Ask any veteran in business and you’ll hear stories about the ongoing war between the marketing function and the sales department. Many relationships between the sales and the marketing departments often resemble an efficient and effective circular firing squad. As sales slump marketing blames sales for not executing on its plan and sales complains that marketing has failed to listen to the sales team or the customer and therefore put forth a failed plan.
This lack of a shared connection to the teams and the common process hurts organizational performance, ultimately raising the costs associated with launching the product to the consumer. Recent studies indicate that organizations with successfully aligned marketing and sales efforts experience significant sales growth over organizations who fail to achieve a strategic alignment of the departments.
In order to achieve effective alignment, effort must be taken to navigate personal conflicting emotions, egos and an inevitable competitive environment to establish a set of clear organizational objectives and goals for both functions. Marketing should never envision its purpose as one which operates within a vacuum, but rather one that reaches out to form partnerships with sales and client services to successfully deliver on its business value. Working strategically to combine both marketing and sales will produce business growth.
Establish Common Goals and Objectives – Goals and Objectives must be set and agreed to upfront for both teams. For marketing and sales to form a new unified relationship both players must focus their objective on improving performance. Your customers are a moving target, the relationship between marketing and sales must also evolve constantly in order to consistently hit their target.
Develop a Strategy – An effective strategy begins with defining the company’s vision, mission and business goals and sets forth specific benchmarks to achieving those goals. It should be planned and developed in consultation between marketing, sales and other stakeholders. Its purpose is to describe your business and its products and services; identify and position your products and services in the marketplace; formulate the tactics to be used and design a method to measure and monitor progress and effectiveness.
Monitor and Measure Results – It is still true that what gets measured gets accomplished. Design a set of performance parameters that are simple to understand by all stakeholders but comprehensive enough to be meaningful. Review them regularly and adapt your plan to respond to the dynamics of the marketplace.
Adapt – Today’s business environment is the most rapidly evolving and revolving in history. Truly nothing remains the same for long and the only true absolute is the act of change. Recognizing the dynamics of the marketplace and adapting to meet the consumers demands is critical to success. You must be able to pivot, adapting your strategy as the business environment dictates.
In some instances long standing inter-department tension can make transitioning to a truly strategically aligned team effort a formidable task. Initiating a partnership with an experienced outside organization with specific skill-sets to successfully marry the two internal functional departments may produce the best results. Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) is experienced strategic experts to mid-size and growth stage companies that can customize a strategy for aligning sales and marketing functions for you.
“Many clients who first approach Junction for a marketing strategy, end up needing organizational alignment first,” comments Julie Gareleck, CEO & Managing Partner. “We are able to work with all stakeholders across an organization to develop a smart and purposeful strategy, designed to achieve the goals and objectives of the business, sales, and marketing. It’s incredibly effective and impactful.”
To learn more about Junction’s success bridging the gap between sales and marketing teams, contact Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org.