10 Ways to Improve Sales and Marketing Collaboration

B2B sales and marketing teams often get a bad rap for being rivals instead of teammates. Although they’re ultimately working towards the same goal—growing your business—the two departments often focus on different tasks and metrics, use different tools and have a hard time seeing the value in what the other department is doing.

Even if your departments communicate semi-regularly, if collaboration isn’t stressed and continuously worked on, the departments can have a fatal disconnect. In order to avoid this problem, here are 10 ways to improve your sales and marketing collaboration.

1. Define MQLs and SQLs

Sales teams often give marketing a hard time for passing along low quality leads. If marketing doesn’t take the time to qualify leads, sales might waste valuable time reaching out to people who aren’t ready to make a purchase or people who don’t match your buyer persona. Other times, a marketer might wait too long to pass off a lead and the prospect might go to the competition before a sales representative can reach them.

In order to effectively convert leads, your sales and marketing teams need to collaborate and agree upon the definition of an MQL and SQL. Since this definition varies per company, it’s essential that both teams work to come up with your own formula for defining these. For guidance, look to behavior, demographics and anecdotal feedback.

2. Combine the funnel (not marketing not sales just funnel)

Instead of the “marketing funnel” and the “sales funnel,” call it “the funnel.” Marketing shouldn’t simply “hand off” leads, never to touch them again. Both teams should be held accountable for converting leads, which means they should both be present throughout the entire buyer’s journey. In order to make sure everyone’s on the same page, it’s important the sales and marketing departments sit down to map out your entire buyer’s journey.

3. Hold regular sales/marketing meetings

Just because you have monthly smarketing meetings, doesn’t mean your teams are necessarily collaborating effectively. In order to ensure your marketing and sales teams are continuously on the same page, be sure to hold weekly or daily short meetings (huddles). Even if they’re brief, communication is essential for keeping both teams on the same page.

4. Encourage sales/marketing socialization

In order to inspire communication, collaboration and mutual understanding, it’s good for sales and marketing teams to get together and get to know each other outside of work. Have them attend networking events together, grab drinks or attend a conference to learn more about each other personally.

5. Have marketing get on sales calls

To help your marketing team understand the daily sales grind and improve their content strategy, have them listen in on some sales calls. These key conversations with prospects and customers can tell marketers about what customers want and what their common problems are, helping to guide content themes.

6. Have sales help with content brainstorming

The sales team is on the phone with prospects and customers every single day. Even if marketing listens in on a sale calls every once in awhile, there are plenty of valuable ideas that can go wasted if not heard. To make sure sales feedback and content ideas don’t go wasted, create a “Sales Team Content Ideas” Google doc or hold regular brainstorms.

7. Have sales to help identify ideal buyer

In order to focus your company’s efforts on the right target audience, the sales and marketing departments need to put their heads together to determine the “ideal buyer.” Combining both teams’ insight can create a better picture of your ideal customer and generate relevant content to better target the right decision makers.

8. Have aligned marketing and sales goals

Oftentimes, team goals vary greatly depending on departments—Marketing needs to bring in leads and sales needs to drive revenue. However, in order to effectively collaborate, there needs to be a clear understanding of personal goals and departmental expectations.

In order to be successful, it’s essential that your marketing goals fit into your company’s sales methodology. With clearly defined marketing and sales goals, both teams will know how to better serve leads and prospects throughout the buyer’s journey.

9. Marketing team give sales team more visibility

In order to keep the sales department in the loop, it’s important for marketing to share all key pieces of information such as top blog posts, new ebook releases, recent campaigns and how prospects are interacting with this material (ex. what device they’re using and if they’re engaging or downloading). This information can help the sales team know when and how to reach out to leads in a more detailed and effective manner.

10. Use Koble to collaborate

With features like a feed, live chat, and sharable notifications, Koble makes marketing and sales collaboration seamless. Both teams can work together to post company content such as case studies, blog posts, videos and company announcements. Once this content receives views and engagement, whoever posted it will be notified and given the option to respond via comment or live chat or pass the notification along to another workmate by sharing it.

The sales and marketing departments can also work together to expand their reach by inviting business partners, customers and prospects to join the platform.

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Post by: Koble
11/22/2016