I spent most of my young life on a baseball diamond, and after having experienced both championships and minimums not unlike Bad News Bears, I noticed an ironic scheme: the championship teams are united.
There are two ways through which baseball can be understood. Many believe that baseball is an individualistic sport, in which one hitter faces one pitcher at a time. There is no collaboration, if the beater suffers a blow, it is considered a success, regardless of what the next bats do. When asked how the game went, these players typically recap their performance before the teams (eg, "I played well but lost").
Then there is the opposite view, which considers baseball the most mentally collaborative sport there is. Of course, it affects only one player at a time, but this is simply their small contribution towards the team's biggest goal of pushing beyond the competition. A batsman can strategically approach his at-bat to set the next shot for more chances of success. The formations can be organized to give the team as a whole the best chance to drive in more shots. Skill games and sacrifices are essential for winning tight races. These players are much more focused on the final result than their own figurines.
Which prospect do you think will bring home more trophies?
The relationship between members of the baseball team is strangely similar to that of sales and marketing professionals, but unfortunately the latter is subject to a less symbiotic existence. In fact, recent research by Aberdeen found that 92% of companies report below-average conversion rates in at least a portion of the sales funnel due to marketing and sales issues. This friction comes from the "individual" mentality, in which sales adhere to their metrics and market them. Not to say that it is expensive, both in time and in the pipeline.
It is time for this line of thought to die. The championships are won thanks to the collaborative effort and so that your organization can – or stay ahead for the long term, sales and marketing must work together as players on the same team.
In this blog I will illustrate 5 benefits of strengthening your organization's business and marketing partnerships which, hopefully, will encourage you to take action today.
1. Improved customer experience
The customer experience is the beating heart of any working organization and, focusing marketing and sales on collaboration, the main benefactor is the customer. Nothing nullifies (or loses) perspectives more quickly than irrelevant content or a lack of fluidity between touches. Without establishing a single engagement plan between sales and marketing teams, the dominant brand appears disorganized and impersonal.
2. Better (and more) qualified leads
I'm ready to bet that there are very few sellers who do not have, at least once, mumbled "marketing does not lead me to any results!" Even if they were delivered to dozens, if not by the hundreds. The problem may be the fact that marketing KPIs revolve around quantity rather than the quality of qualified leads. By establishing a strong lead-scoring method through a collaborative process, the guesswork is removed from the identification of quality leads and, as a result, the best leads arrive faster and in higher volumes.
3. Clear feedback channels
By establishing a strong relationship, sales and marketing not only unify their rules of engagement but guarantee continuous communication through inter-departmental feedback. Establishing an open line of communication creates the opportunity for further refinement of the strategy across the board. Sales feel comfortable asking marketers to fine-tune their quality lead criteria, and marketing can, in turn, ask sales to change their outreach style to potential customers. The most receptive of each team can be suggestions, the closer it comes to becoming a team.
4. Adherence to the high-level strategy / mission
Just like baseball players who care only about their performance, it's tempting for sales and marketing teams to focus on their parameters. Although not inherently bad, this creates the risk of losing the forest to the trees and, worse, it could be successful at the expense of other teams. If sales have a view of the tunnel around their opportunities and bombard them with content, they may unwittingly sacrifice marketing efforts to slowly grow the account. And as mentioned above, marketing can be a victim of an overvaluation of the number of leads delivered to them, to the detriment of quality. This is where the leadership team should set the tone for the whole company: the goals set for individual teams must incorporate the overall mission of the organization in order to encourage each team to help rather than hinder their counterparts.
5. Best holidays parties
This is only slightly a joke. Which company has not benefited from the employees who go to the agreement? The momentum of a harmonious partnership between the revenue-driving teams insinuate itself into almost every aspect of the work. Connecting as human beings, not just as employees, establishes trust and positivity in all work goals and should be prioritized by the C-suite. A positive work environment is one of the most contagious performance catalysts and is free of costs.
The most successful teams I played in my baseball career were not always the most talented, but played with the best interests of their teammates in mind. Individual talent and achievements can only bring an organization up to now; it takes a level of chemistry and unity to separate good from the great in sport and business. Regardless of the size or current structure, the alignment of sales and marketing as a unit that drives revenue can provide exceptional ROI and set off the positive culture necessary for long-term success. Today it is easy to start and should be considered a perennial priority for companies trying to win.
Post 5 Benefits of a strong sales and marketing partnership appeared for the first time on the Marketo Marketing blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.