– Roy Harry, Creative Director, Media II, Inc. The firm specializes in optimizing B2B marketing communications results.
Over the years I’ve seen some clients achieve great market share and profit results when sales and marketing work together. And, I’ve had other clients suffer less than stellar results when sales and marketing don’t work together. These under performing companies lack a shared vision and teamwork.
Great results are generated by understanding both group’s goals, metrics, resources and culture. Amazingly, I have seen sales and marketing positioned into separate silos claiming to be pursuing the same goals: Revenue, market share, shareholder value. Alas, each silo has a different version of the truth.
The trick is to create a single version of the truth.
Yes, there are significant hurdles to overcome to get sales and marketing on the same page. Most these hurdles will require structural organizational and cultural changes to make it work. Here are some tips to make the teamwork medicine go down easier to produce excellent results.
Combined Sales and Marketing Plan
In a successful organization, there are no individual sales and marketing plans. The plans are combined. The plan includes a combined market overview, objectives, strategies, tactics, logistics and metrics for sales AND marketing.
Working together, sales and marketing crafts this plan. To be successful, it will require understanding of the each other’s cultural differences and strong C-level support.
The hard part of creating the plan is to remove the silos, politics and jettison the “We’ve always done it this way,” attitude. The more successful sales/marketing marriages I’ve seen includes an independent moderator. He/she arrives without any prejudges and a clean sheet of paper to keep the process on track and focused on the goals. It is like couples therapy with the goal of saving the marriage.
It will take real effort by both organizations to make the combined plan happen. But, the process itself gives both sides an in-depth understanding their needs and limitations.
When the final plan does happen, celebrate the marriage with a promotional effort to communicate to sales and marketing personal how it benefits the entire team and the company. Create a simple goal-oriented theme and promote to all involved. Create a simple icon and use it on simple items like a cup, pen or note pad to remind everyone involved by this effort.
But that is just the start. The combined plan needs to be implemented and monitored as the plan hits the street and as it progresses. Regular communications to team members as the tactics are rolled out, changes made and results arrive, will create camaraderie and support. Share significant wins, press coverage, results versus plan, team member contributions, etc. to keep the momentum rolling.
Good selling and marketing!
Do you have any other tips that you would share about improving sales and marketing performance? Let me know:
Roy Harry, CEO and Creative Director for Media II, has spent over 30 years helping B2B marketers improve marketing communications results with common-sense support.