Everyone knows that marketing and sales alignment is important.  The big question is how to actually do this.  There is naturally some tension between these two departments.  Marketing feels that sales doesn’t effectively use marketing materials and leads, and sales feels like marketing doesn’t provide effective materials and leads.  But remember this first and foremost – the goals of both departments are the same.  To drive revenue for the company.

Here are a few simple ways that you can work on getting a little closer to your friends in sales:

  • Attend their meetings – listen to the issues they are talking about and the challenges they face every day.
  • Go on a few sales calls with them.  Get out into the field and hear first-hand what your targets are saying.
  • Invite a salesperson to have lunch with you.  Get to know them on a more personal level to develop a sense of trust.  They will be more likely to give you honest feedback this way to improve your work.
  • Send regular marketing updates to the sales team – keep them informed.
  • Invite a salesperson to your next marketing brainstorming session to get feedback on your ideas.
  • Send them a draft of your next campaign before you finalize it to get some feedback.
  • Develop a joint service level agreement (SLA) around leads.  That way you can be clear around what you will deliver, what sales will deliver, and avoid some of the tension.

Just keep in mind that marketing and sales can’t exist without each other.  It’s kind of like growing up with a sibling – you don’t have any choice but to live together, so you might as well make the best of it.