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inbound marketing, Sales |


How to End the Perennial Conflict between Sales and Marketing

Matt Sunshine


By now, it’s a cliché that sales departments and marketing departments are typically at each other’s throats—that there’s serious mistrust and distrust even during periods of supposed peace. But the fact that this is hardly news means we absolutely can’t ignore it, or for even a moment throw up our hands and entertain the thought of simply giving up.

There’s too much lost in the strife and too much to gain in resolving the long-time conflict. Salespeople and their managers complain about the quality of the leads the marketing department sends their way, often calling them suspects not prospects. After a while, they start to ignore their internal source of leads and prefer instead to develop their own from scratch. The lead generators in the marketing group complain that the problem isn’t in the quality of the leads, but in the lousy follow-through by salespeople. They’re as certain the leads are good as the sales staff is that they stink.

Here’s a way to end the impasse. Businesses now have new tools with which to bring sales and marketing together. Companies using inbound marketing have access to powerful information and analytics that can both improve the quality of the leads that are passed from marketing to sales, and at the same time improve how salespeople handle those leads, boosting their success rate.

What Can Marketing Do to Please the Sales Department?

Using Inbound Marketing:

  • Determine up front what makes a lead qualified. Perhaps it’s information about the contact or the company or the action that the lead converts on. Perhaps its some combination of all the above.
  • Provide the sales team with lead intelligence. Let them know when the best leads come back to your website to get more information.
  • Constantly update the target personas to insure that content being created will attract the right leads.
  • Showcase the effectiveness of your products and services for the customers that you serve.
  • Alert your sales team to the exact type of information your prospects and clients are interested in.

What Can Sales Do to Please the Marketing Department?

Using Inbound Marketing:

  • Provide marketing with feedback on what happens with the leads.
  • Give marketing specific details on the type of real information that is most useful to help win the business.
  • Follow up in a timely manner. Leads are most valuable when they convert on an action.
  • Use the lead intelligence not just for “new” leads but for existing prospects and clients.
  • Share, Share, Share the content being produced everywhere. Use articles and premium content landing pages when communicating with clients and prospects.

When sales and marketing are working together amazing results can be achieved. At The Center for Sales Strategy we work with our clients to establish a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between sales and marketing, so that both groups have a clear understanding of what is expected of them and what they can count on the other to do. If you don’t currently have an SLA in place then you might consider making this the subject of your next revenue / marketing meeting.

Download The Future of Sales and Marketing

About Author

Matt Sunshine

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