As companies grow and departments start to take shape it’s easy for employees to start distancing themselves from others. New members of the team are initiated into their new departments and trained by colleagues with perhaps just a passing “hello” to others as they are introduced around the workplace.
While, ultimately, their focus will be on their own department it’s important to ensure that different areas of the business don’t become their own miniature versions of the business, and that each team communicates and works with others. If this fails to happen not only can it cause rifts in the business but it can also cause problems when it comes to projects that require expertise away from your own bank of desks or your own floor in the office.
Sales and marketing departments are prime examples of where this can, and frequently does, occur. Each is tasked with making sales or increasing interest in the brand, product or service; and they have their own individual targets to meet, but ultimately they are working towards the same end goal: growing the overall business.
So how do you ensure that the two teams collaborate? After all, they might be on different sides of an office and may only see each other at the kettle or on lunch breaks. Here are some tips.
Learn from each other
Learning from colleagues is one of the most effective ways of learning new skills and ways of working. You may have recently come into a team with years of experience behind you, but someone else on the team might be able to share something new with you – and vice versa.
This also works across departments, especially when it comes to sharing expertise on the company blog, social media or external publications. The digital era has opened doors for people to share their knowledge and experience with people around the world and by developing something of their own ‘brand’ within the brand, they can draw more traffic to the company website and help increase sales and enquiries that way.
For instance, we recently wrote about how to build a high-performing sales team and featured some of our own sales department in the article. This was a great opportunity for them to share their levels of expertise and views on what it takes to develop techniques and approaches that others may not have thought of, and that can open themselves up to the wider business who may consider that person to be quieter than others when actually they’re a highly knowledgeable member of the team who has plenty to share and bring to the business.
Marketing and sales departments each have their own ways of working, but this doesn’t mean they can’t overlap or share notes. Listening to a sales call might help the marketing team to pick up new ways of writing their messages, while reading marketing materials might help sales to adjust their own pitches.
A win is a win – celebrate it together
If one department does bring in a sale or enquiry, everyone should enjoy it. Here at Meet Hugo we have a channel on the messaging platform Slack that enables us to share company news, inform others of leads, announce the publication of new blog posts and also to shout about our latest sales. What is really great to see is that every sale or announcement is celebrated by members of all departments whether it’s account management, sales, marketing, research or even management!
Every member brings something special to the department and being able to celebrate it as a company – not just a team – means everyone feels valued and fully supported by their colleagues.
It’s also a great opportunity for people to see the contributions of members of other departments who they do not directly work with which helps to break down walls and alleviate any common workplace questions such as “who are they” or “what do they do?” Instead, the Meet Hugo team works as one unit as opposed to different departments. Everyone has their own role to play within their individual teams, but they all work towards the same end goal – and celebrate their success together.
Find and overcome common hurdles
Both sales and marketing teams have similar funnels and both encounter a number of obstructions that prevent their audiences from making progress. Working together to establish and understand what each other’s pain points are will enable both departments to work on a plan to overcome them, whether it’s a new content strategy that seeks to answer common questions on the site, or providing more authoritative information that will help with the final sales pitch.
Once this strategy starts to come together you’ll find that the funnel clears itself and allows prospects to move freely from the initial awareness stage through to consideration and the final purchase phase.
Communicate and share to succeed
Data is a highly valuable tool in business and how it is shared and used can make a huge difference to how a business performs. Sales use data to monitor calls, leads and final sales; while marketing uses data to inform strategies. Put all of this together, mind, and you have a highly effective team rather than two efficient departments.
When sales share their data relating to issues raised by prospects or feedback from customers who do eventually sign on the dotted line, the marketing department can take this information and use it to adapt their content strategies, delivering what prospects might need in the future.
Similarly, when the marketing team shares their data with the sales department they can help to deliver a more effective sales pitch with information now freely available on the site that can speed up the sales process allowing them to make more calls each day, speak to more leads and increase conversion rates.
What this all adds up to is business growth. A win-win for everybody!
We would love to hear what tips you have for improving and ensuring collaboration between sales and marketing teams, so please do get in touch with us via our social channels as we’d love to hear your top tips, too.