Sales and marketing often work in tandem and synchronized unison. They’re two peas in a pod, Batman and Robin, peanut butter and jelly. Unfortunately, while the two roles rely on each other for success, feedback and guidance, getting sales and marketing teams to collaborate and communicate effectively has sometimes been a bumpy road.
Segmenting sales and marketing into separate departments implies that information and meetings should be siloed and discrete. This, in turn, inevitably leaves important team members out of essential discussions, making the overall product cycle inefficient and not as impactful as it could be.
The main issues all boil down to a lack of open communication and collaboration between these two departments. Brainstorming, planning, sales and project execution can be severely stunted when sales and marketing don’t work closely together.
To help alleviate some of the headaches associated with cross-team workflows and communication, we’re sharing four of our top tips for improved collaboration, which are sure to get your sales and marketing departments on the same page.
1. Have Joint Meetings
Be a gracious host and invite the other team to your meetings! Sales and marketing departments don’t always have to have joint meetings, but every so often, covering “big picture” topics and strategy ensures that cross-team members can – and should – contribute.
Also, know the difference between when to call an in-person meeting and when something can be discussed in a group or video chat. Being dragged into a time-consuming, in-person meeting might not rouse everyone’s excitement. But holding some discussions via an online social business intranet or enterprise social collaboration platform often means you’re more likely to get enthusiastic input and engagement, as well as team members who make themselves available to you.
2. Stay on the Same Page with Collaborative Task Management
Most disconnection and confusion arises when there isn’t a consolidated snapshot of all current projects and tasks relevant to both teams in a centralized location. With an enterprise social collaboration platform, sales and marketing teams can create and collaborate on an ongoing tally of the projects in the works (and their statuses) so no one is left out of the loop. This prevents multiple sales people from asking the marketing team for the same assets over and over and gives the marketing team insight into new sales initiatives so they can develop new supporting materials.
3. Collaborate on Documents
One of the major benefits of working on an enterprise collaboration platform is that it not only enables you to store documents in a centralized, easily searchable location, it also lets you collaborate and comment on them. Creating a joint marketing and sales work “space” in your collaboration platform makes it easy for members from both teams to upload documents, ideas, wikis, blogs and pictures that others can edit, comment on or use to simply stay up-to-speed with everything going on.
Document collaboration helps eliminate the need to copy everyone on an email, which often leads to long email strings that get buried in your already overloaded inbox. With enterprise social collaboration platforms, documents, wikis and blogs are organized in a “space” by topic and are immediately available and accessible to any member of that space whenever they want! The added bonus – all members of the sales and marketing teams can trace the history of each document and immediately know which edits were made by whom and when final sign off came in.
4. Play “Tag” to Keep Each Other in the Loop
Just like tagging a friend on Facebook to ensure they see a post or comment, enterprise social collaboration platforms have a similar functionality. Use this feature to your advantage to make collaboration and coordination between marketing and sales teams more seamless. In Incentive for example, it’s easy to “ping” a team member (or any employee for that matter) by tagging them using @ followed by their name. This notifies them that a comment or document has been posted that is relevant to them so no one is ever left out of pertinent discussions.
Getting sales and marketing teams to work together as if they were one integrated machine can be done! By continuously working in tandem, sales and marketing teams ensure they’re operating from a big-picture perspective and are delivering on the work that’s most essential to growing the business. After all, that’s what working together is all about, right?
Incentive is a leading provider of a complete, socially powered enterprise collaboration platform for mid-market organizations and enterprise teams that want to achieve improved profitability, increased efficiency and accelerated business results. With an easy-to-use interface, Incentive’s platform enables businesses to capture, collaborate and secure knowledge all in one place by tapping the power of their employees – the collective brain trust – to be better, stronger and faster than their competitors. Designed for organizations using Microsoft apps, architecture and services, Incentive allows users to take advantage of existing workflow apps, storage systems, and document management tools such as SharePoint in one central location, with single sign on and intelligent search. Its features include wikis, blogs, micro blogging, document collaboration, file sharing, instant messaging, video conversations, social behavior UX and API-based platform for app development. Founded in 2008, Incentive has helped thousands of customers worldwide accelerate positive business outcomes through improved collaboration and communication. The company has headquarters in Los Angeles and Malmo, Sweden. For more information visit www.incentive-inc.com and follow on Twitter @IncentiveInc