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  • January 5, 2015

5 Ways Marketing Can Help Sales Succeed

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes courtesy of Brenda Stoltz, the CEO and founder of Ariad Partners, where she provides creative, practical, sales-driven integrated inbound marketing and strategic planning services to software, technology, manufacturing, professional services firms, and other industries. Follow Brenda on Twitter @BSStoltz.

There’s often a surprising amount of disconnect between Sales and Marketing teams. The two, in theory, should work together to grow the company’s customer base, but what often happens is the two have their own separate objectives and plans to achieve those goals. As a result, both sides work more than they need to and end up accomplishing less.

Being aware of this disconnect is the first step toward fixing it. Beyond that, there are several things that both departments can do to work together better.

1. Align the Message- Whenever Marketing creates a campaign centering on a theme, Sales needs to be informed so that the departments can align their communications. For example, if your company is offering a “Buy One Get One Free” event, a sales rep can mention this offer to customers.

Sales is there to support Marketing, and vice versa. When Sales is attuned to what Marketing is working on promotion-wise, Sales can support those campaigns through its own communication with existing clients and leads.

2. Meet to Set Up Common Goals- Too often, Sales and Marketing meet independently of one another when, in fact, they’re better off meeting as a group, at a minimum, at least once a month. Doing so can help the two team up to establish goals that are realistic and communicated to all. This helps keep the Sales team in check (“There’s no way we can quadruple sales in 30 days!”) as well as helps Marketing understand how to position their campaigns to support Sales’ goals.

Here’s an example: if the Sales team is setting a goal to kick the sales of a new product line into high gear at the start of the year, Marketing can build social updates, a promotion, blog posts, a press release, and email campaign all around that new product to boost sales. This not only gives direction for marketing campaigns, but also helps Sales realize its internal goals numbers-wise.

3. Share Access to Marketing and Sales Software- The Sales team can benefit from having access to Marketing’s program management dashboard so they can see what campaigns are under way. And Marketing needs to get into that CRM system so they can glean important customer data that will help them better understand the customers they’re marketing to.

Where applicable, work together within the technology. For example, if you use project management software, add sales reps in so they can be assigned tasks to help marketing out.

4. Look at Data Together- Both Sales and Marketing have access to some great analytics and data, and sharing it is the best way to make that information work for everyone. As I mentioned, that customer data found in your CRM is useful for marketing. Sales may like to see your web site analytics to better understand which products are selling well.  Both teams should look at which lead-generating white papers or offers are netting the most targeted leads so the two can work together to create more value to those leads.

5. Decide What Constitutes as a Lead- The further into discussions you get, you may find that Sales and Marketing have different ideas of what makes a good lead. Dialogue can change that, as well as help you identify the criteria for a good lead. You can also work together to identify the different stages for a lead, who has responsibility at each stage, and what each department can do to foster that lead toward a purchase.

Working together, the Sales and Marketing departments can be even more successful in growing sales and their customer base.

For more tips on how to maximize the Sales and Marketing partnership, check out the white paper “Beyond Lead Flow: Enabling Sales Through Marketing Automation.”

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