8 Keys to Transform Communication Between Sales and Marketing

8 Keys to Transform Communication Between Sales and Marketing


“No wonder these leads stink. Marketing is so out of touch with customers they can’t tell the difference between a good lead and a bad one.”


“The sales team is never happy. Our job is to deliver warm leads— not to actually close business for them.”

Sound familiar?          


Don’t perpetuate the cycle. Most rifts that divide marketing and sales organizations can typically be remedied with proactive—and ongoing—communication.

Employing the following eight key steps will help you better align  these two important groups and promote collaboration.


1. Define roles

Outline and mutually agree on the sales cycle your business typically follows. Discuss and document these stages and define the roles that both sales and marketing tactics play in each to be successful.

2. Brainstorm ideas

Schedule monthly brainstorming meetings with your sales and marketing teams. These can be just five to 30 minutes long. Be sensitive to schedules and time constraints. Invite both groups to brainstorm new ideas for messaging that will speak to customer pain points. Discuss tactics that will engage prospects and topics and formats that will prompt action.

3. Share new assets

Proactively share new content, email campaigns and tools with your sales colleagues. Provide launch dates and describe the follow-up you need from them. Request feedback and make any necessary adjustments prior to launch.

4. Provide access

Create a shared drive to post final versions of all marketing assets. Using a cloud-based service enables users to quickly access collateral without the hassle of navigating through your company network.

5. Educate and inform

Keep your sales team up to speed on market trends and competitors by regularly sharing important industry news, market data, competitive intelligence and analyst forecasts. Consider providing any additional training that may be useful. Ensuring all team members are well informed will increase effectiveness in the field.

6. Encourage social engagement

Turn sales team members into brand advocates. Share social media best practices and encourage active use. Providing prewritten posts to drive end users to your corporate blog, communicate new products and promotions, or announce upcoming events allow you to unify outbound communications while sharing best practices with your sales organization.

7. Promote collaboration

Find opportunities for your two groups to work together. Collaborate on a new product demo, refresh an existing sales presentation or co-write a new company blog post. Collaborating on a new project of shared interest provides an opportunity to build relationships and better understand each other’s position.

8. Disclose concerns

If you are questioning the viability of a recent marketing campaign—let your sales counterparts know in advance. It’s important to proactively disclose concerns when you think an investment may underperform. Acknowledging this early in the process gives your sales team the opportunity to try to improve a less than desirable outcome.

Individually, your sales and marketing functions make significant contributions to your organization. Improving communication and collaboration between the two will result in a partnership that will deliver increased value to your company and its customers. Shorter sales cycles, lower operating costs and increased demand will turn rifts of the past into financial rewards in the future.