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'Frenemies' Marketing and Sales Should Learn To Collaborate

March 18, 2015
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor


If there were ever two company departments better designed to work in tandem with one another, it’s sales and marketing. One of the functions of marketing, of course, is to provide the materials the sales team uses to attract leads and then turn those leads into customers. Sales, on the other hand, has the closest contact with customers, and therefore can provide valuable feedback to marketing to better determine what customers want and what they will respond to. Unfortunately, the relationship between sales and marketing is often a rocky one, and these opportunities for useful collaboration are lost.


The collaborative relationship is particularly helpful when it comes to using analytics to better understand the market, prospects and customers. These analytics will benefit both departments, and help them process the information to a deeper level, rather than just from a sales perspective or just from a marketing perspective, according to Aberdeen (News - Alert) Group’s Peter Ostrow writing for Business2Community.

“Instead of marketers only monitoring customers, and sellers only communicating to close or re-close, both teams should also find ways to regularly ask customers how they think marketing and sales can better serve them,” he wrote. “In some cases, customers may even want marketing to scale back their campaigns, or have sales engage only at certain times, which can translate to less work, but more relevance and higher success rates.”

To date, the departments usually touch only in instances where it’s absolutely required in order to continue operations. Too many companies are missing the opportunity to look at the relationship between sales and marketing and find ways they can work together to improve operations. For instance, while it’s a given that marketing needs to guide sales when it comes to sales enablement materials, the reverse isn’t always so obvious, according to Ostrow.

“It’s a generally well-known best practice to have marketing sit in on sales calls, but when marketers are compiling customer case studies, or collecting research, there’s also an opportunity for sellers to sit in and learn what customers are saying outside of a typical sales conversation,” he wrote.

If marketing can put itself into closer contact with day-to-day sales operations, they can help unlock even deeper insights on common pain points and challenges as well, according to Ostrow. Sales may be trying to cope with regular pain points that have a solution that lies in the marketing process, and marketers will grasp it better if it comes straight from the horse’s mouth … from customers.

In an organization working in harmony to leverage its assets, marketing and sales should work collaboratively to employ customer analytics data in a way that benefits both departments. When sales and marketing work independently of one another, mistakes get made, work gets duplicated and analytics cannot penetrate deeply enough to reveal useful truths. 





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