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Marketing Follow-Through – Aligning Sales & Marketing

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Like golf, marketing follow-through is the only way to ensure that you end up where you want to.

Aligning Sales & MarketingAs companies grow, a gulf between the marketing team and the sales team often develops. Both groups understand that they are ultimately on the same team, but their view of the world is very different – watching the sky (marketing) versus watching the ground (sales). Many marketers prefer not to spend too much time on the sales side of the gulf, and so shake the trees for business opportunities, throw the opportunities over the gulf to sales, and then get back to shaking the trees.

While many companies accept this pattern as normal, the effect of throwing opportunities over the gulf and returning to work is equivalent to stopping a golf swing the instant the club hits the ball. The ball will move forward, caused by the “punch” of the club, but the distance and the direction will be very unpredictable.

For a golf ball to consistently sail cleanly through the air towards its planned target, a golfer has to continue her swing past the point of impact, until her body has turned and ends up facing the target, club over the shoulder.

The same is true of marketing. If a company only measures marketing by the number of balls that are punched out all over the course, then the motivation to complete the swing is limited and the results are, at best, sporadic. If, however, a company also measures how well the ball was hit, and where it finally landed, then marketing follow-through is not only necessary, it can help define the success of the company in ways that the sales team, too, will be able to appreciate.

So here are a few thoughts for the intrepid marketing team. You need to:

  • Measure your “marketing cost per lead”, your “marketing cost per sale”, and the “marketing-driven revenue” goal you are responsible for achieving;
  • Get sales to provide input and direction on your marketing programs before they are finalized;
  • Make sure the programs and the nuances of the programs are well-understood by sales before the programs go-to-market;
  • Improve sales follow-up by adding reasons, beyond “it’s their job”, to encourage the sales team to work on your behalf (like incentives or engaging sales contests), and;
  • Consider sending a satisfaction survey to your prospects, making sure their inquiry was well followed-up by the sales team.

Simply put, if your sales team (or channel partners) receive better quality sales leads, and if they are effectively focused and motivated to pursue those leads, your company will close more business, more consistently.

About Drew Williams

My name is Drew Williams. I’m an author and marketing entrepreneur. “A what?”, you say. I call someone who’s passionate about building businesses a marketing entrepreneur. So that’s me. Full Profile | Google+

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