Marketing versus sales can be one of the great business rivalries. The conflict that oftentimes exists between the two departments hurts the company more than it helps. Having marketing and sales teams at odds will only hinder growth, and it often springs from a lack of understanding of each other’s processes.
By learning more about what your sales team does, you can better see how your overall goals align, and how the two departments can work together to facilitate a more harmonious relationship (and create a more profitable business in the process).
Here are five factors to remember when working with your sales team.
1. They Are the Ones Closing the Deals
Marketing teams work hard to capture quality leads, and to persuade them to move through the sales funnel. Sales teams, however, are the ones that actually close the deals.
When marketing and sales teams work together, it equates to business growth. Without that relationship and understanding, a business can quickly stagnate.
The truth is, even the best lead generation strategy cannot be successful without a sales team closing those deals, so take the time to give them a little recognition for their performance.
2. They Have to Work With Leads One-on-One
It’s sometimes easy for marketers to forget the pains of selling a specific individual on a product or service, and to focus more on talking to larger segments of customers. Sales teams hone in, however, and their strategy involves cold calls, one-on-one meetings and networking—all while looking at the big picture one sale at a time.
Marketers need to bring in an appropriate number of targeted leads so that sales can effectively hit their goals—but don’t forget how difficult it can be to persuade someone to buy one-on-one.
That’s rarely an easy job.
3. They Are Constantly Rejected
Sales teams hear the word “no” a lot. Rejection is hard, and bouncing back is mentally taxing.
However, salespeople have the unique ability to see objection as opportunity. It’s not rejection, it’s a request for more information; a game of patience. Every “no” gets them closer to a “yes”.
Selling is difficult, and marketing is, too, but in a different way. The rules of marketing are constantly changing. Methods that worked 20, 10 or even five years ago no longer apply, and marketers need to perfect current tactics while predicting the future.
Neither job is easy, but marketers rarely stare naysayers in the face. Having a better understanding of how difficult that can be can go a long way.
4. They Understand the Competition
Sales reps constantly come up against the competition. Whether they run into them in person or get an objection from a potential customer, the competition is everywhere.
This helps make salespeople particularly knowledgeable about competitors. Sales reps know competitors’ strengths and weaknesses compared to their own company’s, they know their products, pricing models, target audience and marketing strategies; and they’re prepared with a retort for every objection.
Marketing teams can learn from sales reps’ frontline knowledge. The sales team can guide marketers toward weak spots in the competition’s strategy, they can uncover underserved audiences and they can help direct content creation. Leaning on sales reps for this information can greatly improve your company’s overall marketing strategy and success.
5. They Provide Excellent Content Insights
When sales teams run into objections, it’s essential for them to have the right materials to respond to those unanswered questions the potential customers have. In order to do that, they need question tracks and content that responds to customer concerns.
According to Lindsay Kolowich, lead writer of HubSpot’s marketing blog, “Make your sales team look good by creating educational content they can show their prospects in the face of these objections.”
And it’s true—you’re boosting up the sales team by ensuring that they are prepared and ready.
Creating content around real objections also improves your content quality and authority, and generates warmer leads. If this isn’t something you’re doing already, you need to start.
“Sales and marketing have a lot to teach each other that will make everyone better at their jobs,” says Kolowich. “Alignment in practice happens when marketers and sales reps proactively seek to understand each other’s goals, activities, metrics and obstacles.”
Alignment in practice increases business growth, which benefits everyone. Take some time to really get to know your sales reps and understand their processes—you’ll find you have more in common than you thought.