Sales and marketing departments have long served their roles as separate entities, but most companies experience the difficulties in bridging the communications and relationship between the two departments. What would happen if that divide didn’t exist? With the creative industry constantly evolving, looking for innovative and collaborative solutions, sales and marketing departments must come together as one to give your company the boost it needs to revive its year-end goals.
The main goal is to create an inclusive, collaborative office. Bridging the gap between departments is the first step to creating a more effective and efficient team and allowing more goals to be met. Here are some ways to narrow the divide between sales and marketing.
Align Strategy and Direction
Companies typically present objectives for projects and for the overall mission and vision of the company itself. Each department typically serves an integral role in bringing the overall mission and vision to life. Take the initiative to bring the departments together as one to align a strategy and direction to ensure a cohesive vision and an inclusive process. Allow the departments to strategize ways to work together on projects and the purpose of their role in the projects. Facilitating discussions and presenting activities that explore meaning behind the purpose of their work creates a door for hidden leaders to emerge and help bridge the gaps between departments.
Install department leaders who value collaboration and place an emphasis on communication and personal development. While there is no perfect leader, a department leader who is all-inclusive and encourages a positive, united workplace culture is imperative for leading your team to success.
Creating and Re-establishing Dynamic Roles
Sales deals with client interaction. Marketing deals with the products and services for which the salespeople deliver to clients. Seldom do marketing departments deal with client relations and sales typically do not deal with marketing development.
One way to change this is to cross-train sales in marketing and marketing in sales. Understanding how each role functions and the process for which each role completes a task is not only informative, but also gives insight into the daily functions and responsibilities of the role.
It can also provide opportunity for an outside eye to observe areas for improvement. For example, a marketing employee may observe the way a salesperson deals with a particular client issue and realize there is a marketing tool that can help. Collaborating with the salesperson, the marketing employee can offer their expertise that benefits both internal staff procedures and the client. Another way to change role-specific expertise is to share information. Information sharing can be implemented through team meetings to discuss areas of improvement in each department and to brainstorm potential solutions between all departments to assist a struggling department or employee.
One suggestion would be a week of walking in someone else’s shoes. Have employees from marketing switch places with salespeople for a week. This can aide both departments in understanding the other department’s demands and responsibilities that may have looked simple or easy, but are more complex.
Develop SOP Communications
Most companies have a standard of procedure communications. This can be integral in your internal communications department. To create synergistic efforts of sales and marketing, addressing communication issues can be a starting point.
For example, most salespeople interface with a client on a daily basis, whereas a marketing person typically does not. Though the industry is expanding, and marketing employees are taking on more direct communications with clients, a better approach to strategizing with clients is to bring all departments together to discuss with the client. Once a client meets the requirement or is brought on, scheduling a meeting with both sales and marketing teams can allow an inclusive collaboration between the departments and client for a cohesive, concise vision for the end goal.
Another way to improve communications between the two departments is to not physically divide them. Not only can you combine the department into one through renaming the department as one inclusive department (i.e., “Communications,” “Marketing & Sales,” or “Client Relations”, etc.), but also combine the department into one space.
Department cultures can develop cliques or biased perspectives of each other, and it can become detrimental to both the departmental divide, as well as create an undesirable company culture. Bringing the departments together, physically and collaboratively, can allow a synergistic environment that combats cliques and departmental cultures through open dialogues and teamwork.
Adapt and Upgrade Technology Solutions
The foundation for bringing sales and marketing into one department is the commitment to the customer. One way to incorporate a shared responsibility of client satisfaction is to have both teams actively involved in customer relationship management. For example, the marketing department may manage the company website, but what happens when they don’t follow the sales process to guarantee all leads are pursued? You potentially lose business and have a sales team that is frustrated. Having the two teams work together and develop a process unique to both their needs and the company’s overall mission can assist in the creation of an effective, efficient method where the two departments collaborate allowing your company to reap the benefits.
With technology driving many industries forward in their solutions and processes, incorporating more and better technology can help close the departmental divide. One-third of marketing and salespeople requested better or more collaboration tools and the technology to support such tools. Integrating tools within your CRM system will provide better analysis of what technology and tools are working and which ones are not. It also guarantees that data is accurate and accessible so what you invest into it will be worth every penny.
Creating goals as a company can support departments working together and ensure equally responsible for the success or failure of such goals. One-quarter of marketing and salespeople requested a shared understanding of terms and concepts and CRM system.
Take a moment to evaluate your business and some weak points that could use some improvement. Insured Solutions have a PEO exchange program that can offer you all the HR resources you may need with no impact to your current staff or workload. If you want to learn more about our PEO exchange program, please contact us.