You’re constantly working and putting in long hours with your team members, especially when it comes to working on new campaigns and improving content. You have one person who’s working day and night trying to come up with amazing content and another who’s tirelessly reaching out to prospects. But even after putting in all the effort, you’re not getting any results.
Why is that?
The truth is that there’s a crucial element missing, and that is alignment between sales and marketing teams. Marketing and sales ought to be two teams that function together as one, that work seamlessly, fluidly, efficiently, and most of all, productively. Here are three signs that your sales and marketing teams are working more against each other than toward the same goal—and what you can do about it.
SIGN 1: NO ONE KNOWS WHO THEY’RE TARGETING
A sales and marketing team that’s out of alignment is one that looks and acts like they’re playing a game of tug-of-war. If you’ve learned anything about inbound marketing, you know that you can’t move a muscle without determining who your target personas are. Yes, personas, plural. Because most businesses have products and services designed to fit more than one target.
Target personas are fictitious characters you’ve created from actual data and are your ideal customers, the people who are most likely to need and want what you sell, be able to pay for it, and be the easiest to convince to purchase it. Take the trouble to identify these target personas and get it right because, trust me, everything else will go better.
BONUS IDEA: Some companies give these personas actual names (Sally, George, etc.) to facilitate communication and focus internally. It helps bring marketing and sales into alignment. EX: “This campaign is focused on Business Owner Bob.”
SIGN 2: SALES IS NOT PART OF THE CONTENT PROCESS
Your sales team probably thinks they have better things to do than writing blog posts like selling, for example. And they’re not entirely wrong about that. But what they should have time for is creating new content ideas and adding as much information as they can to the content development process.
Your salespeople are the ones that are in the field, talking with prospects, determining needs, seeing what works, and more importantly, seeing what doesn’t. Why wouldn’t marketing want to pick every salesperson’s brain for content ideas? And why wouldn’t every salesperson love to have that kind of input and influence?
Your marketers should typically be the ones that create the content - but aim for alignment in the content process. Call a content meeting or ask sales to review some outlined ideas to ensure they’re finely tuned to the target persona’s interests, needs, and concerns. You’ll get better content, and your sales team will have a sense of ownership in the content that’s created.
SIGN 3: THERE’S NO FEEDBACK ABOUT PERFORMANCE
People don’t like feeling in the dark. Sales and marketing teams need a constant flow of information about what the other is doing, but due to the natural sequence, where the work moves through marketing and then over to sales, the information that is most likely not getting to people who need it is sales successes and frustrations not finding their way back to marketing.
You can fix this. Communicate the performance of your team in ways that fit your organizational structure. Perhaps you’ll schedule a weekly sales and marketing meeting, or you’ll send out periodic emails. Regardless of how you decide to accomplish it, make sure the information is circulating. Build the feedback into existing processes so that it will keep happening. You’ll also see a lot more recognition for jobs well done!
Did any of these three signs sound familiar to you and your organization?
Getting on the same page now can help both your sales and marketing teams be more successful. Take some time to ensure that you have a clear target persona, your sales team is contributing ideas to the marketing funnel, and that there is a clear process in place for proper feedback to happen.
*Editor's Note: This blog has been updated with more relevant information.