Solve sales and marketing friction

How to Get Sales and Marketing Teams to Play Nice: A List for Leaders

Do you feel like your marketing and sales teams are butting heads?

If so, you’re not alone. You may be thinking, “Why can’t they just get along?” The answer is simple: they have different objectives. The goal of marketing is to generate leads and create brand awareness while the goal of sales is to close deals and make money. It’s only natural that these two groups can sometimes be at odds with each other.

So, how can you proactively prevent this friction from becoming a much larger issue? Here are a few tips to get your marketing and sales teams working together more smoothly.

4 Smart Tips to Help Sales and Marketing Teams to Get Along

The number 1! | HPZ marketing

Define Common Team Goals (not just revenue targets)

The first step is to sit down with both your marketing and sales teams and define what your collective goals are. This is in addition to your revenue, client acquisition and retention initiatives. What are you hoping to achieve? Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can start mapping out a plan of action. Make sure that everyone is on the same page and that there is buy-in from both groups before moving forward.

Suggested Tip:

Create one activity goal each for the sales and marketing team, something that the other doesn’t normally do. Marketing could commit to attending pipeline reviews, joining prospect and new customer calls and in-person meetings. Concurrently, sales could agree to using tools and content that have gone previously untouched or lending a hand to set-up/tear down events and tradeshows.

The number 2! | HPZ marketing

Get Feedback From Your Customers

Of course, your customers should be at the heart of everything that you do, so make sure to get feedback from them regularly. You’d be surprised how many organizations do not formally solicit customer input.

Suggested Tip:

Just ask customer three simple questions! How likely are you to recommend us? What can we do better? What do we do well? This information will be invaluable as you work on aligning your marketing and sales efforts. Have the teams work together to protect relationships with happy customers and fix issues with detractors.

The question – “how likely are you to recommend us?” is a widely used research metric from Net Promoter Score (NPS). This is a proven method to predict customer loyalty and future buyer behavior.

The number 3! | HPZ marketing

Foster Team Communication and Collaboration

It’s important that there is regular communication between your marketing and sales teams (marketing announcements and report-outs meetings don’t count). Make sure that everyone is in agreement what the other team is working on and that there is a shared understanding of the goals that you’re trying to achieve.

Suggested Tip:

Encourage collaboration between the two groups—get them talking whenever possible – whether they pick up the phone, Slack chat or Zoom. Schedule bi-weekly meetings together and then leave them to foster more frank conversations. It’s like a parent telling their children to “work it out between yourselves!”

The number 4! | HPZ marketing

Measure Your Team Progress (no vanity metrics allowed)

Last but not least, make sure that you’re measuring your progress along the way. How close are you to achieving your goals? Are your marketing and sales efforts effectively aligned? If not, why not? By regularly assessing your progress, you can make necessary adjustments along the way.

Suggested Tip:

Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS) contains a key element that your teams can benefit from – the monthly and quarterly meeting pulse review system. This simple yet effective process asks each person: “are you doing Worse, Same, or Better compared to your partnership goals?” Then, commit to just One Thing that will help improve it next month.

Fostering Healthy Relationships Between Your Sales and Marketing Teams

There will always be some level of friction between marketing and sales—it’s just inevitable. However, by taking the steps outlined above, you can minimize this conflict and get your two teams working together effectively. Keep in mind these three “C’s” – communication, collaboration, and clarity are key!

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Jessica Kelley is a seasoned leader with more than two decades of marketing and finance experience in B2B and B2C channels. She has worked extensively within healthcare, consumer, commercial, and software industries in diverse environments ranging in size from a $200 billion corporation to a startup firm. Her company, HPZ Marketing is an interim CMO and fractional CMO business and is certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) as a Women’s Business Enterprise and Women Owned Small Business (WOSB). They provide interim and fractional executive marketing services to help businesses achieve marketing ROI with executable strategy and a relentless focus on customer acquisition and retention. Learn more about hiring a fractional CMO for your business.