Why should sales and marketing work together?

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In a company, marketing and sales are equally essential departments, with distinct roles to play. While each team is in charge of performing specific functions, they ultimately end up working towards the same goal: increasing sales and the overall growth of your company.

Outfunnel surveyed 302 sales and marketing professionals about how they collaborate in the work environment. The results revealed that 73% of respondents believed that revenues increased from 2018 to 2019 because their teams were well aligned.

But alignments can be hard to come by. Marketers blame the sales team for not doing a great job nurturing and quickly following up with leads, while sales reps complain that marketing hasn't done enough work to bring in quality leads. This blame game is a major reason many organisations miss out on lucrative deals. But when you truly integrate sales and marketing, you are guaranteed to drive better results. Here are a few reasons why.

You'll really know who your customer is 

A great advantage for marketers working with sales teams is that it helps them better understand their audience. Even though both departments get a chance to interact with prospective customers, it's really the sales team that directly communicates with them until the end of their buying journey.

Their feedback can help you get detailed information on 

  • Why they chose your business over competitors.

  • The key  factors for opting to make a purchase.

  • Specific traits you should look for in a prospect. For instance, let's say you run a library-themed cafe. Your sales rep may find that a person is more likely to be a customer if they are an avid book reader, an art enthusiast or someone who enjoys coffee shops.

These insights can help the marketing team build a more in-depth buyer persona and give future marketing strategies a more targeted message. Likewise, through good communication, sales representatives can also benefit from the marketing team's help. For example, if the marketing team comes across a lead who is keen on making a purchase, they must notify the sales team to close the deal faster. If not, the sales team may follow a traditional, slower timeline, at which point that specific customer may not have the same interest.

You'll understand what brings customers in 

Salespeople gain a lot of knowledge simply by engaging with prospective clients on a daily basis.  Sales can be a valuable resource for marketers, as they have a close working relationship with customers and are likely to understand customer needs in ways other departments can't.

The sales staff can pass on information like the type of content that caught the buyer's attention, the medium from which they first discovered your organisation, the features they were unaware of, and the style of content they're interested in seeing on social media. For example, even listening to recorded sales calls or customer inquiries will help marketing teams better understand the customer's pain points, and work to address those in future marketing strategies.

You'll ensure a better customer experience  

When communication between marketing and sales teams is inconsistent, it leads to tasks getting duplicated or overlooked, wasting time and energy along the way. That's why it's important to bridge that gap. A 7000+ respondent survey by LinkedIn shows that 58% of organisations with integrated sales and marketing experienced improved efficiency, and 52% saw increased productivity. The same study also said that 71% of them believe they more effectively addressed their customer needs because of this collaboration.

As collaborative efforts expand, both sales and marketing understand the challenges the other faces. This reduces the chances of duplicate work and other misunderstandings. For example, the marketing team may send in leads from a campaign that promises to help them migrate to a software in 10 minutes. On the other hand, salespeople may not be aware of what was promised—and as a result—may not be able to fulfil the customer's expectations. 

How can sales and marketing work together? 

Your marketing and sales teams can get real-time, actionable insight about your leads by working from data housed in a single centralised system—like a CRM.

By using a customer relationship management software, the marketing department will gain a detailed understanding of lead progress, sales updates, a customer's preferred time for contact, previous purchase behaviours, and whether a customer's queries are being addressed. At the same time, by integrating a marketing automation tool with your CRM, the sales team can have access to information such as how a campaign is performing, from which campaign a particular lead came from, how a customer has recently interacted with your website and social media channels, and their lead scores based on their level of engagement. Furthermore, having all the information in one place allows for a more seamless lead handover, as the CRM can immediately notify your sales team when a lead is ready to be moved up to the next stage.

Whether you're a small business or a large corporation, it's crucial that you start aligning your sales and marketing teams to reap the maximum benefits and improve your overall efficiency.

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