their goals to match up with each others’ and with the company’s mission.
Understand Each Other’s Roles
Through the previous steps, both teams should have a fair understanding of the roles and challenges that each faces. But if you have any more questions or concerns, the time to voice them is now when people are making an effort to align and are more willing to give insightful answers that will increase understanding and possibly even lead to changes.
It’s also worthwhile to appreciate the personality differences in these groups. Knowing how analytical, long-term focused marketing people are different from relational, short-term focused sales people will empower both groups to get along better on a day-to-day basis.
While taking these actions won’t result in an automatic friendship between these two departments, they will certainly help relax strained relations and tense feelings. Ending the war between sales and marketing is a resolution for 2017 that will let you accomplish tasks that will keep helping the growth and culture of your business for years to come.