It’s a tale as old as time to say the least. It’s a story of two business departments not always seeing eye-to-eye. What could we mean? It’s the frequent lack of communication between the digital marketers and the sales team.
Why is it that digital marketers and sales professionals don’t always seamlessly work together? Both teams are pursuing a similar objective: to develop customer value and drive results. However, we don’t have to be afraid that these two departments will never collaborate! There are many ways that the sales and digital marketing teams can come together, share information and reach their goals.
Follow along as we take a look at why digital marketers and sales don’t always see eye-to-eye and why collaboration between these teams is crucial for customer acquisition!
The Difference Between Sales and Digital Marketing
First off, we need to take a look at the difference between sales and digital marketing professionals. While each group has similar goals and objectives, their day-to-day roles are different.
A Sales Professional's Duties
An individual working in sales focuses on everything that closes a sale, a signed agreement or contract. Often, sales consists of interpersonal interactions between the salesperson and the customers.
A Digital Marketer’s Duties
A digital marketer will plan, implement and analyze a mixture of tactics to bring the target market to a brand’s site, social media channels, store or any other online business function of that brand.
Simply put, digital marketing is everything that will reach and persuade potential customers online, while sales is everything that will close the deal. It sounds like these two should be working side-by-side to bring in business, so why aren’t they?
Why Sales and Digital Marketing Don’t Get Along
As mentioned earlier, sales and digital marketing professional’s perspectives often aren’t aligned. Digital marketers think along the lines of customer segments, whereas sales thinks of customers as individuals. Digital marketers develop strategies, while sellers focus on implementation. Digital marketers focus on analysis and sellers think of results. We could go on and on, but you get the picture.
It Comes Down to Metrics
Marketing professionals, especially digital marketers, often focus on metrics like click-through rates, video views, conversion rates, email unsubscribes, etc., which are meaningful data points to help analyze trends. However, these metrics don’t necessarily align with the sales team, although both groups are trying to move leads through their funnel. A conversation between the two teams can help the digital marketers determine which metrics are most beneficial to the sales team, while the sales team can provide valuable insight into the customer. This conversation can make all the difference in how these two teams communicate with one another.
Why They Need To Get Along
We know sales and digital marketing don’t always work together, but let’s take a look at why they need to. Digital marketing and sales need each other like Disney movies need a hero. Remember, the team that collaborates together, stays together.
Marketers and sales professionals need to keep in mind that they should be working together to drive business. A lack of communication can lead to lost sales, leads that are neglected and poorly spent advertising dollars. When all this culminates, it leads to wasted resources and unhappy customers.
Building Audience Personas
When digital marketing and sales unite, both groups can better understand one another and the needs of their customer. On the opposite side of the coin, when marketing and sales don’t work together, they know different things about the customer, therefore weakening both teams strategies. Working together and sharing insights about the customer allows for both teams to win - digital marketers can create more effective personas and create more thorough strategies around those personas, which generates more leads and potentially more sales.
Advanced Audience Targeting
With the knowledge about optimal customers from sales, the digital marketers can discover creative ways to reach new customers. This is done by creating look-alike or targeted audiences and that can be used in digital efforts ranging from social media to search engine marketing.
It doesn’t stop there. Depending on the sales person’s knowledge of their customer base, digital marketers can use these audience details to target new customers based on geography, demographics, interests or online behaviors similar to those of current customers or clients. The possibilities are endless!
Funneling Qualified Leads
Both digital marketing and sales responsibilities lay around the customer buying process. Part of a digital marketer’s job is to gain insights into their customers needs at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Marketers should be passing this knowledge of their prospects to sales so the sales professionals can approach and engage these leads with deeper understanding of their needs.
Furthermore, lead generation, sales collateral development and sales forecasting are among the many tasks that require both digital marketers and the sales team to appropriately execute. Sales needs to help marketing develop sales collateral that addresses the customer’s needs and desired messaging, while marketing must urge sales to take the time to strategically implement their marketing plans and follow brand standards.
How to Integrate Sales and Digital Marketing
Believe it or not, the different perspectives gained from your sales and digital marketing teams can be healthy and productive. Different viewpoints can spark creativity and ensure that multiple sides of an issue are addressed.
Find the Right Metrics to Measure
Sure, for a digital marketer, looking at CTR or open rates can help make day-to-day decisions, but those numbers don’t do much for a person on the sales team. Instead, work with them to find out which metrics they find most valuable when it comes to reporting and moving leads through the buyer’s journey.
Digital marketers should measure which types of campaigns are sourcing leads that are turning into opportunities. While some metrics are incredibly important to digital marketers, when working with sales, focus on where leads drop off and what can be done by both teams to continue customers through the decision making funnel.
Metrics like this are relevant to both the sales and digital marketing teams, plus they can offer strategic insights so both teams can meet (or exceed) their goals.
Create Feedback Channels
The lack of channels to give either team feedback could lead to wasted resources. Give both teams a dedicated time to collaborate and share pertinent information that can make both teams more successful. This can help both teams set group goals and collaborate to achieve them. These meetings should happen frequently, at least once a week, if not more. Plus, these meetings may lead to individuals in both departments feeling more comfortable to interact and solve problems outside of these dedicated times.
Blue Compass Can Work With All Teams
At Blue Compass, we know that teamwork makes the dream work. Each team member relies on one another to be successful in his or her role. Our digital marketing team relies on development to make sure Google Analytics, Tag Manager, Open Graph or the website is working properly, while development relies on us to market the products they work hard to create and to bring users to our websites. And we all rely on our Account Executives and Client Support team to keep us on track!