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How Sales And Marketing Can Learn To Love Each Other And Work Better Together

Anisha Sagar

Sales and marketing: they’re the power couple who never quite see eye to eye, and they’re front and centre in any business that’s serious about increasing revenue. To get the best results for your business, you need them to learn to love each other.

You probably know the story. It’s a blame game. Sales complains that marketing is handing over unqualified prospects, and marketing says that sales aren’t following up on their leads. While both parties are engaged in a power struggle, competitors swoop in and steal prospects from under your nose.

It’s not just lost prospects that’s a problem. A breakdown of communication between marketing and sales duplicates work and can lead to frustrated customers. None of these things are good for business. So how do you get them talking and collaborating across revenue-generating activities? Here’s how to get sales and marketing working better together.

Understand The Customer

Marketing might have put together the buyer personas, but they’re not customer-facing or dealing with them on a one-to-one basis. In fact, for many marketers, it can be an eye-opener to realise how little they really know about their prospects and their needs as a buyer.

It’s important to consider the buyer’s journey, not just the final destination when the deal is closed. In the words of Dubai-based digital marketers 10 Forward, ‘The easier you make that journey, the more receptive the buyer will be to taking the action you want them to take’.

Sales, on the other hand, have customer interactions on a daily basis. No one knows your customers better than your sales team. Put simply, they’re sitting on a gold mine of customer insights that can help drive ongoing marketing efforts. Cut this information from your communication, and a valuable bridge is broken.

The sharing of sales insights helps marketers to better understand your customer’s needs. With this information, marketing can fine-tune their strategy and campaigns to better align with your customer’s pain points. This also means you can better position your offering as your prospects’ ideal solution in the awareness phase.

Those buyer personas will be much more accurate if sales and marketing collaborate. Why is that important? Because it means there’s continuity and consistency throughout the buyer’s journey. It also provides a shared understanding of what is most likely to influence buyers at every stage.

Collaborate On Content

There are multiple variables that can affect the effectiveness of marketing content. To bring in the right leads, content creation cannot happen in isolation. When that happens, marketing is likely to produce what they guess the customer wants instead of what sales say they actually need. The right collateral, whether for internal or external use, can help sales close the deal.

Sales enablement is one way to ensure sales and marketing work more collaboratively. No matter what assets are being produced, from case studies to white papers, taking a collaborative approach means marketing and sales can combine to create content that resonates more powerfully with target audiences. Plus, by building in feedback loops from sales, marketing can learn what needs to change to make the content even more effective.

Stronger and more targeted collateral will help to attract the right leads and warm them up ready for a handover to sales. It also means that sales and marketing are on the same page.

Share Better Feedback

There’s no doubt that if you want to strengthen the relationship between sales and marketing, you must improve communication and feedback. Not just between teams but with customers as well.

By creating an open dialogue and embracing a cycle of continuous improvement, sales can share feedback from customers, which informs future improvements to marketing efforts. For that reason, sharing customer feedback and data is a great way to enhance their experience of your company. The challenge in the UAE market is that nearly 90% of the population are expats from over 200 nationalities. Getting it right requires careful consideration of key demographic trends, and that comes from customer feedback.

Sometimes the difference is in the details. For example, you’re emailing a prospect who blocks marketing communication. Sales might know that the prospect prefers a different communication channel. This is basic information that could make all the difference, especially if it turns out that the prospect is ready to buy.

Agree On Relevant Metrics

Sales and marketing both want the same thing, they’re just coming at it from different angles. Marketing aims to get customers through the door and browse, while sales is there to close the deal and help them make the right purchase. The end goal is the same – revenue generation – but marketing is focused on supplying the right leads, while sales are focused on converting prospects into customers.

In the UAE and the wider Middle East, customer expectations have moved forward. This means marketers have taken on renewed importance. Consistency across channels is crucial. The upshot of this is that 81% of marketers in the UAE have re-prioritized their metrics post-pandemic.

Every company is different, but what’s important is that sales and marketing recognise and respect the value of each other’s goals within the bigger picture. The type of goals also needs careful consideration. Should marketing efforts be measured on the quantity of leads or the quality of qualified leads? Is it better to have fewer, warmer leads or more leads that are likely to drop off further down the funnel?

It all comes down to your strategy. What you need is sales and marketing talking to each other and sharing information with the big picture of revenue generation in mind. That also means sharing accountability for the middle segment of the customer journey. Rather than bickering over the quality of the prospects or the inability to close a deal, sales and marketing need to come together over metrics that truly reflect their collaborative efforts.

Centralise Actionable Insights

Sales and marketing both handle important customer data. But they’re not always that good at sharing it. When data sits in separate silos, it’s not providing the best business value. Sharing it through a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system instantly doubles its value. For example, imagine a routine sales call turns up some useful customer feedback that could help marketing efforts. Or what if marketing gets a strong response to a particular campaign? CRMs are helping to get marketing and sales talking to each other.

Having a closer relationship and a constant feedback loop between the two teams can transform business outcomes. With communications and customer interactions recorded in one place, it means actionable insights are centralised and accessible by both teams. Not only that, a CRM provides a clear end-to-end view of the sales funnel and the journey from lead to prospect to customer. This means marketing can refine their efforts by improving follow-ups and creating more effective drip-email campaigns for the sales prospect funnel.

Collaboration For Revenue Generation

By following all or some of these strategies, you can encourage cross-functional behaviours between sales and marketing. By freeing them from separate silos and creating a culture of collaboration, you’ll help to more closely align their efforts. Ultimately, this renewed and shared focus on revenue-generating activities can only lead in one direction – improved results.

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