Marketing, sales and service silos — why?

Do your marketing and sales departments talk? And if they do, are they talking the same language?

For people in the communications industry it is appalling that there is a lack of real communication occurring between their marketing and sales departments.

All too often I see departments vying for budgets, leadership, ideas, etc. Some people believe marketing drives the engine and sales are irrelevant, or sales are king and what is marketing anyway?

It’s not just the sales people. Some organisations don’t even know the difference between marketing and sales or don’t see the connection between the two in the first place.

This causes all sorts of problems, the likes of which can include:

Marketing initiating a premature campaign and forgetting to tell the salesforce about it.

A new product is launched and sold aggressively by the salesforce, but faults surface with the product that can’t be fixed and it has to be recalled.

Everyone who sees, talks with or comes in contact with a prospect or customer should understand exactly the functions of the promise-expectation-experience chain. In his book The New Science of Selling and Persuasion: How Smart Companies and Great Salespeople Sell, William T. Brooks highlights these very issues.

Sales, marketing and service departments must never operate in isolation! However this happens too often! Make sure both sales and marketing people have key performance indicators that include measures on how well the marketing and sales plans complement each other and how well the two divisions work together as a team. KPIs should also include making sure that the information the two divisions give each other about customer feedback is useful and acted on.

If the divisions are engaging in a silent war or openly fighting with each other, then the parties must be made to understand they are not doing their jobs properly. In this sophisticated world of communications, companies must work on integrated campaigns and there is no room for egos.

An inconsistent poorly defined sales, marketing and service strategy for the entire organisation results in an organisation fraught with finger pointing, blame, denial, backbiting, slippery revenues and reduced cash flow. What can make a difference is communicating and reiterating the strategy and position to all the internal teams who interface with prospects and customers

Make sure that people with sales experience understand the skills needed in marketing and that the marketing staff understand how crucial sales people are and the skills involved in prospecting and managing clients.

The problem is too many people operate only in their own self interest. When that happens, the customer loses and in the long term so does the organisation.

Vital question: Is your organisation made up of competing cultures?



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