Are the marketing and sales teams in your company “frenemies”?
I know it can happen. We’ve all seen times when the two teams devolved. They look friendly on the surface. Yet, you can feel an undercurrent of ongoing rivalries or disagreements.
It’s both a symptom and the outcome of a siloed organization. Sometimes it’s because often compensation structures are different between the two teams. It can grow out of the pressure to produce results set out by senior leadership.
It’s almost like a sibling rivalry. Children not playing well in the sandbox together. Both vying for the limited attention of busy parents.
As a leader, you can change this by giving attention to setting them up to build a stronger relationship. By creating a culture that helps overcome differences.
These 3 things foster cooperation.
Common Goals: Marketing and sales teams ideally can and should share common business objectives. For things such as revenue growth and customer acquisition. Both teams play essential roles in driving revenue, and their collaboration is critical to achieving these goals. They can share similar objectives – even if their execution towards them are different tasks.
Alignment: Successful organizations strive for alignment between marketing and sales to ensure that both teams work harmoniously towards common objectives. Alignment involves sharing information, coordinating efforts, and understanding each other’s challenges and contributions.
Collaboration: Marketing generates leads and provides sales with potential customers, and sales converts those leads into paying customers. This interdependence requires collaboration and communication between the two teams.
Tackle the challenges that can divide.
And yet, even when you have set up a positive environment that fosters cooperation, challenges can occur as well.
Lead Quality: One common source of tension is lead quality. Marketing may feel that sales is not effectively following up on leads, while sales may argue that marketing is providing leads that don’t meet their criteria. Clear criteria for lead quality and regular feedback can help resolve this issue.
Communication: Miscommunication or lack of communication between the two teams can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. Regular meetings, discussing the shared goals, and open channels of communication can mitigate these issues.
Responsibility for Results: Sometimes, when revenue targets are not met, blame can be shifted between marketing and sales. This can create a sense of competition rather than collaboration. A shared understanding of responsibilities and KPIs can help prevent this.
Data and Analytics: Marketing and sales may have different perspectives on data and analytics. Marketing may focus on metrics like lead generation, while sales is more interested in conversion rates and deal sizes. Finding common ground in the data can bridge this gap.
Coming together as allies
In the best-case scenario, marketing and sales teams work together seamlessly, recognizing the value each brings to the table.
Effective leadership, clear communication, shared objectives, and a commitment to the organization’s success are key to ensuring that marketing and sales teams operate as allies rather than frenemies.
When aligned, these teams can achieve significant success in driving revenue and growth.