4 Steps to Integrating Sales and Marketing

By now, most sales and marketing professionals have come to terms with the fact that the traditional sales model of yesterday no longer applies. There’s been a shift from “push” marketing to “pull,” where consumers are actively investigating the purchases they’re considering online, long before they interact with a salesperson.

Today, lead generation activities are tied to engagement, loyalty and trust. With that, sales and marketing are now required to work more closely than ever before. This is a good thing; it eradicates the siloed mentality that has long existed among the two groups and forces collaboration and unity.

Sales and Marketing: Partners in Lead Gen

Sure, sales and marketing serve different functions; that’s not up for dispute. In the simplest terms, a marketer’s job is to entice and generate interest in a product or solution, while the salesperson’s job is to sell it. The key is to view the two functions on a continuum, where one complements the other as they work towards mutual goals of driving leads, generating revenue and delivering a strong ROI.

Collaboration is key, and here’s why:

  • Better intelligence for marketing efforts. Because your sales team interacts with customers on a daily basis, they have insights that your marketing team doesn’t have access to. With feet-on-the-street data informing marketing programs, you’re more likely to hit your target audience with more relevant messaging that compels them to take action.
  • More robust sales support in prospect nurturing. The sharing of information works both ways. The process of moving someone from “interested prospect” to “satisfied customer” is a long game. Marketing can support sales in their efforts to nurture a lead along with supporting data, tools and material that keeps them engaged until they’re ready to buy. 
  • More consistent brand experience. Withongoing communication, your sales and marketing teams will be more likely to deliver a consistent brand experience to customers.
  • Shared goals. When the sales team’s goals become the marketing team’s goals, and vice versa, they all work in unity toward the overall good of the company.

Four Steps to Integrating Sales and Marketing

Now that you understand the “why” behind integration, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get everyone on the same page. Here’s how: 

  1. Set the right metrics—for both!

For most sales and marketing professionals, ROI is top of mind. A measure of how much has been gained or lost on an investment, ROI is a direct indicator of the company’s overall profitability. But building and maintaining a strong brand is equally important to ensuring a successful business. While capturing ROI is fairly straightforward, tracking branding metrics is a bit trickier—but it can be done by way of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Set goals related to things like email list growth, open rates, social media follows, website hits and more.

  • Define roles within your sales funnel

The sales funnel represents the journey potential customers take on their way to purchase—from awareness through to purchase and retention. Both sales and marketing play integral roles in the process. Clearly define each level of the funnel, map your sales and marketing teams accordingly and delineate what is required of them at each stage.

  • Enroll sales in your messaging strategy
    What you say and how you say it across every touch point matters—whether behind the scenes (marketing) or on the front lines with customers (sales). Your marketing team is responsible for creating messaging that supports the brand. But if your sales team hasn’t been enlisted in your messaging strategy, you run the risk of creating an inconsistent customer experience. Don’t operate in a silo. Enroll sales in the process and hold them accountable for reinforcing your message. Your brand depends on it.
  • Share insights  
    It takes anywhere from nine to 13 touches to deliver a qualified lead. In order to ensure quality touch points that reach the customer in a meaningful way, sales and marketing need to work together to share insights. As mentioned above, each has insights about the customer that the other may not. Sales knows the customer on a more personal level, while marketing may have broader scale metrics they’re working with. By working together to comingle data, each team not only gets a more complete picture of the customer, but the the effectiveness of your sales and marketing efforts can also be assessed—what’s working and what’s not.

When sales and marketing work together to achieve a common goal, the company will benefit from a more efficient lead generation process, a stronger brand and greater ROI. It won’t happen overnight. But be patient, and you will reap the rewards.

Paradigm Marketing & Design is an award-winning full-service marketing and design agency based in New Jersey that provides strategic marketing, web design and branding services to B2B, B2C and nonprofit clients.  Visit paradigm-md.com for more information. 

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