The goal of just about any marketing campaign is, of course, to generate sales. Even if you are running a brand awareness campaign, the ultimate goal is to get more customers. Even if you have a different short-term goal, your long-term goal is always more sales and more profit.
However, the marketing team of a company often works independently of the sales department and its agents. Marketing kind of works in a vacuum based on the goals of the company and the way the brand has been established. Meanwhile, the sales team works on improving its own strategies for closing the deal, which can be drastically different from the marketing strategies used.
This disconnect between marketing and sales can cause a big problem. Your teams can be overlapping their efforts, or they could be coming at the same goal from drastically different angles. You could be wasting time and resources.
You need to build a bridge between marketing and sales. Here’s how you can do that:
Consider a New Position
Some brands have solved the problem of creating this bridge between sales and marketing by creating a new position that straddles both departments.
Can you do the same for your brand?
The joint position would work with both departments and would report to both. That means that the person would have insights into what both departments need, and would be able to combine their goals to create successful strategies for both. The person would also be accountable to both departments for getting results.
By having this combined position, you would also have a liaison that you could talk to about the needs of both departments. Have a new marketing campaign to launch? Call that person in to talk about what challenges the sales team is facing right now and get ideas for tweaks to the campaign to help overcome those challenges.
If you have a particularly large company and a large enough budget, you can consider creating several roles that straddle these departments.
If you can’t afford to create a bridge position, you can get some of the same benefits by asking your employees to role play.
No, not that kind of role play.
Instead, you ask members of the sales team to role play as members of the marketing team to think about what needs to go into a successful campaign. And you ask the marketing team to role play as members of the sales team to think about what they need to do to successfully close a sale.
Changing these roles, even for a day, can help employees understand what it takes to create marketing and sales strategies that get results. Employees can then support other departments by exchanging ideas, providing feedback based on their own experiments, and making tweaks to their own behaviors that influence the other department.
For example, members of the sales team may realize that the marketing team is not getting some crucial bit of information that could be useful in their campaign. Maybe the sales team hears the same complaint from customers and the marketing team could show how their product is a solution for it if they knew about it.
The more these team members can understand the challenges that the others face, they can work together to meet their mutual goals.
Maximize the Use of LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great tool for marketing your brand and for closing sales.
You can market your brand by creating a great business page and professional profiles for your employees. You can also market yourself by participating in groups, creating videos on the site, and publishing a blog on the site.
You can close sales through LinkedIn by creating contacts there and building partnerships. Participation in groups and other networking activities on the site can help you get more sales from other businesses or professionals.
Maximize your use of LinkedIn by making sure that every member of your marketing and sales teams are on the platform, and then create a unified strategy for participation on the network. Circulate memos and guidelines for activity on the site, and conduct a training for members of both teams.
Put accountability measures in place for performance on the site. That should include regular meetings in which both departments come together to compare their results on the site and to talk about what’s working and what’s not. Having the meeting together will give members from both departments the opportunity to compare and contrast their strategies and their goals.
Marketing and sales should be considered two sides of the same coin. They should be working together to help your company meet its goals. If they aren’t working together, you are likely wasting time and money while struggling to get results. Use these tips to build a bridge between marketing and sales and to start getting a better return on your investment.