Most people don’t understand the difference between sales and marketing. Ask anyone if they know it, and they would probably tell you they’re the same. Of course, for the average person both are practically similar. If you think they are essentially the same, we can’t blame you because really both are intertwined. For many businesses they belong in the same department. They may even be run by a single person.
So this one person does SEO, content, or influencer marketing (pulling audiences into your brand) and facilitates the purchase process (pushing your brand to your audiences). Both processes overlap in some respects.
However, as a company grows, sales and marketing become separate entities. First, you have two people working on them separately. Then you have different teams for sales and marketing. Finally, you have two different departments.
Once marketing and sales become separate entities in a company, the gap can create issues that often stem from lack of communication between the two teams. Inadequate communication between these two crucial aspects of a business results in two departments doing things that don’t jive with each other. At some point, the loss of cohesiveness in your company becomes a major liability.
You don’t look for followers and generate traffic into your sites just for your sales team to offer something else on your product pages. You don’t do influencer marketing and say one thing and then your sales team saying something else to your new audience. That will annoy and frustrate your potential customers. Such incoherence can lead to erosion of trust among your audience.
So how do you know your sales and marketing teams aren’t aligned? If you’re looking closely, the first sign is loss or lack of communication between them. But you would be able to prevent the problem from worsening if you’ve seen them not talking to each other sooner. You most likely would notice the problem once its effects manifest and affect the health of your business.
Your sales department ignore leads. Ideally, your sales department should use the data gathered through marketing research. By using the data we mean making decisions based on what the data says. When there’s zero communication between these two teams, you end up with a sales team doing its own thing regardless of what your marketing team has come up with. It can be because your marketing specialists stop once leads are generated, leaving the other department blind or clueless of the value of the leads. Sales teams that are cynical about marketing leads are a common in-company issue.
Both departments blame each other when things go south. So there was a deal, a huge potential client, or an opportunity to tap into a new market, but then that doesn’t happen. The deal doesn’t happen. The potential client stops responding to your emails. Potential influencers suddenly just ignore you. Social media campaigns that were supposed to get you more audiences and potential customers are rendered useless. Then your marketing and sales team blame each other, and at first you can’t seem to figure out who’s at fault.
Both teams don’t meet. If they do, it’s unyielding. Either is disastrous to your business in the long run. It doesn’t matter whether your content or influencer marketing strategies are sound. When there’s turmoil between the departments or among your staff, whatever significant online visibility you have suffers at some point in the future if you don’t do anything about meetings that don’t happen or meetings that lead to heated arguments. The result is breakdown in communication. Remember you’re spending money on these people to work for your brand, not to fight each other.
Different ideas don’t get reconciled. Sometimes difference demands sitting down and talking and arriving at the middle ground. Sometimes it means sacrificing one in favor of the other. Sometimes it only means sorting out funny details and consolidating the differences into a solid plan. But when your marketing and sales teams are misaligned, none of these good things happen. Instead, you end up with two entities that clash, if not ignore each other, thus endangering the health, and possibly the life, of your brand. So what if your influencer marketing strategy is working if your sales department don’t reached out to the newly tapped audience?
You lose track of how your customers buy. One reason could be your marketing and sales team are not doing their jobs right, including monitoring current consumer behavior. Perhaps they are relying on old data. Another reason is they are showing figures that are incompatible. In either case, you have to sit down and get them working together.
You can’t come up with the best strategies to thrive and grow. There was a time when your business was still small and you handled everything. It was easy to look at the data and make plans based on what the graphs and charts show. But that was ten years ago. Now you have a dedicated staff that writes your copy, maintains your websites and social media channels, and sends emails to your subscribers. Someone handles influencer marketing or looks for prospective influencer marketing companies. You have a team that handles sales and gets in touch with your customers. Every now and then, you should convene these people, make them present their reports, and use the data to plan for the future of your business. If you’re not gathering them together for meetings and planning, you’re in a way discouraging them to work cohesively.
Your managers lose sight of your vision. You set out a marketing plan with a goal in mind. You were doing fine until your business expanded and your marketing and sales teams cleaved to form separate departments, which unfortunately was losing sight of the vision. Let’s cut to the chase. You want to reach to customers. At the end of the day, your marketing and sales staff write emails, respond to queries, monitor web traffic, find a suitable influencer marketing platform, build brand advocacy, respond to customer concerns, and track the growth of your social media channels to foster brand awareness, customer acquisition, conversion, and retention. It’s not to please you or your company. It’s to please your customers. It’s your customers that bring money into your business.
Resolve issues between your marketing and sales teams. They have to work together, or you’ll have to replace them. You’re wasting more time and money by allowing them to work separately and independently.