When I started this blog almost 2 years ago, one of my first posts was about why marketing and sales don’t get along. Unfortunately, since then, it’s not much better at most companies.
At the time, I talked about how the sales funnel could be used to align sales and marketing or at least get them to speak the same language. I still believe this is a key piece of it but the more I’ve explored social selling and account-based marketing, I think these approaches may hold part of the answer too.
It seems pretty clear to me that social selling should be a collaboration between sales and marketing from the start. If it’s not then I’m not sure the initiative will be effective and if it fails, it’s more likely they will become less aligned.
That’s why in my last post, I looked at how marketing can help sales with social selling. But it’s not just about marketing supporting sales in this initiative, so here are are three more ways that social selling can bring sales and marketing together.
Teach each other new skills
Marketing and sales people tend to have different backgrounds and expertise in different areas. Sales is great at 1:1 relationships and closing deals while marketing is good at building brands and awareness. So why not leverage these strengths and teach the other these skills. Marketing could teach sales about creating personal brands and using social media tools to help them listen and engage. At the same time, sales can teach marketing more about their customers and building relationships.
Create a social selling buddy system
Speaking of relationships, sales and marketing won’t become more aligned until they form a stronger bond. It’s ironic that this doesn’t happen from the outset but why not form a stronger partnership between marketing and sales by matching up people so they help each other. Depending on the size of the team, why not match each marketing person with a few sales people to really help them build their profile, deliver specific content to them and make sure they are successful.
Make it easy to implement
The best strategy or idea will never take off if it’s just too hard to execute. Since content is so key to social selling, you need to constantly provide this material in easily digestible formats that can be used immediately. The idea of building social selling campaigns “in a box” that include the right messages, strong calls to action, and compelling content in the right format for your social platforms is key. That way sales can easily deploy what marketing has spent a lot of time developing rather than have the latest eBook or blog post remain undiscovered.
The main advantage social selling has to build a stronger alignment between marketing and sales is that it gives them a much needed opportunity to work together on something specific that is measurable. I would start with a small group on some of these ideas so that you can show others it works but let’s get these two teams to become one.