What does sales need from marketing? What does marketing need from sales? The sales and marketing within a company must work closely together. They both have the same function for the company; getting new business. In many companies, the collaboration between marketing and sales is not optimal. Sales calls potential customers too early, so that these prospects pull off the deal. Or marketing does not provide all relevant information to sales, with as a result that the sales team is surprised by unexpected questions during the sales calls.
Smarketing: integrated sales and marketing
Many companies treat sales and marketing as strictly separated departments. They are in separate areas and each have their own director. Both departments report according own indicators. The result is a bad transfer from marketing to sales. The transfer takes place too late or too early, or the information turns out to be incomplete when a transfer has taken place.
Smarketing is an approach in which the sales and marketing department work together in an integrated way. Both departments make agreements about the terminology they use and the data and KPI’s which are reported. Staff members of both teams work closely together. In some organizations, the marketing and sales departments even share one room. Marketing involves members of the sales team to develop a campaign, while marketing people listen to reviews of sales processes.
Marketing and sales targets
No matter how well your marketing and your sales team might cooperate with each other, they still have different interests. Although they ultimately have the same goal, selling products or services, both teams use other indicators to determine their success.
The task of the marketing team is to make sure that leads come in, there is a good ROI of marketing and that the cost per contact, lead or customer as low as possible. Sales rather converts leads into customers as soon as possible. Sometimes this bite. In many organizations, marketing is targeted on the number of leads, while the sales department is targeted on the conversion ratio.
Six Things that are important for sales
These conflicting interests between sales and marketing lead to questions. How do you make sure that marketing and sales support each other as good as possible? What does sales, for example, needs from marketing to be able to function as well as possible?
A good coordination between sales and marketing is crucial to obtain the ultimate sales success. The reconciliation is about the basis of marketing campaigns. What solutions are promoted most? Which personas are targeted with these campaigns? What type of customers does marketing expect to reach and what does this mean for the sales team?
It is important that marketing qualified leads that have converted in sales qualified leads are transferred from marketing to sales. Sales must know when a lead is ‘ripe’ to make a call to. When sales calls too early, the chances are that the lead pulls of the deal. Your organization needs hard criteria regarding when a lead can be considered as sales qualified.
3. Customer Insight
Sales needs information about a potential customer. As marketing hands over lead, sales want to know as much as possible about this lead. Did this customer attend an event? Do we know with whom he/she has spoken? Which part of the information interested the lead the most? This information is necessary for sales to follow up the sales process as efficient as possible.
4. Informative reports
Marketing and sales are often two different teams, whether the organization works with smarketing or not. To ensure that marketing does not transfer leads to sales that are still not ready for it, it is important that reports are based on targets that apply for both sales and marketing. As a marketing department transfers good sales qualified leads that turn out to be easy to convert, than they earn credits as well, especially when this means that costs of marketing slightly increased.
5. Insight in marketing plans
Imagine you’re the director of a sales team. Just when there are three people in your team on Holiday marketing provides you with a lot of new marketing leads. Their last campaign with an e-book has been a great success. The team members that are still there are instantly overloaded. They do the best they can, but they don’t have enough time to follow up all new leads on top. Because of this mismanagement a large part of the, sometimes very promising, leads are off the hook and left with a bad impression of your company.
As a sales department you should have an insight in the marketing calendar. In this way you know upfront when you must be able to prioritize to convert promising leads resulting from new campaigns. Conversely, you also know when you have some more time to spend on leads that don’t convert so quickly.
6. Insight in the competition
Of course, as a company, your main priority is to work on the positioning of your own brand as much as possible. However, there is always competition and this competition also redefines their strategy every now and then. As a sales department you expect your marketing department to keep an eye on the competition. When they report changes in the competitors approach you can easily adept the offer of your company.
The information that the marketing department provides to the sales department determines an important part of the success of your sales team. Is the sales department provided with right information, for instance the exact customer demand, regarding a potential customer? Has marketing figured out correctly whether a client is ready to receive a sales call? Is there a good coordination regarding timing and content of the campaigns?
In the end there are interactions between marketing and sales, i.e. smarketing. If Sales and marketing work with the same terminology and the same data they can work together to achieve their goals. It is of great importance to measure the results of marketing and sales throughout the entire sales funnel. To do so It is very important that both departments communicate and cooperate openminded.