In the battle for success, two opposing forces will both claim that they are in the right. For example, one country will start a war for a reason that they believe to be justified but the country being attacked will believe that they have every right to defend themselves. This is the state of the current relationship between sales and marketing. Neither has the monopoly, neither is in the right and yet neither is in the wrong either
The reason for this is that their identities are confused. They are confused because clear job roles have not been defined and in order to be identified, you need a definition, right? Moreover, the two departments do not seem to be recognising themselves as parts of the same company. Rather, they see themselves as competitors.
For the most part, the tension is derived from the fact that marketers will readily provide sales teams with a long list of unqualified leads, expecting them to sell effectively off the back of it. This is unrealistic. As a result, sales reps question the validity of the information given to them by the marketing department and do not even attempt to follow-up on the leads. Additionally, in cases where leads are successful, marketers do not get any credit for them.
Consequently, specific job roles need to be outlined by management.
Prevention, Not a Cure
Gaps are filled, solutions are found and questions are answered in all corners of society: Businesses are born by identifying a gap in the market, PhD students base their theses on previously unexplored research and journalists make pains to investigate a potential front-page finding. In the majority of cases, this all takes time and research.
The process of generating leads should not be any different. Marketers need to provide sales teams with more information and sales teams need to use several approaches when following-up. Both of their efforts then need to be audited as constructive feedback is invaluable.
Moreover, there is a conflict of interest because the two teams are working towards different goals. One department may be rewarded for one thing and the other department may be rewarded for reaching an entirely different target. Consequently, employees are going to work in a way that naturally benefits them instead of seeing the greater good, so to speak.
More than a Phone Call
In a world where we are bombarded with a number of media on a daily basis, it is nonsensical for a sales team to use a single form. Whilst telephone calls can produce effective sales, the negative connotations attached to sales calls mean that it is unlikely they will be listened to.
In addition to this, many companies are now taking a cost-per-lead (CPL) approach to marketing, which is an expensive approach, meaning that many companies are placing themselves in a position where they have to outsource certain areas of work.
The problem here is twofold; outsourcing work to other countries may lead to a communication failure and companies are not choosing to outsource in order to gain results but to cut initial budget.
Of course, all of this results in a reduction in the standard of service produced. It is a fact that people are now so habituated to low-quality leads that they simply expect that to be the case from the outset and generally ignore them.
Coming full circle then… if people are expecting poor quality then they will use the variety of media accessible to them at the touch of a button in order to search for a better service.