When sales and marketing don’t work well together waste happens. This divide often takes its form in wasted time and effort, wasted opportunities, and wastebaskets filled with unused collateral. Wasted collateral can be a leading indicator that shows poor collaboration between the two groups.
Here are 3 areas that will help you gauge how well sales and marketing are collaborating:
1) Planning: Do the two teams synchronize schedules for major milestones such as product launches, key events, and major sales initiatives? When sales and marketing are effectively integrated, they meet as early as possible at the beginning of any major event or initiative to form a joint plan to deliver successfully and they stay synched throughout the process. Effective teams have joint goals and see the value of delivering them together.
2) Communications: Does each group ask questions of the other with a spirit of truly understanding the other’s perspectives and needs? If you see communications that seem to push more than inquire you may have an issue. I often hear the two teams refer to this style of communicating as “throwing things over the wall at each other.” Good communications look more like loops that increase understanding as each group learns more about the other with each loop.
3) Company results: How well do sales and marketing jointly deliver on overall company goals? We have found sales and marketing teams that are truly integrated perform better against overall company goals. This may seem obvious, but we have found this is not always the case. It is more often the case we find each group dominated with its own internal goals, practices and agendas. When the two teams are integrated they are naturally more focused on overall results for the company.
As businesses become more efficient and lean to address market changes waste becomes harder to stomach. That means now more than ever sales and marketing teams must come together early and often to synchronize their efforts to deliver on company goals and to keep the wastebaskets empty.