Just play nice and share
As a digital marketing agency, we work directly with the Marketing departments of enterprise companies, so we hear a lot about Sales. That’s right… Sales. Luckily, our clients each have healthy relationships with their Sales departments. And that’s what it is: a relationship.
Any healthy relationship involves mutual respect, collaboration, and communication.
We’ve all known marketers who complained that their Sales department is always complaining: “We don’t have enough leads.” “We have too many leads.” “These are not the right kind of leads.” “Wah, wah, wah!” It reminds me of the time I took my 12-year-old nephew to Disneyland: “I don’t want to go to Toontown.” “I want to ride Indiana Jones.” “I didn’t get to ride Indiana Jones enough times.” “Wah, wah, wah!”
There’s a delicate balance to providing enough of the right kind of leads to your Sales department but, even with the savviest teams, needs, priorities, and opportunities are always shifting. The Sales and Marketing partnership is tricky and ever-changing: it requires a lot of cooperation, patience, flexibility, and back-and-forth communication.
One solution to a good Sales/Marketing relationship can be good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. It’s often up to Marketing to fill the pipeline, and Sales to follow up on the leads and close deals. Providing the technology to make the link from Marketing efforts to the CRM seamless is a whole industry in itself. But no Marketing exec wants to spend time downloading leads from LinkedIn and then uploading to a CRM or emailing the Sales team. Time is money.
Some popular CRMs are HubSpot, Salesforce, Infusionsoft, SharpSpring. But do your homework before you buy, to avoid an expensive mistake. This is serious stuff.
A free eBook from TradePub.com (a great Research Library; you’ll have to give up your company email address, no big deal): “A Sales Manager’s Guide to CRM Adoption: Picking a System Your Team Will Love”
Of course, once the leads are in the CRM, the fun begins. How did this person find us? How many touches have they received? Can we follow their journey, or do we just have access to their first touch or last touch? Did they come from our Paid Search or Paid Social efforts, or organic search and social?
A lot of times the burden of proving the prospect’s journey falls on Marketing. The Marketing department needs to justify their ad spend and budget and how do they do that? By pointing to closed deals. The Sales department just wants to take a lead and run with it.
Mapping the Conversion Journey
By Kevin Lindsay, for the Adobe Blog (a great resource for creative peeps)
I worked in the syndicated Television industry for years — in the Marketing departments at studios and a network. There was good synergy there between Sales and Marketing (with the exception of the annual bowling tournament). The Marketing department supported Sales with creative collateral and assets. Sales went golfing and smoked cigars with TV station general managers and delivered their Marketing assets. Deals closed and everyone was happy. But Marketing departments these days, if they exist at all (in start-ups), seem to always be on the brink of losing their budgets, if not their jobs, if they can’t justify their efforts with sales.
Ultimately, everybody wants the same thing — a closed deal. If the burden of proof falls on you, as your company’s Digital Marketer, take the time and effort to add proper tracking and UTM codes to your campaigns. Go the extra mile to make sure your Sales team is actually seeing the leads you generated. And take credit for the closed deals you made.
So…play nice and share. Everyone wins.
by Stephanie Roberts, CCP Digital
Stephanie spent decades (!) in Los Angeles working as a television marketing executive in New Media (when it was still new) and Interactive Media, at Paramount Domestic Television and CBS Television Distribution. She has returned to her roots in Kansas City to spend more time with family and CCP. She’s also an enthusiastic-but-erratic travel blogger.