The sales and marketing disconnect describes the historic division that exists between these two business departments. It is well recognised that the lack of communication between these teams not only creates complicated office politics, but legitimately creates revenue loss. In a start-up, it is crucial that marketing and sales align goals and messaging. A simple way to do this is to share customer insights. Through doing this, both teams will be able to make the company’s value proposition clear, strengthen brand identity and ultimately streamline growth together.
To align sales and marketing we must understand that although their underlying goal is similar, their process differs.
Pushes messaging that will engage consumers, create brand awareness and demonstrate through content why customers should pick your service over others.
As a start-up you don’t have a long-standing reputation to excuse you from producing bad content. The content that marketing produces must be compelling in order to catch attention. Moreover, it must be correctly targeted so that it engages the RIGHT audience. To create marketing generated leads, you really need to show how your service or product differentiates you from your competitors. In other words, you need to be continuously conveying the value proposition.
Identify and target prospects with a challenge that needs solving. Build quality pipeline. Guide them through the sales process until they can be categorised as business that has ‘closed’. Within smaller organisations the sales team are likely to manage existing customers as well.
As a small start-up, some of your sales people may be taking clients through the full sales cycle. As a result, they personally understand who your clients are and what their problems/ needs are. As well as, exactly how your company helps them to overcome their individual obstacles. All pieces of knowledge that are hugely valuable for the Marketing team to know.
Why you need to improve communication between sales and marketing
The answers to these questions are golden nuggets of information that both Sales and Marketing need to have. In this way, marketing and sales are similar. The better both teams understand the pains and needs of the typical prospect, the better they can target and create useful messaging.
Knowing how your product or service solves customer challenges can help marketing to publically highlight strengths of the service. In this way, marketing can start to make these unique strengths synonymous with the brand. Knowing why the company loses deals helps marketing work on the public perception of the company’s weaknesses. As well as, how to overcome those by suggesting internal changes.
Despite this, knowledge about the target audience and current prospects/ clients fails to be communicated between the teams.
Increasing brand strength
With digital marketing becoming more important, it is common for potential customers to form relationships with the ‘brand’ before they have any contact with a sales person. In fact CEB found that ‘57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer even calls a supplier’.
This is not to say that Sales doesn’t have a big impact on the customer’s decision to buy. However, it does mean that a company’s online presence has a major influence on early buyer decisions. Your company’s online persona can make or break a sale before any of the sales team gets involved. In this sense, marketing is arguably taking on a larger and more influential role than before.
This shift makes it even more important that marketing creates a ‘brand image’ that is in sync with the way sales pitches the company and service. If the two are disjointed. Or if marketing is completely disconnected and gets the messaging wrong. It may lead to a loss of potential revenue.
Moreover, communication between the two departments is essential to ensure that key accounts are continuously nurtured, ensuring key decision makers keep your organisation top of mind.
It’s therefore incredibly important that both teams agree on the messaging and who it is targeted at.
So, sales and marketing need to communicate about:
- Who are they targeting?
- Who is responding and what content are they engaging with?
- What are the pain points of our typical prospect?
- What about our service specifically resonates with the prospect?
- How do you differentiate from the competition?
- What questions do prospects and customers ask about us?
- What is happening with leads coming in from marketing? Are they converting?
- What marketing campaigns are going on?
- What are you highlighting in Marketing campaigns, what are you focusing on to differentiate us from other competitors?
- What feedback are current clients giving us about our service?
These are only some of the questions that should be asked on a regular basis.
Increased communication increases revenue, but how do you do it?
You have to create regular meetings between your marketing and sales teams. Get them to review their progress, liaise and communicate. Run through the above questions regularly. Ask yourselves has anything changed within our consumer group? Sync up your CRM so that Marketing and Sales work through the same software. Take steps to bridge the disconnect between the two.
This is even more important in a start-up because your company isn’t established. Therefore, your brand is tenuous and not well known. So, if trying to grow, start-up’s really can’t afford to lose revenue through an avoidable disconnect.
Optimise communication between marketing and sales. This will allow you to better target the right group of people. It will also allow you to generate more leads by helping marketing and sales better convey: who your company is, what you do, why you’re different and what value you are offering. The more clearly you convey your value, the more revenue you will bring in.