It’s no secret that departments, such as sales and marketing, may struggle to communicate and collaborate successfully. To resolve this, the connection between these departments must shift from competitors to routine partners for a business to work successfully and productively.
How to Improve Communication Among Departments
There are several methods and tactics that a business may employ to improve communication between its departments. Here are some tips to think about.
Working in silos isn’t a good idea
The first issue to consider is the significance of functioning as a cohesive unit, which is especially vital when departments are working remotely, as many do these days.
The fact that animosity can often arise between the PR, marketing, and sales departments is a difficulty. This frequently occurs when one party believes their contribution is undervalued or when the other department fails to keep half of the contract.
In some cases, sales and marketing departments can actively work against one another. Therefore, systems used by all departments must be integrated to ensure a harmonious sales process. Marketing and PR departments must believe that the marketing qualified leads (MQL) they pass on are being followed up on, and sales must believe that marketing is assisting in the development of the appropriate sales funnel.
This is why you’ll see more and more mid-sized enterprise companies combining sales, public relations, and marketing operations under the leadership of a chief revenue officer or chief growth officer. The CRO is in charge of all revenue-generating activities. They are responsible for teams such as marketing/public relations, sales, channel sales, and customer success.
Even if you are unable to reorganize, basic efforts such as agreeing on what constitutes a sales qualified lead (SQL) upfront and working collaboratively to set lead and income objectives may make a significant difference. It’s a fantastic approach to bring departments together so they all benefit from their efforts.
And, let’s face it, this is a great opportunity for everyone to rethink how we collaborate. For certain companies, team structures and established ways of doing business may alter. Make regular (video) calls to ensure that everyone is on the same page and moving in the same direction.
Communicate in the same language
Define your funnel as the first step in getting departments to speak the same language. Make sure to explicitly define each team’s function in the funnel with important department stakeholders.
It’s now important to define the phases, determine what qualifies customers for each level of the funnel, and make sure your departments are aware of this information.
This is how the final product should appear. Everyone in your company should be aware of the distinctions between a prospect/visitor, lead, SQL, MQL, prospect, and client. All subsequent phases in getting the departments to collaborate and unify their processes at your company are built on this foundation.
Set consistent objectives
Misalignment among departments can cause gaps in the conversion of leads to clients and block sales funnels. This imbalance may be exacerbated by segregating your department goals. If both divisions work toward a common set of objectives, you’ll have a better chance of meeting your revenue targets.
Prospecting is one of the most difficult phases of the sales process for sellers, according to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2018 study, but the problems may be lessened when sales and marketing departments communicate. When the two teams can work together toward the same objective, the goal is more likely to be achieved.
Define your sales funnel stages clearly
A company’s funnel stages must be precisely defined so that marketing and sales departments speak the same language when it comes to prospective clients.
An imbalance might result in lost opportunities, preventing businesses from converting leads to consumers. Qualified leads can fall through the cracks if a company doesn’t comprehend how leads are defined at each point of the pipeline and how the handoff procedure goes.
Create a Service-Level Agreement
In the Hubspot study, turning leads into customers is one of the top marketing goals for the next 12 months for 69% of respondents. This conversion is supported by a full service-level agreement.
SLAs may be a useful tool for establishing clear and direct communication routes between marketing and sales departments. There is less possibility for error or misinterpretation when a roadmap or blueprint is presented. SLAs frequently contain details such as the ideal customer profile, lead definitions, objectives, and how to manage and assess success.
SLAs are also an excellent tool for ensuring a smooth transition from marketing to sales. Processes are in place, for example, to calculate an expected follow-up timetable for MQLs that have been forwarded to sales.
Closed-loop reporting can also benefit from an SLA. While marketers have data on how prospects have reacted to marketing messages, such as opening an email, completing a form, or visiting the website frequently, sellers have the chance to learn even more about prospects through one-on-one discussions.
Sales can be tasked with gathering crucial campaign details and informing marketers as to what worked in terms of client acquisition through these more customized interactions or even provide little pieces of information that the marketer may be unaware of, such as a blog article being referenced in a webinar on a different webpage. This new information is valuable since it will assist marketing in fine-tuning initiatives to improve their chances of success.
From ‘competition’ to ‘collaboration’
It takes a lot of teamwork to guide a prospect through the purchase process. It would be irresponsible to argue that one department is more vital than another because they all must work together to achieve total organizational success.
For example, it is not only the responsibility of marketers to attract the desired prospects, but it is also the responsibility of sales to assist marketers in better understanding their clientele and which leads have successfully converted into clients in previous encounters.
Marketers pique clients’ attention, while sellers keep them engaged. Working together, departments do not erase the inherent disparities in their roles; rather, they create a more efficient and cohesive task force within the company.