Are Sales & Marketing Working Towards Common Goals?

Growing a business presents challenges and many owners struggle to identify effective strategies and solutions. One roadblock business owners face is the inability to create unity among departments.

 For example, the marketing department and the sales department should be collaborating and maximizing the use of assets. When they work towards common goals and integrate their strategies, that’s when a company can experience exponential growth. However, many companies fail to take a holistic approach, and instead, the departments are siloed and both tangible and intangible assets get wasted. This decreases the ROI for marketing dollars spent and keeps sales from reaching their full potential.

Reach for Common Goals

In the case of Marketing and Sales, the first step is to establish goals and then define the roles of each department in meeting them. These goals should be specific and measurable. The ideal is to set long-term goals first and then break them down into smaller, more specific goals.

  • An overall increase in sales during Q4 from Q3 of 15% with 11% coming from online marketing efforts and 4% from outside sales.
  • 100 new leads from direct mail efforts driving traffic to a landing page on the website, where the goal is a 25% conversion rate and a 45% micro-conversion rate.
  • Increased engagement at the top of the funnel (TOFU), measured by an increase in blog traffic of 18% and 50 new signups for blog updates.
  • Increased TOFU engagement of another 5% with direct mail informational campaigns.
  • Google Ad targeting at the middle and bottom of the funnel, with a 10% conversion rate, followed by a 3% close-rate after one-on-one engagement from Sales.

When a company outsources its digital marketing efforts, then it becomes crucial that both parties (marketing and sales) clearly define the overarching goals and the company’s direction. Otherwise, at a minimum, you won’t receive a maximum return on your investments, and worst-case scenario, the two groups may end up working against one another. Designate a liaison from your sales department to work with the digital agency and add oversight of both departments as needed.

Develop a Strategy

Once both teams have a common goal, then it’s time to utilize the strengths of both to build a strategy for growth. Marketing usually has access to data banks, profiles, and case studies, but Sales has the benefit of real-world engagement. Without collaboration, the risk is that by focusing on “past data” marketing won’t be able to react quickly to changing needs, and sales, with a one-on-one approach, may not be able to see the broader application. 

If we look at two of the goals examples from above, we can further break down the “what” into the “how.”

An overall increase in sales during Q4 from Q3 of 15% with 11% coming from online marketing efforts and 4% from outside sales.

  • To increase sales by 11% through online marketing, Marketing will implement a Google retargeting campaign for those who view at least two product pages and an email campaign offering a discount for those who have abandoned carts. 
  • To increase sales by 4% through outside sales, the Sales team will identify new wholesale prospects and contact them via phone, direct mail, and phone follow-up with the smaller goal of shipping a catalog or setting an appointment with a decision-maker. 

100 new leads from direct mail efforts driving traffic to a landing page on the website, where the goal is a 25% conversion rate and a 45% micro-conversion rate.

  • Marketing will create a landing page focused on a single product or service, with a call to action to sign up for a Free Evaluation. For those not yet ready to commit, a secondary CTA will be for them to request more information. The landing page will be reworked after A/B testing to maximize conversions.
  • Sales will work with Marketing to create a direct mail campaign based on a purchased mailing list and existing company sales lists. This campaign will target niche audiences based on real-world surveys of client needs and expectations. This survey will be conducted in the field, by Sales personnel. 

As you can see, both of these goals and the defined strategies are short-term. They are very specific and success or failure can be measured easily. An often overlooked benefit of short-term goals is that they give you the freedom to “try” new ideas to see if you want to incorporate them into your long-term plan.

Increased engagement at the top of the funnel (TOFU), measured by an increase in blog traffic of 18% and 50 new signups for blog updates.

  • Hire four copywriters to publish TOFU articles 3x a week. Marketing will research popular queries using “People Also Ask” on Google and Sales will provide “expert” quotes for each piece. An SEO professional will optimize the articles for maximum visibility in the SERP and link them to the appropriate landing pages.

Of course, the next step after implementing your strategy is measuring the successes, failures, and opportunities of your campaigns.

Identify Opportunities

Like your goals, measurements for success should be very specific. Let’s look at just some of the metrics that could give you insights for the future.

Goal: An overall increase in sales during Q4 from Q3 of 15% with 11% coming from online marketing efforts and 4% from outside sales.

To increase sales by 11% through online marketing, Marketing will implement a Google retargeting campaign for those who view at least two product pages and an email campaign offering a discount for those who have abandoned carts.

  • What was the ROI for retargeting dollars spent, measured by sales dollars of those retargeted? Cost per customer? Cost when you consider customer lifetime value (based on the sales conducted by return clients)?
  • What was the ROI of the retargeting campaign vs the email campaign?
  • Did the increase in traffic from retargeting and email correlate to improved rankings for those specific landing pages (soft SEO)?

To increase sales by 4% through outside sales, the Sales team will identify new wholesale prospects and contact them via phone, direct mail, and phone follow-up with the smaller goal of shipping a catalog or setting an appointment with a decision-maker.

  • What was the average number of minutes spent on the phone per prospect? How many were reached after one call? two? three? 
  • What percentage of the “prospects” were the decision-makers at the company?
  • What was the ROI for direct mail followup? Costs of printing and mailing? How many prospects acknowledged getting the materials during a follow-up phone call?
  • What was the close rate for the campaign? First engagement close rate? second? third?

Campaigns don’t really “fail.” Even those that don’t meet the goals that were set for success, deliver information that can be utilized in future marketing and sales strategies. Likewise, successes may not actually be “successes.” You may find that you didn’t set the goals high enough and even more might have been achieved with additional strategies.

Regardless, the whole idea of “it takes a village” applies to business and in this scenario to the Sales and Marketing departments specifically. To maximize overall business growth, the two departments cannot be siloed, any more than you can silo engineering and sales or production and marketing. All departments must work together, utilizing their unique assets and skills for more innovative and productive strategies.

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