What Sales & Marketing Teams Can Learn From The Air Force

Sales and marketingFor as long as businesses have been marketing and selling, the sales and marketing departments have been at odds. The struggle for power and recognition is ongoing and completely counterproductive, and sometimes an outright battle.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Ideally, marketing and sales teams would support each other’s role in making the company successful. They would share responsibilities and work together to increase traffic, generate leads, and convert sales.

Let’s imagine for a minute that the roles of these departments are like those of the Air Force and the Army.

The Air Force (marketing) is sent out to play a specific role, but they don’t win wars alone. The ground troops (sales) need to come in. The troops go into the foxhounds and get their hands dirty. They have to do hand-to-hand combat to win the war (sale).

On the other hand, the Army also needs the Air Force telling them where to go. They have people in the sky who can see the much bigger picture and can show the Army where the targets are.

Now, imagine what would happen if the Air Force and Army went to war while also fighting with each other. Or undermining what the other is doing. They wouldn’t get anywhere, and they certainly wouldn’t defeat their enemy.

What Marketing and Sales Need to Know About Each Other

One of the biggest problems with these two teams is their lack of knowledge about the other. With a better understand of what each department really does, each group would be much better off.

For example, many marketing departments are clueless about their core customer. Salespeople really know their customers because they spend face-to-face time with them. The marketing team can learn a lot from collaborating with sales to learn who’s the ideal client and the audience they should be marketing too.

The sales team isn’t off the hook, though. With more transparency the two groups can work much better together. The sales teams often keep their client lists close to their chests, limiting who can talk to them, and where and when. Their list of the top 100 potential clients would be a valuable resource for the marketing department and give them a much better idea of their target audience.

The effectiveness of the business continues to grow as the teams work together. For example, once marketing knows more about its existing customers, they can head back to the workroom and fine-tune their marketing with effective messages and online ads.

The Role of Sales and Marketing

With a better understanding of the teams within the company, marketing and sales departments can better define their own roles.

The marketing team’s jobs include:

  • Identifying new business as it enters the marketplace.
  • Feeding salespeople new client information.
  • Uncovering new lists.
  • Creating marketing collateral to support sales.
  • Defining follow up materials.
  • Drafting emails and drips to get in front of prospects.
  • Providing salespeople with intel on industry trends.

The sales team’s jobs include:

  • Using the marketing materials for follow up visits.
  • Doing cold calls.
  • Finding out who the key decision makers are in a company.
  • Being the feet on the street, talking to people and closing the sale.

Do you envision your business’ growth but wonder how to overcome tensions between departments? Help your teams define their roles and lay the groundwork for mutual respect and admiration. Show them they need each other and if they start working together they can even help drive the business’ success.