The 3 Problems With Your Marketing To Sales Process And How To Solve Them
One of the most neglected needs inside an organization is having a clearly defined and documented marketing to sales process.
From, “This is how we’ve always done it here” to, “That would never work for our organization.” Getting your teams to embrace and follow a formalized process is often a very challenging and problematic endeavor.
But not taking the time to invest in an established and documented process could be holding you back from growing your business and finding success.
In this article, we are going to answer the following questions:
- Why is it important to formalize your sales and marketing process?
- How do you get teams to buy into the process?
- And how can you benefit from a fully integrated marketing to sales process?
The goal of this article is to help you identify these challenges in your business, solve the associated problems and help your marketing and sales teams operate efficiently.
CHALLENGE #1: Your People Aren’t On Board With Your Process
One of the biggest reasons why teams do not adhere to a process is because they feel like they’re being told what to do. Nobody likes mandated behavior, especially when they keep getting asked to implement ill-conceived ideas.
If you continually take a top-down approach and have a “high-touch” process built around micromanagement, your people will get frustrated and you will drive out top talent.
Most high-touch systems and processes are built around accountability and tracking. Which most experienced and self-driven employees see as busy work. Filling out forms, documenting basic job-related tasks only create distraction and teams will reject tired and outdated processes that don’t serve their needs.
SOLUTION: Take A Bottom Up Approach
Instead of standing over someone’s shoulder and dictating the desired action, build teams into your process by giving them a voice and a say in how they do their jobs.
Asking employees what they need and giving them the opportunity to discover solutions to problems on their own, builds a team that is confident, can think for themselves and will always do what’s best for the business.
Not all problems will present the same and having teams that can think on their feet and create nuanced responses to issues will keep things moving and keep employees satisfied in their roles.
CHALLENGE #2: Your People Are Confused About Their Role In The Process
When roles within a process are not clearly defined, it sows fear and doubt. Employees act in a way that’s expected, instead of doing what’s needed for the business. It also encourages teams to wing it instead of sticking to what their defined role is within the process.
Another mistake is using buzzwords and acronyms to replace the common words used to describe what needs to be done. Acronyms are often used to mask boring aspects of a process to make them sound better or more interesting. However, it creates another layer of complexity and confusion about what is expected.
Assigning numbers to employees based on tasks steers teams towards reaching a numeric goal instead driving an actual business result. More often than not, goals and numbers are inflated and lofty. Not only out of reach, but also encourage repetitive and empty behaviors that satisfy a tracking tool instead of your bottom-line.
SOLUTION: Clearly Define Your Process
The best way to define your process is to document it on paper. Create a visual map of what the process looks like and everyone’s role in the process. Separate out each step of the process so that it’s clear what happens at each point in the overall process and who is responsible for that specific task.
Use clear and plain language when defining each part of the process and have each step fit that team members job description. Referring to employees as ninjas or assassins is stupid and using an acronym is confusing. Whether someone is tasked with Nurturing a lead, Profiling it or Closing it, make it clear who does what and why.
Instead of focusing on numbers to drive results, focus on skills and development. Invest in the training and education needed to get your process to run effectively and efficiently. Conduct an initial training session on the process and create subsequent development initiatives in the months ahead. Reinforce the process and everyone’s role to make sure it is understood across the organization.
CHALLENGE #3: You’re Running Different Processes For Marketing And Sales
Running separate processes for marketing and sales creates systematic failures within your organization. It bogs teams down and slows performance. It can create in-fighting and confusion around who owns what part of the process and who is responsible for a specific result.
When marketing is separated from sales, each area focuses on their individual operating system and not the overall strategy of acquiring customers. Teams get siloed and become focused on specific tactics without having a clear sense of how that action impacts their marketing or sales counterparts.
Because teams get organized around tactics, there is no desire to become a product or market leader and less focus around the true value you can offer customers or how that can separate you from competition.
SOLUTION: Integrate Marketing With Sales
When you think about your process as an end-to-end system supporting the two main revenue drivers inside your organization, it changes how you approach marketing and selling products or services.
Not only are you creating simplicity and efficiency inside the organization, but your ability to scale becomes easier. Leading to quicker turns and greater profitability.
Teams are more engaged and buy-in to the process. They gain more satisfaction from their work because they know and understand their role, but also because they see the results.
To get your sales and marketing teams operating effectively and efficiently, take a bottom-up approach when developing your process, clearly document each employee’s role within it and think about it as a single end-to-end process.
Your goal is to get everyone operating, communicating and solving problems the same way. And to do that you need everyone heading in the same direction.
The results from your work will create simplicity and efficiency as well as allow you to scale new initiatives that drive new growth inside your organization.
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