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How To Build Trust Between Marketing and Sales

Do You Trust Me?

Marketing and sales alignment (or lack there of) is a common challenge plaguing companies large and small. Only eight percent of companies describe their marketing and sales teams as being tightly aligned according to Forrester. Misalignment typically festers as a lack of trust, communication and agreement on what is really important.

Just last month, we heard from Ryan Schwartz of DocuSign (customer) talk about the concept of predictive trust at the SiriusDecisions Summit.

While the DocuSign marketing team was rolling out predictive lead scoring, they knew from the start that it was important to get sales on board. From the start, they began educating the sales team and partnering with them to realign the sales process to proactive engage the leads with the highest ranking predictive scores.  If you missed the session, here’s my write up that covers a few more best practices and lessons learned on predictive scoring.

The concept of building trust really stuck with me because I’ve been hearing many marketers talk about the challenges when working with their sales teams. Here is some of the best advice on building trust.

Shared Revenue Accountability

“It’s less about sharing the blame, and more about having an active partner to proactively solve problems, someone who’s now equally aligned with [sales] from a visibility, responsibility and even compensation perspective.” – Matt Heinz, Heinz Marketing

Reshape Marketing’s Contribution

“Marketing has to re-imagine its contribution to sales and to the business overall. It may be that the high-volume demand engine is still appropriate for certain parts of the sales organization. Understand the structure of the sales organization and how different types of reps work with their accounts, and determine the best role for marketers to play in that context. Marketing investment doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all.” – Megan Heuer, SiriusDecisions

Share Data

“Rewind to your college years or think about this hypothetical: you live with your best friend; you each have your own room, with your own setup, but share a living room, which you both use and enjoy. The same is true for sales and marketing, and the technologies used by each. Marketing has their own “room” with Eloqua marketing automation, and likewise sales has the CRM system. The shared “living room” is the integration between Eloqua and CRM.” – Andrew Stanbridge, Oracle Eloqua

Agree to Definitions

“If you start taking steps to patch up the tensions between your marketing and sales teams, you’ll not only see improved team morale, but also a positive impact on your pipeline. Start by getting both of your teams together and coming up with a unified definition for a qualified lead. Give your sales team the chance to let marketing know what they would like to see in a lead (after all, they’re the ones who understand which leads are more likely to buy), and let your marketing team work on the logistics from there.” – Adam Blitzer, Salesforce

Focus on the Buyer First

“CEOs that build their organization’s processes, technology and culture around the experience buyers want and value outperform their peers. That starts by aligning sales and marketing, not by resolving differences between them, but by resolving differences between them and the buyer.” – Christine Crandell, New Business Strategies

   Image Credit(s):                Gify        ,                Oracle Eloqua                    

Written by

Amanda Maksymiw
June 12, 2014