Stop Fighting Between Sales and Marketing and Start Making Money Now

Written by Irakli Beselidze - May 21, 2015

The work of sales and marketing is deeply interconnected and it’s of crucial importance to get along well to reach challenging goals. Ideally, marketing works hard to increase lead generation while sales tries to close as many deals as possible. Unfortunately, in reality these activities are not so efficient, and relations between sales and marketing are far away from synergy. Marketers blame sales for the inability to close deals and blindness to the future while salespeople complain about the poor quality leads, too high prices and too much money wasted on marketing. But how do companies get the results they’re striving for?

There’s no doubt that absence or presence of alignment greatly influences the company performance. Thus, according to the report (Sales & Marketing Alignment. Benchmarks, Insights & Advice) provided by Demand Metric, “66% of organizations reporting complete alignment achieved their revenue goals compared to 41% who reported no alignment.” As we can see, when sales and marketing work in close cooperation, organizations get much better results.

Before  identifying the relationship between sales and marketing, let’s clarify some important terms.

Sales are all the methods and approaches motivating people to exchange money for your product.

Marketing looks at business in terms of creating values for satisfying buyer’s needs. It sees the essence of a company’s business in identifying, developing and increasing buyers’ satisfaction rate. Simply said, marketing is less concerned with getting money from customers than with creating product demand and increasing the satisfaction rate.

Now it’s necessary to develop an approach that lets define the terms each department works with. For example, our sales and marketing departments work with cold leads, warm leads and hot leads. Let’s look at the following example showing how to get rid of dubious definitions that cause conflicts between marketing and sales.

Variant A:

Cold lead = a potential buyer contacted the company but didn’t provide any additional information.

Warm lead = a potential buyer showed an active interest in your product but didn’t provide any deadline for making a decision.

Hot lead = a potential buyer informed you that he was going to make a decision within the next 6 months.

Variant B:

Cold lead = a potential buyer is not ready to buy your product but it’s reasonable to keep in touch with him.

Warm lead = a potential buyer is seriously interested in your product but it’s not clear if he has enough budget for a purchase.

Hot lead = a potential buyer has enough money for a purchase and he’s going to make a decision soon.

If you take all ambiguities away, it becomes clear that Variant A is a more accurate way of identifying the quality of leads since it helps defining leads by objective criteria while Variant B is full of subjective characteristics: “it’s reasonable to keep in touch”, “is seriously interested in”, “is going to make a decision soon”.

Using Variant A helps avoid situations when a marketing manager identifies a lead as a hot one while a sales manager considers it to be warm or cold.

Of course each company develops their own evaluation system and we do not state that the above mentioned example will perfectly fit your needs. We’ve used it to show you that the absence of uniform standards for identifying the quality of leads is a sworn enemy of fruitful cooperation between departments.

What communication techniques do you personally use to improve work between sales and marketing? Which of them is the most effective?

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