So, your marketing and sales teams are at odds? It might offer some reassurance to know that you’re not alone. The conflict between sales and marketing can be traced back to the early 20th century when businesses realized the importance of these functions.

There was a time when the two were more integrated, but roles and responsibilities evolved with the rise of digital marketing and analytics,  and this led to disagreements over lead attribution, customer targeting, and ROI measurement (to name a few examples).

Nowadays, sales teams typically focus on meeting short-term revenue targets and closing deals, while marketing tends to prioritize long-term brand building and lead generation. They are often misaligned when it comes to resource allocation, lead quality, and the focus of efforts, e.g., marketing campaigns.

The main problem with sales and marketing working in isolation is missed opportunities. Let’s explore how these two business-critical departments can collaborate effectively using best practices and software. Also included is a checklist of actionable items to help you help them.

Siloed sales and marketing

While working for a manufacturing company, I saw a gap in lead conversion and overall sales performance despite the business having a strong product portfolio, all because these two business functions were working independently.

Communication issues between the two made it hard for sales to turn generated leads into successful conversions, which only added to the tension.

Collaborative synergy

To address this challenge, I proposed a strategy centered around collaborative synergy. I suggested they explore:

Workshops and strategy sessions so they could align their goals. This involved defining common key performance indicators (KPIs) that both sales and marketing could work towards.

An integrated CRM system so that they both had access to a platform with data to track leads, automate sales tasks, and manage the pipeline.

Collaboration tools like Confluence for documentation and Jira Work Management for project tracking. This streamlined efforts, helped with communication issues, and promoted knowledge sharing between the two teams.

Regular meetings to brainstorm ideas and stay aligned. This helped foster a culture of open communication, allowing both teams to share insights, challenges, and feedback on ongoing campaigns.

The result?

Improvements in lead quality, which benefited the business as a whole. Stakeholders welcomed cost savings that came from not having to duplicate efforts.

Shorter sales cycles were realized through streamlined processes and improved collaboration, resulting in accelerated deal closures.

The biggest surprise came from improvements in customer satisfaction levels. The alignment of sales and marketing made the touchpoints more consistent, and this had a positive impact on the reputation of the business.

Kick-starting your collaboration journey: A checklist

As promised, here’s your checklist to help resolve the discord between sales and marketing in your business.

  • Invest in a CRM: Centralize customer data to coordinate efforts.
  • Choose collaboration tools: Teams work better together with apps that help them share knowledge and manage tasks and assets. Jira and Confluence were used in the scenario above.
  • Promote communication: Schedule regular meetings and feedback sessions.
  • Customer-centric approach: Emphasize the prioritization of customer needs. This will encourage the two teams to share insight as they are reminded that they’re working toward the same goal.
  • Feedback loops: Continuously gather feedback from sales for campaign optimization.
  • Training: Invest in training for the collaboration tools and processes mentioned. This will ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment.
  • Celebrate success: Lastly, recognize and reward successful collaboration. This will motivate your teams to continue working together and build on their interpersonal relationships.

Remember, breaking down silos is a strategic move. By unifying sales and marketing, businesses can drive revenue growth, improve brand reputation, and surpass competitors.

Published: Feb 15, 2024