Sales and marketing are to a business as oxygen and water are to any living being. Both components are important to a business for survival, and are also necessary for success. Essentially, they’re the lifeblood of the entire operation.
This means that if either sales or marketing fails in a business, the overall performance and efficiency of the entire system is affected.
Things like management information systems are, of course, put in place to prevent as many errors as possible. Even with the help of cross-departmental trainings and artificial intelligence-heavy software, though, there is no way accurately to predict business problems.
However, if you could avoid some major mistakes from happening altogether, why wouldn’t you?
We don’t have a fix-all solution but we think we can, at the very least, prevent a few hindrances from happening. Here’s a list of three common mistakes your business should avoid in sales and marketing.
Marketing Mistake #1: Misaligning Activities
Your teams have goals to reach. Whether it’s to sell 10,000 units by the end of the month, or pump out 100 pieces of content within the same time frame, there’s always something on the horizon.
The point being, both teams have different approaches for reaching the same goal, so it is important to have their activities reflect this. However, when goals fail to align, a lot of money can be lost.
In fact, a recent study ran by Marketo shows that this type of misalignment can cost a company an estimated 10% of annual revenue.
So what can we do?
For starters, communicate.
Communication between departments should be a top priority so everyone can figure out and prioritize which goals are necessary for success and how they can be implemented.
Make sure you or a trustworthy medium is around to facilitate talks, though. Here are a few ways to improve departmental communication.
Speaking with team members lays the solid foundation necessary for fixing alignment activities and so does technology.
Sales enablement tools can benefit your company’s alignment process by allowing your whole company to collaborate together and update the structure of your selling process. They also provide valuable resources helpful for strategic marketing activities.
Marketing Mistake #2: Faulty Decision Making
According to an article published by Seapointe Center, there are 4 different types of decisions, and it’s important to know which steps to take for each of them.
A low risk decision can be made by one person while a riskier decision may require group input or has to be made as a team.
Examples of these types of decisions could be something as simple as deciding which brand of pen to order for the office, or something more complex like hiring a new employee.
It’s sometimes forgotten that different processes are required for different decisions — and unfortunately, that increases the margin of error to a dangerously high level. One bad executive decision can cripple more than just a company.
Both market and non-market stakeholders are directly affected by decisions made by businesses every day, so it is imperative to not only know how to avoid bad decisions but to also make good ones.
In short, being aware of decision making processes is not enough. Situations should be assessed accordingly and proper action is needed in order to come to a sound consensus. The best decisions are the ones that benefit all parties involved.
Marketing Mistake #3: Blanket Selling
The sales process is the most intricate dance a business can possibly do. It requires persistence, persuasion, and timing to close a deal.
The worst mistake any sales or marketing team can make is to blanket the sales process. That means treating every customer or prospect exactly same.
Everyone is different. They have different tastes, different values, and different needs, so no two should be approached the same way.
Sure, there are similarities between people. You might even construct different approaches to handle situations centered around generalities, but never try to create a one-size-fits-all approach.
Only 27% of leads generated by marketing are ready to buy. And yet, sales teams are taught to push each prospect into buying, rather than nurture the appropriate ones until the time is right.
To avoid blanketing your sales process, train your sales reps to divide prospects by rank. Some prospects may be a conversation away from buying your product, while others may have just come to the realization that they need your product.
Having them categorized accordingly is easier for anyone on the sales team to point out which prospects can be closed on, and which ones are need to be cradled a bit longer. With proper training, your sales reps can combat anything.
Pulling it together
A problem-free environment only exists in a fairy tale world, which means your business must keep an eye out for common mistakes in order to keep yourself ahead of your competitors.
Make sure that you and your team keep track of the types of decisions that are being made and note how they impact marketing and sales operations. As mentioned earlier, issues stemming from faulty business decisions can impact more than just the organization.
With non-market stakeholders in the mix, organizational decisions, sales and marketing alignment, and selling processes need to be ironclad.
About the Author
Kyle Crier is a Marketing Specialist at Badger Maps. Badger Maps is a route planner that automates territory management for outside salespeople. Badger visualizes sales data, optimizes daily routes, and generates meeting reports — helping users drive 20% less and sell 25% more on average. You can follow Kyle and his team on Facebook or Twitter.