Sales and Marketing. Even though they are mentioned in the same breath, they are often in conflict with one another in terms of the results they render. While ‘sales’ people often argue the leads are not enough to produce sales, ‘marketing’ people often accuse sales people of not marketing sufficiently in order to get the sales leads.
This sort of banter can go on forever. But the truth remains that, for any business to be successful and maintain revenue, the Sales and Marketing departments need to work together in a harmonious way.
Here are some tips to improve the relationship between your Sales and Marketing teams and to achieve enhanced business results.
Draft Common Trade Lead Definitions
The first question you should ask is “What are the qualifications of your ideal trade lead?” Make sure the answer to this question is the same for both your Sales and Marketing teams. Don’t be afraid to go into detailed descriptions of your ideal trade lead, but make sure both teams agree on a common definition. This will ensure only qualified trade leads (whose definition was agreed upon by both teams) are delivered by the Marketing team to the Sales team.
Define the Response Time
Second, you need defined response times for customers. To achieve maximum results, you must give 100% customer service. This means, a response time to customer requests and queries that is well within industry standards. In some cases, an industry standard response time might be 48 hours. In other cases, the customer may need an urgent response within a 12 or 24 hour time period. You need to decide what would be right response times for your business and customers and then convey this to your Sales team. Also, don’t forget to put in place the necessary reporting tools and procedures to ensure response times are complied with.
Review your Follow-Up Process
The processes your business has in place to follow-up with a potential customer is crucial. In fact, it can make or break a deal. Make sure you review and discuss some key questions with your Sales and Marketing team together. Some things that you should consider addressing are:
Number of times a potential customer should be attempted to be contacted before the Sales representative gives up.
Medium of contact attempts (i.e. phone calls, emails, social media channels, in-person meetings etc)
It is important for both your Sales and Marketing teams to be on the same page regarding these types of process questions. Otherwise, sales representatives will have their own ideas about following up with potential leads, and the marketing team may not be convinced that the sales person has made their best attempt to follow-up. Once these types of issues have been discussed and agreed between your Sales and Marketing teams, create a standard operating procedure for follow-ups that will ensure that the sales representatives are doing their job effectively and, in case of no response, move on to explore new opportunities.
Passing the Baton from Sales to Marketing
More often than not, a potential leads generated by a B2B marketplace or platform is interested in making a purchase, but not immediately. These potential leads still remain your target audience and, therefore, need to be passed back to the Marketing team so that they can keep track of them and continue their communication with them. To ensure those potential leads are not lost, you need to create another standard operating procedure to ensure the Sales team hands-over such leads to the Marketing team to keep track of.
Disclaimer : Sabra Easterday is the owner and founder of MatchB2B. Sabra is also a lawyer with a special interest in business issues and e-marketplaces. Notwithstanding that Sabra Easterday is a lawyer, nothing in this article and no services of MatchB2B or its website are legal services and no attorney-client relationship exists between any reader of this article or user, customer or potential customer of MatchB2B, and MatchB2B, its website or Sabra Easterday.