It’s no secret that marketing and sales have long been at odds with one another. In fact, Forrester reports that only 8% of B2B organizations have ideal marketing and sales alignment. This is a problem that has persisted for far too long across all industries.
However, one of the biggest trends of this year demands that marketing and sales find better ways to align. When sales is in the field and interacting with customers while marketing has constant access to real-time, customer-driven data, the two departments do a disservice to one another and the organization as a whole by not sharing feedback on a regular basis.
It is this necessary feedback loop which will facilitate change across organizations and industries to see marketing and sales finally working together.
Here are some ways feedback can be shared to bring about this sales and marketing (read: Smarketing) transformation that is so badly needed in today’s ever-changing marketplace.
1. Department Heads Should Lead by Example
To ensure success with any alignment efforts, the heads of marketing and sales should establish a precedent for back-and-forth sharing of information. Support and participation from the heads of both departments will grease the skids for consistent implementation across the company. This can lead to feedback and constant communication becoming ingrained in the corporate culture, forcing marketing and sales to work together toward the same objective, which is to close more deals and drive revenue.
2. Utilize Technology to Support a Constant Feedback Loop
Feedback and communication can be facilitated more easily with the proper technology. For tech to be effective, the platforms must be easily accessible and completely adopted by both departments. The platforms should also be easily incorporated into reps’ workflows.
Make providing feedback a system process that is completed at the end of each workday, for example, such as inputting notes in the CRM like pain points, challenges and customers’ needs. This feedback will then always be accessible to both departments, ensuring everyone is on the same page regarding customers’ wants, needs and objections.
3. Engage in Regular Meetings with Both Departments
On a regular basis, such as once per week, marketing and sales should get together in the same room to put the sales funnel under a microscope. These sessions are great for brainstorming ways to move prospects down the funnel faster.
Marketing can discuss the content they are creating to help sales close deals, and sales can talk about the conversations they are heaving with leads. Essentially, these meetings should be centered around problem-solving, and working together in close quarters will make this process a collaborative and even fun process for greater alignment.
4. Focus on the Positive
Whether it’s a cross-department meeting or feedback shared using technology, start with the positive aspects of the message first. This keeps tempers from flaring out of control. If marketing starts harping on sales, and vice versa, communication will become more difficult and may even shut down altogether.
Instead, teach marketing and sales to share a few things the other department did well, then follow up with what could be improved upon. Both departments can then take any negative aspects as constructive criticism that can be used to improve rather than as insults.
While improvements always need to be made, it’s how marketing and sales share those improvements that truly matters. When both teams remain positive with feedback, positive results are sure to follow.
5. Keep Feedback Goal-Focused
Feedback is only useful if it can be used to bring about positive change. For this to occur, marketing and sales should remember to share SMART feedback, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
In other words, stick to information that is relevant and that can be systematically used to attract more leads, nurture leads, close deals and get customers to return over and again. This ensures that all meetings are productive, which is one of the pillars of a well-organized and successful B2B organization.
Sales and marketing can only work together when the departments engage in regular back-and-forth communication. This change will not only help B2B organizations run smoothly, but better Smarketing can make a company 67% better at closing deals and lead to 20% growth rates. In other words, marketing and sales communication is critical to any organization that expects stellar growth and a more efficient workforce.