Your marketing team is generating awareness and interest in your product or service, up to the point where sales enters the process to convert interest to a deal. But the line where marketing ends and sales begins is vaguely drawn, causing confusion, and sometimes debate, between the two. Which can disrupt your results, especially when the currency of business is ‘speed.’

One client, a VP of Sales & Marketing for a technology company, noted:

“I am frustrated with sales reps’ inconsistencies; the crappy collateral they have, and the inability of sales reps to get at-bats with key prospects and influencers. I only have a couple of true hunters and even they are going to have limited time to prospect. I believe they (the market) are fatigued by ‘awareness campaigns.’ It’s akin to a highway billboard.”

We know the rules of engagement have changed. Our clients know it. And in a recent article, “We’re All Marketers Now,” McKinsey points out: “Marketing will have to change its relationship with customers and prospects from traditional broadcast tactics to socially networked dialogue.”

How do you change your approach to win in this changing time? In our 30 years of experience, we’ve picked up on some key observations about the dynamics of Sales & Marketing that can help:

  1. Strategically intertwine your teams to effectively influence prospects and customers from Awareness to Deal in a marriage of marketing programs and structured sales processes
  2. Ensure they speak to the value proposition the same way, and everything that conveys that value is consistent
  3. Get both teams comfortable in the social realm – Sales while prospecting and Marketing with messaging that drives a social dialogue
  4. Close the loop on converting prospects into customers – collect information, respond accordingly, share results
  5. Hold both teams accountable to distinct ROI metrics, driving pipeline and deals from all tactics.

In “Simplifying the Complex Sale,” Bob Apollo cites: “One way of thinking about the new realities is to organize around the buying decision process rather than internal sales or marketing processes. Every marketing and sales action and interaction needs to serve the purpose of facilitating the buying process. Every new sales tool or collateral piece must be thoughtfully designed to address the prospect’s motivations or concerns.”

You have a unique opportunity to get ahead in this changing time. Can you implement these tips to gain an advantage?