Used to thinking of your sales and marketing teams as two separate entities? Maybe even prone to a touch of an “us vs. them” mentality? We’re here to change your mind. Turns out, your marketing and sales teams are two sides of the same coin.
Marketo found that businesses are 67% better at closing deals when sales and marketing work together. Who wouldn’t love a two-thirds increase to their conversion rate? Engaging with each other while creating the strongest sales and marketing team structure is the tried and true route to success.
Ultimately, your sales and marketing teams have the same goal: to attract leads and convert those leads into loyal customers for your business.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you. Combining the two might sound complex but the route is much simpler than you think. You’ve now got your “why”, but here’s your “how” – it’s time to structure your sales and marketing team for success.
1. Define and Then Communicate Your Org Chart
Your Org chart is the backbone of your business, setting out how your organization is built and designed to serve your customers. There are great examples out there of how businesses of different scales and industries have organized their teams – Hubspot’s research is a great place to get started. Research comparable companies, but remember to customize to your individual business.
We highly recommend laying out the tasks that need to be done between marketing and sales, then defining roles that meet these needs. There’s plenty out there on building roles for Demand Generation, Product Marketing, Customer Marketing, Content Marketing, Sales Development, and Account Executives, to name some of the most notable.
2. Invest in Your Teams’ Management Staff
Great teams start with great leadership; in fact, the research says that employees leave managers, not companies. Before you’re ready to start altering or aligning any part of your work, your management needs to be prepared. That means looking to leadership’s entry points of selective hiring and promoting, as the managers you choose define the teams they’ll lead. It’ll also mean your sales and marketing leaders will benefit from training alongside each other and communicating directly with each other as much as possible.
3. Create Channels of Communication Between Marketing and Sales
This will translate into more than just your managers’ contact with each other: marketing and sales teams benefit from working – and feeling – like two teams, but one unit. This means that creating a culture of communication will be a critical objective, not to be missed. Set up regular, open meetings with each other, where there’s focus and support in being able to share what’s on both sides’ minds. It’s even worth encouraging relationship-building between the two teams; defining buddies and creating relaxed spaces for the teams to connect builds these bridges even stronger.
4. Decide on Clear, Consistent Messaging That Carry Across Marketing and Sales
You’ve got two priorities to consider as a must here. First up: what are the critical messages you want both teams to highlight throughout their external communication? You’re going to need maximum unity for maximum impact. Consider the talking points, customer benefits, company values, and final targets you are all working toward.
Second, the tone of voice you’ll be using on either side needs to be aligned also. If your marketing is expressed with humor, colorful speech, and informal language, your “sales patter” needs to match up. Receiving a classic, “professional”-sounding email will jar if it’s not in keeping with what your marketing communications share. Likewise, a really relaxed, maybe overly-familiar tone of voice on an opening call might not be the right call for your sales either. Setting this out and deciding on your communication together is therefore an essential part of the sales process.
5. Measure Both of Your Successes, Together
It’s vital that both sides get the full picture of what is working (and not working) across your progress. If your marketing professionals are noticing trends that are turning into business for you, then that’s something the sales team should know and pivot towards when speaking to leads. It’s also important that the marketing team are aware of what is being said by leads that only the sales team can hear.
Your metrics, targets, and results should be shared, not separate, with total transparency at either end. We would strongly recommend letting your marketing team have access to and clarity on what’s going on in your sales team’s CRM, while letting the sales team get visibility on the marketing team’s reporting software shows. Making sure both sides actually understand the methodology, processes, and logic in how they work will generate that cohesion that is so needed in order to align and structure your sales and marketing team.
Pitch emails are a great starting point to put your alignment work in action, so don’t miss our guide on How to Pitch via Email by guest writer and CEO of Close, Steli Efti, available here.