We’ll spoil the answer for you: It’s both.
But it’s not as simple as it sounds. Every quarter, teams are expected to create new stretch goals, and reaching big goals can be even more difficult if you don’t know which teams to assign to which project.
Sales and marketing are, without question, going to be involved in multiple goals and at various stages, but figuring out who is responsible for what and how to make sure the right teams are assigned the right goals can take some brainpower.
Let’s untangle the sales and marketing web.
The Interplay Between Sales and Marketing
To put things simply, marketing and sales are a one-two punch. Marketing focuses on building brand awareness and generating leads by understanding customer needs and market trends. Sales, on the other hand, involves converting these leads into actual customers by closing deals and nurturing client relationships.
While both departments have different responsibilities, their efforts are all tied to a single goal of reaching as many prospects as possible, and then converting those prospects into buyers. That sounds straightforward, but problems arise when silos and lack of communication dampen synergy between the departments.
Both departments tend to lack visibility into what the other side is doing, and they can often feel the other side isn’t targeting the right customer or doesn’t fully understand what their customers actually want.
Overcoming the Blame Game
If both sales and marketing think the other side isn’t performing the way they should, how do you get them working synergistically?
Communication is always the first step. Regular meetings and shared platforms can foster a better understanding of each team’s challenges and achievements. You can facilitate meetings as often as needed, and always keep the floor open for questions, comments, and concerns.
One question that’s bound is some variation of: “What purpose are we actually serving?” Undoubtedly, your teams want to make sure their efforts are serving a unified goal. Defining and articulating that unified goal comes down to leadership. It’s up to the leaders of the company to decide what that goal is, set up KPIs for achieving that goal, and communicate expectations with both teams—together.
Once both parties are on the same page, you need to figure out how to divvy up goal-oriented projects.
Marketing’s Impact on Business Goals
Your marketing team is your go-to for lead generation and brand building. By creating compelling campaigns and content, marketing attracts potential customers, laying the groundwork for sales.
Marketing relies on clear messaging, focused projects, and a clear understanding of customers to create the material your company needs to execute goals. That may require research or even a third-party research agency to ensure your team has what it needs to work effectively.
But materials alone won’t cut it. Modern marketing relies heavily on data analytics. Through data, marketing teams can tailor strategies to target the right audience, enhancing the effectiveness of their campaigns. Be involved in your marketing team’s data analysis efforts, and take note of what’s working and what isn’t.
When marketing is strong, sales will follow.
Sales’ Impact on Business Goals
Sales teams are the frontline warriors turning potential leads into revenue. Their expertise in negotiation and relationship building is crucial for realizing your business goals. When they receive marketing material, such as an email nurture or a call script, it’s their job to translate marketing’s work into real-world conversations.
Those conversations provide invaluable feedback and insights into customer needs and market trends. That information is essential for refining marketing strategies and product development. So, while sales teams are focused on closing deals, they’re simultaneously giving you rich insights that can feed right back into marketing efforts.
But your sales team can’t do all the heavy lifting. Buyer interviews are an invaluable way of getting rich insights about your customers, what they want, and how to make decisions. Click here to learn how a Fractional CMO can help conduct interviews for you.
Accountability is a Shared Responsibility
Like we said at the top, both sales and marketing are responsible for reaching business goals. Both departments contribute uniquely to the journey of converting a lead into a loyal customer.
But how can you make sure both sides stay accountable for reaching those goals? Key performance indicators (KPIs) should reflect the shared responsibility. While sales can be measured by revenue and customer acquisition, marketing’s effectiveness can be gauged through lead generation and conversion rates.
Make sure to check in on these goals at least quarterly, and make adjustments if some goals aren’t being met. This might require you to dig in on missed sales opportunities, unclear direction from marketing, lack of messaging, or something else entirely.
But when both sides are aligned, you’re set up for success.
What Does Sales and Marketing Synergy Look Like?
Let’s evaluate two examples of synergistic sales and marketing in action. In our first story, the century-old Oxford Bank of Oakland County, Michigan needed help building brand awareness, establishing itself as a leader in commercial lending, and communicating more effectively across multiple channels. Their overhaul was, in a word, comprehensive. Their story is a clear example of how strong leadership can create synergy between multiple teams.
In our second story, we take a step back to look more broadly at CPA firms as a whole. When CPA firms have strong marketing, they’re better able to position—and differentiate—themselves in the market. Carving out a niche space in the market also gives sales teams the potency they need to make connections with the right audience rather than casting their line too broadly.
Need Help Getting Both Teams Accountable?
No matter how important you know it is to get sales and marketing working in synergy, accomplishing that feat is easier said than done.
This is where a strong CMO can help guide your process and foster open lines of communication between both powerhouse departments. That kind of expertise can be hard to come by, which is why yorCMO offers a top-notch team of Fractional CMOs who work alongside you to make sure that important synergy happens.
Click here to get in contact with one of our Fractional CMOs to get started on harmonizing your sales and marketing efforts.