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Why you should see marketing and sales as one team

Companies that get their account managers and marketers to work together like a well-oiled machine are demonstrably more successful. What’s it like at your business?

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Product Development nailed this a long time ago. Before they even start sketching a new product, they talk with colleagues from different departments. Customer Support tells them about the customer questions that come in daily. Colleagues from the production line explain the technical specifications they need to take into account. All these chunks of information help the designers in their search for new, even better products.

Freshly served leads

In the ideal world, this would be how sales and marketing interact with each other: like a single team collaborating in the hunt for new revenue. In the process, marketers would continually supply their sales colleagues with the necessary input. New leads served up like freshly baked loaves – account managers would just need to take them out of the oven and put them on the table, so to speak.

This is not the reality at many companies, however. Sales and marketing operate like two islands – separate entitles that have only sporadic encounters. Marketers complain about the volume of support asked of them. In turn, account managers think their ‘logo-sticking’ colleagues could manage fine with a much lower budget.

Objectivisation of marketing input

Many companies still face a world of opportunity. Because when marketing and sales do pull in tandem, this almost always delivers better results. More leads. More customers. Higher returns. 

If you seriously want to engage with this, start by redefining the role of marketing in the organisation. Traditional marketing becomes inbound marketing and from now on, it’s all about generating leads. Make everything else secondary to this single objective. 

You will need people for this. Professionals able to translate the market ‘outside’ into a target marketing approach ‘inside’. The point is for them to want to be part of this change and possess the right knowledge to make a material contribution. This knowledge is primarily digital in nature. These are marketers who understand the meaning of keywords, conversion, SEO and SEA – who have experienced the power of content marketing.

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Insights for revitalised collaboration

These kinds of digital tools and methodologies help underpin successful collaboration with sales. The focus here is on objectifying the value delivered by marketing. A long-standing criticism is that the ROI from marketing efforts was difficult to establish. A logo here, an advert there – nobody really knew to what extent that led to additional revenue. How different things are now we have tools at our fingertips to analyse and help interpret every single click online. For marketing, such insights revitalise their collaboration with sales colleagues.

Marketers who can cross the ball from left or right – straight to the heads of account managers, who just need to run onto the ball and score a goal. This way of collaborating could work in your company too. If you’ve come to the conclusion that a lot needs to happen before that becomes possible, start today. Stick a weekly meeting into the calendars of marketers and account managers. Just one agenda item: how will we work together to achieve our revenue targets?