A list of 5 things that will end it immediately – and casually also increase your interdepartmental efficiency and consequently business success!
Everybody knows about (or even engages in) the endless discussion which area of business is more important – Sales or Marketing? Some still can’t decide who or what is to blame for missed sales quotas or strong tension between employees. However, in recent times it seems like a light might be appearing at the end of the tunnel.
Many companies are already striving for better processes and increased optimization of interdepartmental workflows. Those companies are usually also the ones that have already realized that the customer is more important than a lengthy discussion between business units. Consequently these companies will already be a couple of steps ahead of the competition when it comes to financial success.
How to become one of them?
1) Create a more similar compensation structure for both parties
The reason why Sales Reps are usually bound to commissions and bonuses and marketers aren’t is mainly due to their own personality. Sales Reps are thought to be very “out there”, focused on the present and “making the sale right now”, while most marketers prefer a nice desk where they can work with their data, strategize and look into the future. The truth is though, in order to render a business successful you need both kind of people! And by creating a similar salary and compensation structure you can create a more unified front, as opposed to two camps fighting their own lonely wars.
2) Create a reporting structure that is the same for all
Everybody knows this pain – success monitoring, reporting and evaluations in Sales and Marketing are done on the basis of tons of different KPIs using a large variety of different tools – and in the end you just can’t compare the data anymore. Therefore it is helpful to put organized, understandable and universal reporting structures for all departments in place. Direct accountability can create a higher level of collaboration and integration, which is very much needed in most organizations.
3) Make them spend more time with each other
Successful companies such as SAP have come up with “State of the Union” style meetings in which one team is sitting in on the recaps, reviews and updates of the other one. Also you should consider co-locating both departments onto the same floor or even the same offices. An increased flow of information and better relationships can result from these rather simple adjustments to daily business life.
4) Put them in the other one’s shoe
Install opportunities for both parties to meet once every other week. It is crucial to come up with pre-written agendas for these meetings in which the main points are current problems or opportunities of both departments. The input or criticism of another pair of eyes is always helpful and this may even create a better understanding for the other side. Furthermore, have sales join in on strategy workshops and marketing come along with reps on regular sales call meetings. If you dare, you can even try to have the other department take the lead on some of these activities! Increasing face time between the two is key!
5) Use state-of-the-art tools for interdepartmental communication
There are several platforms and applications available already, which can easily be adopted in order to have your employees talk to each other as co-workers, professionals and also as friends and colleagues. A collaboration tool, a “private” social media platform for your enterprise, is always a good way to increase the flow of information and relationship building.
In conclusion, what is needed and should be fostered amongst your Sales and Marketing teams is more communication and appreciation for each other! Assuming that it is true that marketers slightly differ from sales professionals when it comes to personality traits, the best thing that can happen is them talking to and understanding each other as well as them pooling resources in order to take business operations to the next level! In the end, these measures will definitely improve interdepartmental collaboration – efficiency – and in the long run your own business success!
Written by Sabrina Haas, Marketing Manager at UPPER Network and Eric Schranz, Director Information Services at Visioneerspartner