Inbound marketing is the evolution of digital marketing and a term we all need to embrace.
After years of working with all kinds of companies, there’s one thing we’ve noticed across the board: there is often a clear divide between marketing departments and sales teams—and sometimes it’s a MAJOR divide. Plain and simple, salespeople don’t want to be told how to do their job by marketing folk, and as such, are highly resistant to inbound marketing. Similar to a lot of business initiatives, inbound marketing works best when everyone is on board.
In our recent eBook -“5 Steps to Increase Website Leads: An Introduction to Inbound Marketing” – we explore how inbound marketing lead stratgey, if fully embraced, will not only increase the number of leads your company gets, but it will also increase the rate at which those leads are closed. Everyone, most importantly salespeople, should be on board with that.
But the idea behind inbound marketing is that it entails strategies and best practices purposefully developed to help everyone evaluate, approach and close sales – no matter if you’re in marketing or sales. And yet, in spite of this, the chasm often remains.
These department rifts, regardless of their origin or excuse, are never good for business. In fact, they may be costing you leads and $$$ right now! But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are solutions. Eliminating the internal power struggle between your sales and marketing departments is achievable.
Here’s a good exercise that can help craft cohesion within your company:
Take a Step Back…Take a Deep Breath…and TALK.
Remember that scene in Jerry Maguire, the one where Tom Cruise’s character is standing in the locker room with Cuba Gooding Jr’s character begging him for help? Of course you do. There really may be no better way to describe the constant struggle that can exist between the marketing and sales department within a company setting. Chances are you’ve even mimicked this particular scene on a few occasions. It goes something like this:
Following in the footsteps of Jerry Maguire, this is an extremely effective way to begin the conversation with your own competing departments. Finding the time to sit down and talk about ways of helping one another is a good first step towards improving the lines of communication. It helps break down barriers and it cultivates the kind of thought leadership your audience is craving.
But, simply sitting down together, while effective, isn’t the end-all solution. It’s only the beginning.
As part of this “Help Me, Help You” exercise, stakeholders within both the sales and marketing departments must also take the time to educate one another on what it is each of them do in their day-to-day work lives.
For example, a marketing coordinator will sit down and explain the many processes they follow to effectively market the company. A salesperson will likely explain the tactics that they employ to bring on new clients and ultimately sell the company’s product. And both will discuss what’s working and what’s not working. This is where opportunities for company cohesion are greatest. But, beware: recognizing these opportunities can often be the biggest challenge.