When Marketing & Sales Attack Together (Instead of Each Other)
Part 1 – Pre-Campaign Alignment
First year business classes will teach you through various anecdotes that marketing and sales teams are different beasts, traditionally moving in different directions in the average company. History, however, does not have to repeat itself. Today’s successful corporations, both in monetary and in company culture terms, have a tightly running demand engine rather than the pillars known as “marketing” and as “sales”.
What elements enable this smooth-running engine in the forward-thinking firms of today? And where are other companies failing to bridge the gap?
Where is the Divide?
Some significant factors to success are visibility, accountability, collaboration and cross-departmental KPIs, such as pipeline generated per quarter or campaign-based revenues influenced by marketing and sales alike.
Awareness of where the typical pain points for each team are also assists in mitigating stress in these areas from the get-go. Let’s have a look at the common complaints:
Why Can't We All Get Along?
Any sales director as well as any CMO will surely smirk while reviewing these survey results. What’s the summary? Well, sales people view the marketing crew as traditional, event-focused and somewhat oblivious to both product and marketplace.
On the flipside, the marketing colleagues gaze upon the sales squad as unstructured, impulsive and demanding juggernauts out on the battlefield. An excellent reminder to both sides is that, at the end of the day, they are all working for one company with one common goal – growth. A great strategy to promote growth? To use more brainpower, manpower and the element of speed in unison rather than divided into two separate factions.
Depending on your company’s maturity and the set-up of your marketing and sales departments, a significant amount of re-thinking and re-alignment might be necessary. For less mature organizations, it might still be early enough to create cross-competency “demand generation” or “business development” departments that encompass all the savvy pros you might need to generate as well as eventually close and then upsell those sweet, sweet leads.
However, the facts are clear - businesses are 67% better at closing deals when sales and marketing work together.
Let’s take an example of a medium to older maturity organization. The pillars are set. The stereotypes are clear. The processes are either non-existent or dusty and set in stone. How do you kick-start a shift in mindset while pulling together the common focus? Take a blitz campaign and make it a tangible, measurable and desirable project.
“What’s a blitz campaign? Isn’t it a sales blitz campaign?”
Traditionally, yes, a sales blitz would be “an organized effort by the company to focus all of its sales force on a specific task in one specific territory. The most common task is to identify, qualify and engage potential new customers. But, a sales blitz could also be used to quickly communicate some hot new product or service to a market. A sales blitz has the advantage of focusing the entire sales force on a specific task. That alone will bring you far greater results than if you'd just left it to each salesperson to do on their own.”
In line with thinking in terms of a demand generation army, however, a focused blitz is not just a sales blitz. It is multi-touch, multi-element and marketing influenced.
How does it work?
- Bring together all team members and create a unified blitz team – marketing, inside sales, sales, even VPs are all part of one focused crew now
- Brainstorming on the key solutions/business benefits to be brought forth in calls
- Decision on prizes for top winners
- Research and data entry for all relevant companies and key stakeholders (LinkedIn Sales Navigator is extremely useful, for example)
- Persona creation and understanding in team for each stakeholder relevant in the sales cycle
- Basic calling script or guide with clear calls to action
- KPIs set, agreed on, and measurable in CRM dashboard
- Refresher of how to track the call results and next pipeline steps, from lead created to opportunity moved to final stage
- Date in agenda for all hands on deck to man the phone and power through the campaign lists
Once the data has been prepared, CRM is up to date for the blitz day, and all team members are briefed, it is time to see just how productive the combination of marketing and sales can truly be.
The Big Picture
As most companies spend 30-40% of their revenue on Sales and Marketing, just imagine the result if these two sides of the same coin coordinate activities and better align themselves, thus optimizing what their company spends on them.
An added benefit, aside from massive pipeline generation in a short spurt as well as significant branding and awareness creation? Empathy.
Through the mutual support and goal setting of all involved, as well as the follow-through by all, a common understanding of each person’s value in the demand generation team will arise. Then, nothing stands in the way for future blitzes and long-term strategic campaigns!