For many businesses, the "gap" between their marketing and sales departments might as well be the Grand Canyon. Marketing and sales aren't on the same page. They live in "siloed" spaces — and they don't even like each other! If you're facing such a challenge within your organization, then you're far from alone.
The question is: Why is there a gap between these two departments? Ultimately, their goal is the same: to win customers and close sales. Yet, they often seem to be at odds with one another.
Let's dig a little deeper, and see if we can discover some reasons why the gap exists.
Discrepancies in Time and Space
While there could be several reasons why your marketing and sales teams aren't in alignment, two of the most common ones have to do with what we'll call "discrepancies in time and space." Here's what we mean by that:
Sales reps often view time very differently from marketers. For them, speedy results are critical. They have quotas to meet, deals to close, and precious little time to do it!
In contrast, marketers often take a more long-range view of the buyer's journey. They're interested in deploying tactics that may not have immediate results, but will have a cumulative effect on their target audience.
The sales and marketing teams occupy very different spaces — literally and metaphorically. They often come under the oversight of different managers, have different goals, and interact with customers in two completely different ways.
For instance, sales reps spend a lot of their time working with prospects that are in the later stages of the sales funnel. On the other hand, marketers may spend more time interacting with existing customers as part of focus groups.
When you combine these two factors, it's easy to see why a gap could exist between marketing and sales. Traditionally, they live on different (and sometimes competing) schedules, and see the consumer base from vastly different perspectives.
Listen to Gretchen Lehman of The Carruthers Group and I discuss this topic in this video clip.
How to Bridge the Gap
Of course, knowing why the gap exists isn't going to change things in and of itself. The question is: How can you bridge that gap, and successfully integrate marketing and sales? Here are three basic tips that can help:
True, bridging the gap between marketing and sales may be easier said than done. However, with some time, forethought, and patience, you'll be able to successfully do so, and align the strengths of both teams toward sustainable growth.
If you'd like more insights on how you can improve your sales leadership, contact us. Or sign up for our newsletter for more valuable resources.