10133444_sThis blog series aims to discuss ways that Marketing Executives can help bridge the gaps across teams and between functions.

In Part 1, we discussed the lack of synchronicity commonly seen in companies, small to large.  It is important to find useful and meaningful ways to collaborate – or, as the team at C5 Insight likes to put it, Work Together Better.  As technology evolves, so do the opportunities to divide and conquer.  But can we really conquer divided? 

The goal of this series is not to build increased reliance on platforms, but rather to discuss ways to use these solutions to communicate seamlessly across departments, and even with clients, prospects and partners.  In this blog, we’ll look at five best practices to help Sales and Marketing close the interdepartmental divide.

1. Align Goals

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s a common, yet easy issue to fix. Sales often feels tasked with the burden of driving revenue while sorting through the abyss of less-than-stellar leads. Meanwhile, Marketing is often rewarded by sheer quantity of leads.

Instead, consider placing higher importance on rewarding conversions vs. target numbers of records dumped into a system. Entry-level team members can pull lists and sync to CRM. You’re a leader, a visionary, a bridge builder…right? Be the change. Arrange a compensation plan or bonus schedule aligned with what you actually contribute to the company’s bottom line. More importantly, sync it with your Sales organization to ensure everyone is working towards a common goal.

2. Keep a Calendar

We recently encountered the opportunity to create a shared calendar for a client on a Sales & Marketing SharePoint site. Why? We discovered their Marketing team's targets, goals, campaigns, events, etc. were inadvertently being discussed behind closed doors with limited visibility available elsewhere. The Sales team’s daily operations are the ones most easily influenced by Marketing.  Shouldn’t they be the first to access the information in an easy to manage, shared hub?

Let’s walk through what a calendar entry might look like.

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An approach such as this may be used to rally participants and stakeholders around Marketing campaigns and events so that all pertinent information can be stored and shared easily. Attendees can be added, removed, and notified of key changes. Relevant URLs, such as links to the campaign in CRM or necessary collateral or landing pages, are included. Team members can even book conference rooms or other shared spaces, set recurrences, and integrate with their own calendar. Overall, this has proven an extremely effective collaboration tool to keep team members from having to chase necessary information across email chains and otherwise.

3. Paint a Complete Picture

Much like Bob Ross’ “happy little trees,” aim to unleash upon Sales “happy little leads”.

What does this mean? Try to pass along complete pictures of your prospects, populating every field possible in CRM. Continuing with the tree reference, shake that tree until the fruit (or, prospect) falls off. Sales does not, or rather should not, have the capacity to nurture every lead. Engage your prospects in nurture campaigns and utilize lead scoring so that those you pass along for Sales follow up are more ripe. This can lead to quicker close times and, you know, more profit and revenue.

4. Meet Regularly

This may sound like another no-brainer, but I’ve witnessed few organizations who actually make regularly scheduled Sales AND Marketing meetings a priority.  There are regular Sales meetings. There are regular Marketing meetings. And yet somehow, the two groups often fail to actually meet together as one group consistently.

Experiment with a few frequencies to tap into the best cadence for your teams, and then keep these meetings top of mind and on regular rotation. Weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, whatever your magic formula is, making it a priority to meet and discuss initiatives, campaigns, events, failures, and successes can have an enormous impact on your synergy AND your sales. 

5. Get ‘em Trained

16435354_sI’ve learned over the course of my career that a very necessary cross-function of a successful Marketer lies in Training. This is the number one way for today’s Marketing Executive to serve as a bridge builder. We thrive in the intersection of technology and adoption, so it only makes sense for those of us in this impactful role to learn the tools, launch the training, and keep up the momentum.

Bonus! To be successful, you must be trusted. To earn trust, it is important to display competency and constant momentum. I love it when Sales comes to me with questions because one of two things happens: 1) I help solve their problem and get to engage with them in a unique way or 2) I get to learn something new myself, and keep my skill set sharp. Step up and spearhead that training – your entire organization will be better for it. 


What are some ways you’re strengthening the relationship between Sales and Marketing in your organization? Feel free to share in the comments! For more information about this blog or C5 Insight, please Contact Us.