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More often than not, there can be a love-hate relationship between sales and marketing. Much of the issue comes from marketing not understanding sales, and sales not understanding marketing. Considering they play for the same team, these two groups shouldn’t be foes, they should be friends. 

Collaboration Between Sales and Marketing 

Is there a disconnect between your sales and marketing teams? Most of the time, marketing does a lot of work for sales and feels unappreciated. Sales on the other hand, gets irritated because marketing may be passing along leads that are not qualified and for lack of better words, “a waste of time.” 

The issue here is lack of communication and collaboration. They should be working together to improve the lead generation process, the deciding factors between qualified and unqualified leads, and so on. Sales should also take the time to appreciate everything marketing does to support them. It seems silly, but a simple “thank you” goes a long way. 

Sales and Marketing Relationship Stages 

There are four stages in the relationship between marketing and sales: 

  1. Undefined - The two departments are working on their own tasks, it developed more independently. When they do meet, it’s to work out any conflict resolution. 
  2. Defined - This stage is developed when there is a clear understanding of sales and marketing activities. They use any meeting time to go through expectations. 
  3. Aligned - In this step, clear but flexible boundaries are set. Sales starts to use marketing terminology and marketing sits in on sales calls/meetings. 
  4. Integrated - Finally, both departments have come together to share performance metrics and most importantly, rewards. They learn that they rise and fall together as one team. 

So, the million dollar question is: how do you go from step one in the relationship to step four?

Opening the door of communication is the first step. Sales and marketing both need to communicate exactly what they expect and need from each other in a professional manner. Scheduling regular weekly meetings to talk through everything going on in the two different departments will only help to improve the strength of the two groups. They surely won’t be best friends overnight. However, it can happen over time with some hard work and collaboration. 

Final Thoughts 

These steps and guidelines may seem a bit obvious, but more often than not sales and marketing are not willing to put the work in upfront. If the work is put in from BOTH departments, the result of improvement in their relationship overall will be well worth the effort.

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