Sales and Marketing – Can one survive without the other?

Sales and Marketing - Can one survive without the other?

In practically every organization, Sales and Marketing work together but often share a complex relationship. They conflict with each other when it comes to lead generation and sales closure which ultimately harms the brand’s sales operation processes. Sales complain that Marketing team is not generating quality leads for them and Marketing blames Sales team for not working hard enough to convert the leads furnished by them. Sometimes, the sales department doesn’t even consider marketing when it comes to real business; merely perceived as collateral producers. In order to improve business performance, marketing ROI and Sales productivity, there is a need to align and transform their relationship to a fruitful one.

It is required to define

  • Similar goals for both the teams with absolute clarity on the ideal prospects and targets
  • Performance metrics & Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for each of them

First and foremost, a brand should make sure that both these teams have similar goals in mind and hence should have frequent meetings and open communications to accomplish them. In an effort to improve the level of support from each other, they should start working more closely, Marketing should go on sales calls and salespeople should participate in marketing strategy meetings.

After an agreement on working on defined metrics, marketing team should be judged on the quantity and quality of leads passed on to the sales. On the other hand, sales team performance should be measured by the close rates from leads to customers.  But this approach can work in a productive manner only if both these departments share a similar definition for “quality lead” or a “sales ready lead”. And to attain this, Sales should provide constant feedbacks to the Marketing on the quality of leads generated.

Before I forget to mention, Marketing team’s role does not get over simply after getting a lead. They must focus on lead nurturing and not just lead generation. They need to develop a long-term relationship between the customer and the brand through continued communications. The idea here is to further engage the customers to the extent of retaining them and converting into brand advocates.

Nothing could be better as establishing SLAs for each to make both the sides liable for their commitments. Create SLAs for both these teams so that they can work on their agreed-upon goals. This would define the number of leads that Marketing will have to deliver to the sales team and the number of leads that Sales would work on.  

It is essential to realize one another’s significance in the sales cycle and the fact that neither can survive without the other. Marketing should be made accountable for running effective campaigns and thereby generating leads. Sales is answerable for following up on leads within a reasonable time frame and eventually converting them into customers.

Organizations must work intelligently to transform the relationship between the two into a more high-yielding and constructive one so as to create a source of tremendous opportunity for revenue growth.

If you found this interesting I recommend you to read “Inside Sales vs Outside Sales”


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