How Sales and Marketing Work Together
by Robert Snipes, on May 1, 2020
This topic has been at the hands of business for ages. There has been major differences between marketing and sales over the years. Some would ask “but why?”, others would roll their eyes and say “you’re telling me!” Whether you are on the marketing side or the sales side of this, what seems to be, a war of the ages within businesses/companies, I am sure you have also seen some light on how Sales and Marketing work together - not only because you have to, but because there is value in the two collaborating.
While doing research for this blog, I used DemandJump’s Consumer Insights product to see what people are really searching for and asking around this topic. One of the things I found was one of the top Videos was titled “Ending the War Between Sales and Marketing.”
Let’s dive in a bit more to the “war between Sales and Marketing”. With certain questions and statements that are being searched and asked.But before we go down that rabbit hole, let's just make note of what is the overall root of the differences between the two. My personal opinion thinks that a high overview way to say the origin of the differences comes from Marketing saying “We provided you with all these leads and you couldn’t close them” and Sales saying “your leads were not qualified leads and were useless to us.” or some sort of variation of back and forth from both sides.
Time to dive in deep into questions and statements.
How can marketing help sales?
Let’s be honest, no matter what side you are on marketing provides the content for the company and that's part of their expertise. Why wouldn’t sales want to learn from marketing to help provide better content to their prospects and clients? Why stop there, content is used everywhere, emails, phone calls, demos, sales meetings with prospects and clients. The list of areas that content goes into is significantly long. Why wouldn’t you want help from the marketing team who are the experts in content writing. This is just one way marketing can help sales.
Other ways would be for sales to provide specific information they would need to have the ideal “perfect lead”. This way marketing can qualify leads with their tactics and strategy to help give sales the best leads, which in the long run provides a higher close rate.
What should sales do for marketing?
From my experience in sales, marketing and sales have had to work together on many things. At one of the first companies I worked for the CMO who was also the President of the company. Although he was the CMO and focused some of the efforts toward marketing, the company was not large enough to have a full marketing team. He leveraged the outbound BDRs to have more of a marketing style when it came to outbound emails, and provided the BDRs with enough content for when they got a prospect on the phone they could cross pollinate the marketing content with their sales strategy and tactics. Of course, I am sure most would agree this is not the best approach to use but it got the job done for that company at the time.
From my experience in sales the ways sales can help marketing is both simple and hard. Here are a few of those ways: Sales has to have enough meetings to understand the prospects true needs. This way, they’ll have enough data to share meaningful information with marketing. This provides marketing not only the data they need to understand what consumers want or like about the product/services, but also gives them more data around what types of prospects are the best personas/title.
This feedback from sales also helps marketing more comprehensively understand the value of the marketing channels they’re using. By communicating to marketing which leads are the most sales qualified and why, marketing can track this back to the lead source to understand the larger impact of their marketing channel activity..
Another great way sales can work with marketing is to have an understanding of what content the marketing team is pushing out. This way sales can collaborate with marketing and add some of that content to their prospecting or use the marketing content for resources in their emails.
All and all Marketing and Sales can really boost each other up by working together, But let's take a further look at some more questions or topics.
Why should sales and marketing be separate?
This answer is 100% my personal opinion based on my experience and my research and readings. They absolutely shouldn’t be separate, you have two teams, two groups of people, and two very important parts of the business and its success. Why keep them separate? Think of it this way. Marketing provides things such as content around the services/products/industry, data around what ads to run, what strategies are going to bring in the best leads, what strategy is going to bring in the most revenue and ROI. Then you have sales, interacting with the clients and prospects first hand, whether it be through email, phone calls, face to face or any other outlet to communicate with someone who is going to potentially bring the company revenue.
Their tasks are just as hard as any other part of the company including marketing. The sales team is responsible for taking the leads that marketing brings in and turning those leads into revenue. Why wouldn’t you want the two teams that really drive the revenue stream or cash flow working together? Good example would be if you were making a film, would you want the writer and the producer to work together to paint the best picture possible for the viewing audience?
Is Sales a part of Marketing?
When looking at the full picture, yes Sales is a part of marketing and marketing is a part of sales. The two separated can still be successful if executed correctly by the teams and leadership. However, I have seen the teams that work in unison are a force to be reckoned with and will overall achieve great success. And by doing so as a team, the effort, energy, blood, sweat, and tears that goes into the process on both sides feels more rewarding.
I personally have known marketing team members that have better speaking skills and know how to communicate to the consumer better than some of the better sales people. I have also witnessed sales members write some of the best content driven emails that out performed some marketing efforts. Combining the skill sets and minds of talented sales and marketing professionals the two will have their moments of disagreement but overall the two teams coming together gives a bigger advantage.
Sales and Marketing Alignment Statistics
If you read this far and you still think marketing and sales shouldn’t work together, or maybe you are just unsure and need something more than a few paragraphs that are from one person's personal experience or opinion. Here are some statistics I found while doing some research and the sources that provided them.
- 95% of buyers buy from someone who gave them content at each stage of the buying process
- 1 in 4 companies say their marketing and sales teams are either “misaligned” or “rarely aligned”
- 67% of businesses become better at closing deals when Sales and Marketing are aligned.
(Source: Precision Marketing Group)
- Aligning both teams could lead to 209% more revenue from marketing
- Marketing and sales alignment leads to 36% higher customer retention
- Misalignment between marketing and sales teams costs companies an average of 10% of revenue per year
- People complete 57% of their buyer journey before they talk to a sales rep
- 55% of marketers don’t know which assets are most useful for their sales colleagues
- 56% of aligned companies meet their revenue goals - an additional 19% manage to beat their targets.
- B2B organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing operations achieve 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth
- Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve a 20% annual growth rate
- 65% of sales reps say they can’t find content to send to prospects.
You will notice some overlap in these stats, which only proves the importance of sales and marketing alignment and proximity. Therefore, bringing the two teams together should be a priority for any and every business.
Marketers and Salespeople around the world have had their differences over the years, I think it’s time we stop focusing on the differences and embrace the expertise and skills that both teams offer.
By working together, we will be much more successful. Merging these two teams, or at least improving marketing and sales alignment, will empower both teams to “Get the whole story” - as we like to say at DemandJump.