Article
Written by Will Aitkenhead
Posted on 03/09/2015

The importance of finance, sales and marketing teams working more collaboratively

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Bringing together your finance, sales and marketing teams to work together with common aims and goals is one of the most effective ways of improving efficiency and return on investment (ROI). Without such collaboration, all sides are effectively working blind and this rather obviously creates problems.

Align the goalposts

It’s important to remember that sales and marketing teams have very different targets and aims. When it comes to sales, it’s a fast paced environment with monthly objectives and daily goals. They aren’t interested in the long term; they want to know how the marketing team can help them here and now. In contrast the marketing department will have longer-term aims; seeking to increase brand recognition and setting a solid foundation is not a process that can happen overnight.

It may seem like an impossible task to align these two seemingly complete opposites. But by getting them to sit down and realise they are all on the same team, you can make sure they are focusing on the same targets.

Break down the barriers

Conventionally the sales process follows the simple funnel system whereby a large audience is sorted down to leads then prospects and eventually clients. This will not work when partnered with the marketing team and the modern process calls for a more flexible approach.

Digital marketing software and solutions agency Marketo has come up with a new structure that is more of a revenue cycle than a funnel. The essential take-away from the restructure is that the marketing process begins earlier than it used to with consumers educating themselves before they buy, conducting their own research into products through the internet. Potential customers like to see themselves as friends of a brand that they can trust before they part with their hard earned cash. By making revenue the key goal for the finance, sales and marketing teams you can break down the barriers and ensure everybody is singing from the same hymn sheet.

Communicate regularly

Often, finance, sales and marketing will only sit down together when there’s an issue or problem that needs solving. This leads to frustrating and fraught discussions which won’t help relationships. Why not get the teams together to celebrate successes? Or at least put in place a monthly meeting that allows them to talk on a more regular basis and not just when things are going wrong.

It’s all about the customers

In reality customers are often viewed as a necessary part of business that has to be tolerated. This is clearly not a clever or effective way of doing business and if sales and marketing teams are arguing, it’s the customer will suffer. By making sure the strategies are closer together, the customer will get what they want and will therefore be happier with the level of service they receive.

Make it happen

One of the best ways to successful align the teams is to create a new team that sits between the sales and marketing staff, with the ability to review, contact and qualify marketing-generated leads that are then delivered to the sales account executives. This structure will help the marketing team to generate more leads and enhance prospective relationships before the sales team can successfully close deals as well as cross-sell and up-sell. By creating this link between the two you will see better ROI and much more efficient business performance across the board.