There’s a common misconception that both sales and marketing are not equally important.
This can easily result in challenges between marketing and sales alignment. Sales and marketing might be different instruments, but they are all part of the same orchestra. If they are aligned well, there will be a special type of cohesion that will allow a business to flourish.
How to ensure effective sales-marketing meetings
Prior to our virtual world, sales channels could run without marketing being highly involved, and marketing could be its own standalone department in a business. Though this process was not as efficient as it could have been, it often worked, and companies still made sales.
This all changed when the internet became mainstream. Now, buyers have more information at their fingertips than they used to. This makes it necessary for marketing and sales to be aligned so buyers can buy efficiently and without any messaging incongruency.
To facilitate a smooth transitional process between marketing and sales, business owners need to think about how to make meetings between sales and marketing impactful and effective for all involved.
When planning a meeting with sales and marketing teams, it’s important to prepare before it has even begun. Thinking about the goal of the meeting and the role each person will play before the meeting has started will ensure it’s run smoothly. This can be done on a number of levels.
Consider what type of meeting should take place. Will the meeting take place to analyze the competition or to focus on revenue?
Once this has been decided, consider how often it should take place. You want this meeting to be meaningful and a value-add, so including unnecessary meetings on team members’ calendars will do the very opposite.
Before the meeting starts, send the discussion topics to the teams and ask all the attendees to submit any questions prior to the meeting. This allows the leader of the meeting to see if there are overlapping concerns prior to the meeting. It also empowers the leader by reducing the opportunity for unexpected concerns to arise spontaneously.
Before the meeting has begun, plan the length of each segment to avoid the meeting taking an unnecessary amount of time. Appoint someone to keep an eye on this throughout the meeting. Good timekeeping equals efficiency.
Appoint someone as the notetaker for the meeting. They should be responsible for taking notes and sending them to the teams after the meeting. Ensuring that roles are assigned before each meeting saves time and gives everyone clear expectations.
Smarketing is more than just a word
For a meeting between sales and marketing to be as effective and impactful as possible, it’s key to foster an environment where ideas can be shared by everyone. Approaching the meeting from a “smarketing” perspective, which means integrating the sales and marketing processes of a business, will ensure that every contribution carries equal weight.
During the meeting, ensure each attendee has the space to contribute to the discussion. It’s important to show everyone that whether you are a C-level executive or a new intern, your ideas are valuable. This will foster proactive and positive collaboration amongst both teams.
Making sure all ideas from both departments are welcome and treated as important is a crucial role that the group leader must play. The environment needs to encourage freedom so that all attendees can contribute their thoughts while making sure that no ideas are downplayed or degraded.
If this is achieved, the meeting will be impactful as the group leader will be able to get the best from every individual. Leaders showing this level of respect to both teams will foster the right type of mindset: that each member is a vital part of the business. This level of cooperation will lead to better communication between the teams which is essential for the growth of the business.
Once a positive environment has been reached, the group leader can use meetings to routinely identify weaknesses or blind spots that affect one or both teams. This could be anything from weaknesses in a marketing message to using online communications tools productively. This open and honest discussion will promote the ability to close the gaps between marketing and sales and result in a seamless customer buying experience.
Regardless of the meeting type, it’s key to remember the reason it’s being had. Making it clear to both teams that meetings are for the greater good of the customers and for the company’s advancement and growth as a whole is one of the ways the meetings will continue to be impactful. Keeping these goals at the forefront will make sure both teams have the right focus.
Remember to go back to the customer. Take the time to return to the buyer’s persona. This will remind both teams who the target buyer is and how both teams play a significant role in reaching them. It’s important to use this time to consider the overall message the business is sharing with its buyers by making sure the language used by both teams is consistent.
Additionally, make time for closed-loop marketing. The sales team should relay information to the marketing team and let them know which elements of the marketing campaign resonate with buyers and which do not.
This type of communication shows the teams how significant they both are and how important their collaboration is for improving the company’s conversion rate. At the end of the day, sales and marketing play for the same team, so it’s crucial that both teams are fully aware of this.
Throughout the meeting, many ideas will have been discussed, so creating a clear action plan is key. This is also an ideal moment for the group leader to solidify the togetherness of both teams by making sure each team is aware that although they have different functions, in reality, they are one team.
Before the end of the meeting, the person who was assigned the note-taking role should summarize the main points of the meeting. Following this, the various tasks that need to be carried out should be discussed and assigned. Each person assigned a task should then be made aware of how quickly it needs to be completed.
Unless the meeting happens periodically, the group leader should use this time to appoint a date and time in the calendar for the next meeting.
Near the end, the group leader should make it clear that each person in the sales team and marketing team are integral to the running and growth of the business. Keeping this message clear and at the front of everyone’s mind will ensure that each member remembers their contributions are equally important.
Making sure that meetings between sales and marketing are as effective and impactful as possible is vital to quality communication between both teams, which will improve morale and ensure that each customer has an optimal customer experience.
By planning effective meetings between sales and marketing, you can increase sales and conversion, improve morale, and ensure that no customer is confused or left behind, improving your sales, marketing, and company performance.