24 Nov Marketing and Sales
The ability to balance and improve both the marketing and sales functions is a hallmark of successful organizations. By following the strategies in this article, and instituting effective end-to-end processes, you can help catapult results, and build a strong working relationship, especially when a service level
agreement outlines the duties and objectives of each department.
The following steps are essential in establishing a productive working relationship between the sales and marketing departments:
1. As a marketing manager, you must take full responsibility for the success or failure of the program. Although sales is an integral part of the process, lead generation is rightfully considered a marketing function.
2. Sales managers, and their sales reps, should be incorporated into the design phase of the program. They must feel that their input receives full consideration and they must buy into the program before it is implemented.
3. Sales people should feel that the system rewards them for cooperation. The best reward is for them to be able to make more sales with no extra effort. Show them how the system rewards them for working smarter, not harder.
4. Never institute a new system at the same time you take any negative action (such as cutting sales territories), or you will permanently link the two events in the minds of the sales department. You must keep everything positive.
5. Feedback loops should be put in place. Sales reps must always be kept abreast of changes and upgrades in the end-to-end process. Likewise, you should regularly solicit their input on how the process is working.
6. You must get agreement on the technical aspects of the lead-to- sales system. The ideal structure will combine a great deal of flexibility for field sales reps with maximum control by the marketing department (not the other way around), and ensure that relevant information about all prospects will be captured. You must always remember that all prospect and customer data belongs to the company, and not to the individual sales rep.
7. Sales and marketing must agree on what constitutes a good lead, because this definition will drive much of the marketing department’s efforts. The criteria for what constitutes a hot lead or qualified lead forms part of the basis for a service level agreement (SLA) between the marketing and sales departments.
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