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Ensuring Proper Alignment When Integrating Sales & Marketing Efforts


When executing on marketing activities, it’s crucial to integrate these efforts with those of both your inside and outside sales teams. The key word here is integrate. Sales and marketing need to act as one entity and without proper communication, you can pretty much guarantee that you will run into many challenges, and more often than not, mistakes that are tough to come back from. I can guess that like me, many of you have experienced instances where sales and marketing aren’t fully aligned, and the key to fixing it is to be proactive from the start. Here are some quick tips to help avoid potential fires before they have the chance to develop:

Scrub marketing qualified leads before handing them off to inside sales to follow up on. If you can’t scrub the list, sales and marketing need to make sure that the inside sales team has an updated list of current customers AND prospective customers in the pipeline so they refrain from calling them. Contacting a prospective customer through a cold call when they are about to sign with you can be extremely detrimental to the relationship, and it could even end the engagement before it begins. This is coming from experience - it doesn’t get much worse than this situation, so it’s best to put measures into place beforehand so you can avoid the problem all together. A do not call list is the best way to handle this situation. To take it to the next level, make sure inside sales, outside sales, and marketing teams all have access and visibility into your CRM so that they can access current opportunities in real time so they don’t contact existing or potential customers.

Communicate when campaigns are going out to your database of contacts. If marketing is going to send out a marketing email blast or a direct mailer of any kind, it’s important that they communicate this to sales ahead of time. The reason why this is important is because if an outside sales person is working on a deal and then marketing sends the potential customer a prospecting email, the customer could get confused and frustrated, thus causing a problem for the company as a whole. In this instance, if marketing had contacted sales ahead of time, the sales person could have instructed the marketing team to hold off on sending the email to his potential customer. This goes both ways though - in order to avoid problems like this, sales needs to stay on top of properly labeling contacts and opportunities in your CRM so that marketing can easily target the appropriate individuals.

Have a backup plan. Arm your sales and marketing teams with what to say when they receive a call or an email from a perturbed prospect that has been contacted too many times from too many different angles. From an inside sales perspective, I would say something like this, “Mr. Prospect I apologize for reaching you in error when you are already speaking with someone from my organization. It‘s possible that you recently expressed interest in a white paper download or on our website and I wanted to follow up to make sure you had all the information from our company that you needed. Again, I apologize and will cease all efforts to contact you.” The key here is to be honest.

Nobody’s perfect. Cold calls are going to be made to current customers and marketing emails are going to be sent to soon-to-be customers. I know this because it has happened to my team in one form or another three times over the last week. By learning from these mistakes and by making the appropriate changes to current processes, we can work to alleviate the common challenges that we face when trying to align sales and marketing.


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