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Sales and Marketing. Two words that seem to always go together. Just like peanut butter and jelly or milk and cookies. However, while we always see these two departments represented together in the same breath, there’s a dark secret that most businesses hide: the Sales and Marketing departments often butt heads.


Having a little disconnect between departments is normal in business, especially if there’s a ton of pressure to deliver. The part that becomes most frustrating for Sales and Marketing departments though, is that they are both incredibly important on their own, but can’t really function without the other one. This can cause great confusion by both busy teams, leading to friction between departments and a lack of communication obvious within year end numbers and data.


It’s important that these two departments work closely together, and treat themselves as if they are the same team while still striving for separate goals. This means that each area of the business must understand and respect each other, fully understanding how working together will lead to the greatest results.


Reading on below, I’ve listed several general tactics that will help your Sales and Marketing departments work better together. By sticking to teamwork and company goals as a whole, your dueling departments will start to stick together just like movies and popcorn, rewarding your company with the results they’ve been hoping for.


Use the same language.

If you’re going to work as a team, you have to communicate as a team. This means defining key phrases that transcend across department lines, even if one department may not be using them as often as the other.


Taking this even further, when working on qualifying leads, both teams likely have an idea of what leads work best for them, but rarely do they work together to find what lead is best for both departments. According to a recent article, only 44% of companies have truly agreed on what works as a qualified lead between departments.


Define your successes and your vocabulary at the beginning of your year and you’ll see improvements quickly!


Unite the effort in planning and in practice.

Furthering the efforts of speaking the same language and working towards common goals, you also have to have united plans and execution. It’s great to know what your goals are, but it’s important that everyone understands how those goals will be met.

Creating an organized plan on execution towards your company’s goals will take teamwork, patience, and understanding. Since you’ve taken the time to speak each other’s language, working with two departments in creating a centralized plan will be even smoother. Make sure you are assigning specific roles to specific tasks as well. All team members must be held accountable for their required actions.


Determining how to measure your results will be key as well. Even though the teams are speaking the same language and working towards common goals, you’ll likely be using separate tactics to complete these steps, so differing data is bound to occur. Establish your measurement tools early on to ensure everyone knows how to record wins and losses.


Reward your teammates when they show good sportsmanship.

Remember: even though you are separate departments that have your own goals to reach, there is only ever one ultimate goal, and that is success for your company. Your departments can no longer be considered independent from one another. They should always be interdependent.


Try introducing a coaching program where you pair a member from Sales to a member of Marketing. Every week they can discuss their progress and ask for tips on how to better reach their goals. Because teammates may not be working together every day to complete tasks, reminding everyone that they’re working for the same team in the end will serve as a way to keep all employees on the same page at each step of the process.


Has your company ever used the above tactics? Different ones? Tell me which have been most successful for you by tweeting to me @ClareleMortimer.