Getting sales and marketing teams working together is a very old problem and one that still exists today. Why have they never got on? Why do they act like they are two rival football teams? I think this comes down to an attribution issue. Marketing generates the awareness and the knowledge, sales take over and make the sale and take all the glory. That is at least how is was for many years before the internet took over.


I have blogged before about smarketing and how it is the new way forward for sales and marketing teams to work together. The sales process is very different today and the way consumers buy is completely different. I do believe that marketing is more important than sales today but this does not mean that sales people are not needed. Sales people just need to think differently and in fact have a really good opportunity to build a personal brand that will work for them 24/7 generating leads if they take the time to understand the new ways of selling.

Working together

The best way to start is to put sales and marketing into one team and with one overall revenue goal. If they are targeted as a team and rewarded as a team they will soon start collaborating much more. Start by working backwards from the revenue goal.

  1. How many sales do we need?
  2. How many sales qualified leads do we think we need to create that many sales?
  3. How many marketing qualified leads do we need to achieve that many sales qualified leads?
  4. How much website traffic or offline appointments do we need to achieve the marketing qualified leads?
  5. How much content do we need to produce in order to generate the traffic or appointments required?

This may not suit your sales process but you get the idea. Once we have some idea of numbers we can start producing the required content. This is quite a simple example and many will get much more complex in terms of content strategy.

Sales people as the face

I could be alone in this thought but I really do believe that the sales people are ideal for content creation. Get them in front of a camera and do video blogs , periscopes and blabs and demonstrate their knowledge and skills and build an audience.  This can be coordinated with the marketing team who may understand the technology.

If the sales people can become great teachers and presenters and build a following they will find leads and sales will soon follow. This is a massive change to the traditional sales person and their role but one I believe will both suit and thrive in.

Getting sales people to produce written content like blogs may not suit all but those that want too should be encouraged and  those that don’t can use the marketing team to help them product that content for them. This is true of anyone in the company as I don’t believe there is anyone in any role who doesn’t have something of value to add to the content strategy and the buying process.

Using Social Media

Many sales people are already using social media to build their personal brand and to create leads for their roles. My main advice would be to keep your business profiles very separate from your personal profiles. I often see this mistake happen over and over where people try and mix the two and it really does not work at all.

Social media should be encouraged in all levels of the business if their is a clear strategy in place and guidelines in place that enable the brand to leverage profiles of staff on social networks but again this needs to be carefully considered and only used with those members of staff that actually want to be part of the program.

Role Reversal

Getting sales people to think and act like markers will bring these teams closer together as will getting markers to think more like sales people and with revenue goals in mind. When these teams do work closer together with common goals and successes you will see without doubt amazing results.

You will need to have the right kinds of people in place. The right bums on the right seats. Some people in both teams may not believe this will work at all and will stick to their traditional values and ways of doing things. It is down to you as the business owner or sales manager or director to understand if this is the right way to go about the best way of generating leads and sales for your business and then asking if you have the right people in place to achieve this.

One final thought: Think about how you buy anything today and think about the journey you take and the sites you visit, the videos you watch and then map out the way you sell today and the way you think your customers are trying to but today. Who is educating them on your products and services? Who is answering their questions? With as much as 70% of the buying process takes place on-line, you may want to rethink how you generate sales and leads.