I couldn’t have read ‘Ending the War Between Sales and Marketing’ by Philip Katler, Neil Rackham, and Suj Krishnaswamy, at a better time. My company’s marketing department has just worked with sales to define our roles in our opportunity funnel. While it will be challenging to shift to this new arrangement, both departments now have a clear understanding of when the trade off in customer interaction will occur.
I see the best benefit to come out of this new development to be clarity. Instead of emailing back and forth to figure out what to do next, we can now work together because we know what the other side is doing and vice-versa.
I am planning to take that transparency one step further by using Microsoft Project as my task manager.
The goal here is to demonstrate complete transparency in an effort to mutual agree on priory projects with sales. While normally used a project management tool, I am listing all of my project time-frames and each individual tasks to show workload and accountability.
Historically, my company’s marketing department was primarily a support department for sales. A great deal of time and energy was spent on brochures and email campaigns, primarily in writing and design. Marketing is now tasked with leading messaging and customer experience. Our workload hasn’t changed though and we are still responsible for the traditional print and electronic communications. Now we are taking a ‘big picture’ focus in strategy. A strategic thought process doesn’t happen over night, yet when a salesperson wants something they want it as soon as humanly possible. This presents quite the challenge.
With Microsoft Project, we can break up our campaigns, our strategic plans, our content pieces task by task. With the gantt chart, I can showcase the length of time a project will take, as well as what I am working on simultaneously. For example, this coming October I will be hosting webinars. In a salespersons mind, they see it has taking up an hour of my time. However, I also have to prepare the PowerPoint deck, recruit attendees by creating email campaigns and accompanying online marketing ads. I also have to follow-up with attendees after the webinar to ensure they continue on their customer journey. The hope is that when a last-minute request comes through, sales may consider the priority of a quick discount flyer. They can also see that we are actively working on new audience segments and customer journey paths, with the hope to grow nurtured leads for the proposal stage. By demonstrating processes, I hope to be able to continue our strategic focus and build a stronger and transparent relationship with the sales department.
How are you bridging the sales and marketing divide in your workplace?