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A picture depicting two circles titled Marketing and Sales seperated, as the old traditional model, next to a circle showing marketing and sales together as one, as the new collaborative model.

Aligning marketing and sales departments is imperative to a companies success. Source: Google Images.

Marketing and sales are often placed in the same category, however aligning a sales and a marketing team can pose difficulties. Within a company, the marketing department usually generates the leads whereas a sales department turns leads into clients. Nevertheless, by having marketing and sales departments work together through aligning their roles and end goal, the company can ensure success. Working towards an overall ROI (return on investment) will allow the company to flourish and not fall down the rabbit hole where sales and marketing teams are viewed as separate entities within a business.

The more that a sales and marketing team work together, the easer it is to close sales cycles, the amount of time between the initial contact made with the customer up until the completed transaction of a sale. Through aligning the sales and marketing teams, according to an article on Business 2 Community, a company can achieve an average of 32 percent annual revenue growth, while less aligned companies report and average 7 percent decline in revenue. The two way flow of information between sales and marketing increases interdepartmental integration, as businesses strive to be more consumer-centric.

In order to align sales and marketing departments companies should pay particular attention to the following. First, an individual or group should work directly at the intersection of marketing and sales, working with each department to understand how each individual department affects the company as a whole. Second, is for companies to pay particular attention the role of content marketing, learning about how content can help customers make informed decisions about a product or service. Third, is to understand the process on how marketing attracts individuals in the first place and then how that translates to a sales transaction. Finally, companies need to track factors affecting ROI. By understanding how marketing and sales directly affect the bottom line a company has the potential to find where misalignment has occurred.

In most organizations, businesses overlook the importance of a tight connection between sales and marketing. Especially as more of the buying process shifts online, there is a larger opportunity for companies to build customer confidence and uncover urgency to purchase a product or service, through delivering content. However, creating engaging content is often difficult. Therefore, when creating marketing content, marketers should seek advice and information from sales teams, which can help produce more effective, comprehensive content that addresses common objectives.

As buyers personals preferences are not fixed but rather constantly changing, especially as markets change and consumer demands change. The most effective practice a business can conduct is to bring its marketing and sales teams together. Marketing can conduct research and segment customers in away that can help sales people better understand and target particular types of customers. Through defining a unified process for each point of contact with customers, as well as the processes that guide customers throughout their journey, results in a company delivering a smoother customer experience that usually achieves a high degree of loyalty. Without the unification of a marketing and sales department, gaps are created, thus decreasing the amount of loyal customers.

From a marketing management perspective, here are some questions to consider:

  • How can companies ensure that their marketing and sales departments are aligned?
  • Research companies that have aligned their sales with their marketing goals. What are these goals?
  • Why do you think a businesses marketing and sales team need to be aligned with one another?