Depending on the size of your company and its industry, you may have separate departments for sales and marketing. If this is the case, you may have noticed some distance or even some contention between the two departments. Unfortunately, this kind of negative and inconsistent communication and working together between sales and marketing is fairly common.
The disconnect between sales and marketing often stems from a lack of communication and understanding. Some people think sales and marketing are two names for the same thing. Others think they are so different, yet strive toward the same goal that it would be redundant for the two to collaborate and work together.
Both sales and marketing are important and play vital parts in making a company successful by helping leads progress through the lead funnel.
Two Essential Roles
Both sales and marketing have a similar goal in attracting leads and turning the leads into paying customers. However, the way each goes about accomplishing this goal is different.
The personnel on your marketing team are often the first point of human contact a sales lead has with your company. Marketers employ a variety of tactics from emails to blog and website content to direct mail to discounts and giveaways on social media to get the attention of prospective customers. Some marketers utilize a company-wide marketing funnel to massage prospective leads into marketing qualified leads that can then be handed off to the sales team to ultimately make them into paying customers, similar to a sales qualified lead going through various sales funnel stages.
The sales team often interacts with prospective leads who likely have already heard about your brand. The salesperson takes the sales qualified lead through the various sales funnel stages to ultimately persuade the lead to become a paying customer. Similar to the marketing funnel, the sales funnel features multiple stages whereby the salesperson utilizes specific tactics that keep the leads moving forward from having an idea about a company to deciding to do business with the company to ultimately signing the contract or fulfilling their part of the deal.
The Crucial Hand Off: Where Marketing and Sales Collide
The lead generation process of making a lead aware of your business and turning them into a paying customer involves collaboration between the marketing and sales teams. The marketing team is in control of the first half of the process in making the company’s presence visible and known. The sales team takes over for the second half of the lead generation process where conversions are made. The smooth transitioning or “handing off” of leads from the marketing team to the sales team is that crucial middle part of the lead development process. It is during this transitioning period that the marketing qualified leads that have made it through the marketing funnel are handed over to the sales team and become sales qualified leads that begin their journey through the sales funnel.
Overcoming the Marketing and Sales Breakdown
The problems, lack of communication and contention between marketing and sales becomes apparent and problematic during the “hand off” stage. There are various ways this transition breakdown occurs. In many cases, it involves the lack of communication and the lack of an established, standardized set of procedures. Too often the marketing team and sales team will have their own established set of procedures and preferred software and program. Sometimes these systems aren’t compatible and additional, unnecessary work is needed to import leads from one system into the other. Additionally, sometimes the vetting process of the marketing qualified leads isn’t great, resulting in poorer than expected sales qualified leads for the sales people. It is often the latter issue that causes contention between sales and marketing.
Regular communication is a must for the sales and marketing to get on the same page and effectively work together. Weekly, bi-weekly or monthly meetings between the sales and marketing teams can help the teams come to a better understanding of the role each one plays and how they can work together to accomplish their common goal.
A uniform sales and marketing automation system can help alleviate the tension and make the crucial handing over of leads from the marketing team to the sales team smoother.
At Aktify, we realize that each lead is important and has value. During the crucial transition period, sales leads can fall through the cracks and get ignored. We offer sales and marketing automation solutions to help resurrect “dead” leads that have gotten ignored and lost in the shuffle. To learn more about our software for stalled leads and how it can help your lead generation process, feel free to contact us today.