3 ways to optimize the connection between sales and marketing

by Chris Walter

The two main drivers for any enterprise are sales and marketing. Marketing gets the message out there and sales brings in the numbers. However, it can be increasingly difficult to align the efforts of sales and marketing teams to ensure they are not only on the same page, but working toward the same purpose. This requires a focus on performance and ensuring that there is steady communication between the two groups at all times.

For many companies a disconnect occurs between their sales teams and marketing personnel for three reasons: a lack of communication, unbalanced talent or a lack of clearly defined goals. These issues can be overcome with the right approach, however, often supplied by investing in integrated sales and marketing expertise from an outside firm.

The most important point to drive for any enterprise is the need for increased performance. If sales and marketing performance improves, overall revenue will increase and value will go up. This requires sales and marketing teams to be working in conjunction with one other, and in order to accomplish this companies will need to implement one or more of these strategies to boost overall efficiency and productivity.

Improve communications
By implementing strategies to enhance the communication between sales professionals and marketing teams, businesses can focus on optimizing the strategies both to boost overall numbers and increase returns. This requires not only the technology, but the training and advocacy to promote collaboration. Many professionals work closely with their own teams and ignore others, but this is a less efficient practice in sales and marketing, and as a result revenues can suffer. After implementing improved strategies to align their sales and marketing teams, TowersWatson found in its 2011 employee survey that 99 percent of its staff were able and willing to go above and beyond the basic requirements to help not just their department, but the entire program to succeed.

Consistent effort
Ensuring that experience and effort is consistent across the board is also key to boosting sales and marketing integration. One key way to accomplish this is to implement performance management solutions that can track and assist professionals in their efforts without making them feel as if they were underperforming before. Tying pay to performance is another way to accomplish this effectively and promote growth, rather than fear.

Driving accurate representation
The goal to making sales align with marketing efforts is partially reliant on accurate brand representation as well. If marketing efforts aren’t aligned with the rest of the company’s brand idea, sales will suffer as a result. Additionally, sales resources need to become “brand advocates” and align their own efforts with those of marketing teams in order to ensure the improvements go both ways. Ultimately, this will boost overall success and help align the entire company behind high-quality, realistic brand representation.

Growth is an effort that every area of operations needs to be behind, and without aligned resources it cannot be accomplished easily.

Topic: Commercial


Chris Walter is Vice President Strategic Enterprise Services for MarketSource. With more than 20 years of experience increasing customer value in the technology, services, and manufacturing sectors, Chris drives top-line growth and bottom-line performance for MarketSource.

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