Three Sales and Marketing Integration Tips You Can Use Right Now

Integrating the two departments greatly boosts the efficacy of both-and often requires only a few changes in the relationship between the two. We’ll discuss just a few of the ways you can immediately begin the integration of sales and marketing.

Establish a Service Level Agreement Between Sales and Marketing

  • In this context, a service-level agreement (SLA) clarifies and delineates team commitments. It establishes areas each team should be focusing and the goals each team should be meeting to uphold the joint effort between the two, such as successful follow-up of leads by the sales team and proper generation of qualified leads by the marketing team.
  • Without such an agreement, teams can work at cross-purposes by focusing on different sales streams or lose efficiency by overlapping-a sales team backed by a marketing team generating a high volume of qualified leads does not need to focus time on lead generation.
  • Proper marketing waterfall analytics integrated to inside sales and field sales processes become very important here, as you must be able to view data across every stage of the customer buying process and implement standards and goals into the SLA that match to the analytics. Expectations without a firm backing by data can only lead to team friction and failures. This leads directly into item number two.

Maintain an Integrated and Detailed Customer Relationship Management Program

  • Marketing analytics need to be understood and shared quickly between teams for maximum productivity. It’s not unusual for a company to keep such information firmly in the hands of marketing without considering the value of integrating the sales side. All performance MUST be reported inside of your CRM system for this to be effective for sales and anyone who the data effects needs to be able to access all the information. By integrating the data collected by both teams immediately into shared dashboards and reports, each team can quickly adjust their own efforts to better support the other.

Take Your Data All the Way Down to the Sales Representative

  • By directly granting access to information from the sales team ‘boots on the ground’ to the marketing team generals, you grant a view of the situation from a practical vantage point to individuals who may be operating on a purely theoretical basis. An untested marketing campaign rarely survives first contact with the customer. If your marketing team waits for information to trickle upstream instead of viewing it directly, the entire marketing ‘battle’ may be lost. At the very least, marketing ROI will take a hit from a failure to quickly refine and perfect campaign tactics.
  • Furthermore, ground-level sales representatives interact most frequently with your potential buyers and can provide highly-detailed tactic, campaign, content and buyer quality information which would otherwise disappear in the shuffle.

You will find that you can quickly and painlessly implement each of these tips and see near-immediate improvements from the resulting integration. Primarily, these tips allow you to wring the most from your marketing analytics and CRM systems. Such systems can only provide as much information as is placed into them, and the value of their output relies highly upon how many people understand and adjust based upon it. Furthermore, these tips can work to defuse the ‘us versus them’ mentality which arises so often between sales and marketing teams and put them back to work as proper allies.