In the business world we know that communicating better and more effectively can save us time, increase productivity, and avoid headaches and pitfalls, but still not many of us actually practice what has been preached to us. The fact is, if we took 5 minutes to explain something to a co-worker or partner by actually speaking to them, as opposed to the long list of back and forth emails and text, you’ll see how effective that can be.
This theory of more effective communication applies across all departments, but we have seen that it is most beneficial when implemented across the Sales and Marketing Departments. This type of communication is called Smarketing. The theory behind this is that if sales and marketing were better at communicating with each other and worked together instead of separately, this would result in a better pool of quality leads and customers.
So my question to you is, are your Sales and Marketing Teams actually communicating effectively or are they yelling and blaming each other?
If your answer is the latter, then you could have a problem. Historically, Sales and Marketing have had a hate-hate relationship in the business world. According to Hubpost, 87% of the terms Sales and Marketing used to describe each other are negative. Sales always blames marketing for not helping to generate the right leads. While marketing blames sales for not being able to close the deal with the leads that marketing helped generate. The blame game will always lead to a downward spiral, as instead of communicating with each other, they are communicating at each other. The best solution for this is to align your sales and marketing teams and get them thinking on the same page. Scratching your head as to how to align them? Here are 3 communication tips to help get the ball rolling:
1. Have a Weekly Sales and Marketing Meeting: Having a weekly meeting with both sales and marketing will help each department be accountable for the goals set out for the week prior. This also gives each team the chance to listen to what the other team might need. Active listening on both ends will help foster an environment where sales and marketing will be better able to understand each others needs.
2. Use Closed Loop Reporting to Communicate Data: This allows marketing to pass along intelligence on leads to sales and also get feedback from them. It’s a cycle that shows everyone where the leads came from, what campaign they are a part of and if they were a viable lead or not. This type of reporting benefits both teams, for marketing, it helps get up to date contact information on leads and also helps them learn which marketing programs are working and which are not. For sales, it helps them to de-duplicate, and prioritize leads and helps them make warmer calls and pitches.
3. Maintain Open Communication: After you establish and implement your weekly meetings and generate the closed loop marketing reports, you now want to maintain open communication between sales and marketing. Have your marketing team wiretap with sales. This means that marketing should sit in on the calls that sales make to learn more about the sales process and have a better understanding of what the leads are asking for.
By implementing a Smarketing plan in your organization, you will see more effective communication happening. By communicating with data driven results and goals that are aligned, you will be able to remove the emotion from conversations, and focus your teams on the aligned strategy going forward.
Nicole Hoglund is Inbound Marketing Manager here at KBK Communications, where she brings an impressive background in B2B Marketing to KBK. With successful roles at different organizations, Nicole offers a fresh new perspective on Inbound Marketing and how to create winning campaigns. You can connect with Nicole on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus, or read more of her posts on KBK Communications’ blog.