Why Sales and Marketing Collaboration is Important in Lead Generation
Both sales and marketing teams know that they play an equally important part in achieving a common goal. Yet each department can fall into the trap of functioning like an independent entity, losing sight of the big picture and compromising the overarching task at hand.
Even though both teams are aware that they must work together, their separation can cause inconsistencies that balloon into a broken lead generation process, leaving potential customers uninterested and driven to the competition. Imagine management's frustration when they learn that all the work was done to attract leads, but no sales were closed because sales and marketing teams failed to collaborate.
Some of the most common areas where the two lack coordination are:
- Customer communication strategy, especially regarding appropriate cues and timing;
- Shared resources, such as information; and, especially,
- a defined point in which a lead is considered "sales-ready," or should be transferred from marketing to sales.
Not only do customers generally dislike dealing with sales any earlier than necessary, but they are turned off even when the marketing team's tone sounds too much like a sales pitch. According to DemandGen's 2012 Content Preferences Survey, "75 percent of the respondents said that B-to-B marketers were too heavy-handed with the sales messaging in their content."
Problems from misalignment lead to unsatisfied customers who are more likely to abandon the buying process. Remember that you must impress the customers to earn their service, and someone you annoy is usually much less likely to buy something from you. The lead generation process must be attuned to their preferences. From the customers' perspective, even if they have to deal with two separate groups of people, it should feel like one continuous process.
Misalignment between the two sides can be traced almost entirely to one simple cause: poor communication. Either team may discover they communicate more with those above and below them in the chain of command—management and clients—than with the team who works alongside them. Without understanding the experience of their adjoining team, how will they understand that of the customer?