Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Are your marketing and sales teams at odds?

Savvy business experts describe marketing and sales teams as two ends of the same book, but that doesn’t mean that they know how to work together effectively. More often than not, neither the marketing team nor the sales team understands what the other is doing, and what’s worse, why.

So that we are all on the same page, here are the basic definitions:

MARKETING = the business function responsible for messaging and strategy by which companies create interest (or buzz) in products or services – the marketing umbrella can and often includes brand strategies, competitive positioning strategies, collateral (newsletters, annual reports, flyers, etc.), email marketing, direct marketing, advertising, public relations and media outreach, market research, special events and tradeshows, partnerships, websites and webinars, and social media

SALES = the activity of selling products or services in return for money

According to Wikipedia, “Marketing and sales differ greatly, but have the same goal. Marketing improves the selling environment and plays a very important role in sales. If the marketing department generates a list of potential customers, that can benefit sales. A marketing department in an organization has the goal increasing the number of interactions between potential customers and the organization.”

Due to the advent and continuing evolution of social media combined with effective brand marketing, customers have assumed more power in the buying process and often direct the conversation. But sales and marketing teams must be in alignment for products and services to sell. Here are some useful resources.

Creating Customer Evangelists
How Loyal Customers Become A Volunteer Sales Force
By Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba
c. 2007

The Referral Engine
Training Your Business to Market Itself
By John Jantsch
c. 2010

The Profit Maximization Paradox
Cracking the Marketing/Sales Alignment Code
By Glen Peterson
c. 2008

Word of Mouth Marketing
By Andy Sernovitz
c. 2009

Sales and Marketing the Six Sigma Way
By Michael Webb and Tom Gorman
c. 2006

Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance
By Paul W. Farris, Neil T. Bendle, Phillip E. Pfeifer, and David J. Reibstein
c. 2010

Marketing ROI: The Path to Campaign, Customer, and Corporate Profitability
By James D. Lenskold
c. 2003

Measuring Marketing
103 Key Metrics Every Marketer Needs
By John Davis
c. 2006

Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web
By Brian Solis
c. 2010

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies
By Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff
c. 2008

Six Pixels of Separation
Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone.
By Mitch Joel
c. 2009

What secrets does your business use to align your marketing and sales teams or departments?

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