Is your marketing team working closely with your sales team?
Do marketing and sales share the same challenges and values?
Are you regularly meeting, collaborating, encouraging mutual growth and shared goals?
Sales and marketing are on the same side right? Or are they...
It's time to create the Sales and Marketing Innovation Team.
By creating your Sales and Marketing Innovation Team, you can bust through the old and invent new ways to achieve sales and marketing awesomeness. Find out how to build bridges, mend relationships, bring individuals together and create a team worthy of a revolution.
Follow our Innovation Team blueprint for maximum success.
Who should be on the team?
The Marketing Manager
The head of marketing, sure. But, make sure they are into it. If it is you, then make it happen. If it's not, then take this great idea and pitch it. Get them involved. Management is key for implementation of the ideas you will generate.
Recruit the digital genius
Importantly, get the digital/social media wiz that knows more about computers than everybody else. It's likely that the digital wiz has more understanding of modern day digital marketing than any senior exec. Better still, their ideas will likely create that "wow" moment of true innovation.
Get the friendly salesperson
Get the gun salesperson? No. think again. Pick the salesperson that cares about the customers. Often successful salespeople are selfish. Often this makes them the best. But, while their selfish traits can make them successful, it can also be a negative influence on innovation. Leave them at the coal face to make sales.
Get the make-it-happen Manager
Higher management is better, but make sure they are willing. A willing management team member that wants to be there and get things done will make a difference. So seek out the agitator. The management team member that likes new frontiers and will crusade great ideas at the higher level for you.
Go pick a random
Pick a random. Grab somebody in the organisation that can give a balanced view. You will be surprised how much this helps.
Leave out the nay-sayers
Leave out the blockers. Innovation needs free flowing thought. The nay-sayers can have their committee. This team should be about inventing new methods. Discovering new lands needs your team to be brave enough to lose site of the shore. The scardey-cats don't get to play.
Let freedom reign, this is not a management meeting.
Remember this is not a management meeting, this is an innovation meeting. Let the ideas flow. It's management's job to decide what is done. Innovation needs exploration first. Best not to constrain the team in creating their sales and marketing glue.
Make a pact to give each voice an equal ranking, no matter their job title. Encourage the lower ranked staff to be bold and have the seniors chill out a bit. Let the ideas evolve.
Make your Innovation Team meeting weekly.
Get the team to meet once a week. You will quickly discover you can't get enough time. It's highly likely you will need to book in an extra hour for the first meeting as you will find how much there is to do.
The Innovation Team is like discovering treasure. Unifying sales and marketing representatives is seriously empowering. As a marketing person, you will find out coal face information from the sales team. As a salesperson, you will discover the many chores marketing performs to help you.
This will foster better relationships and allow communications to flow between the representatives.
Marketing needs salespeople to be on the same page to understand their challenges. Importantly, marketing will benefit by understanding the challenges of sales.
It is vital that management is included in this process. The challenges that marketing and sales face on a day-by-day basis are extreme. Senior management will benefit from listening at the Innovation Team meetings - there will be lots to learn.
The Internet revolution has created increased pressure.
So, if marketing understands the challenges of the salesforce, they are better able to get in touch with the questions that customers are asking.
In older times, before the Internet, it was up to sales to answer the customer questions and build trust. But this has changed. Customers are embarking on a journey of information-harvestting on the Internet, before they speak to sales.
The first part of the sales process now is owned by the team in charge of your website. This is typically a marketing chore. Marketing can only understand the questions by learning the sales teams challenges.
Make the website a focus of your Innovation Team.
Your website needs to answer your customers questions. But, how do you know the questions to answer? The source is sales. The sales team get the coal face questions on a day-by-day basis. These questions are a starting point for your website team. They provide an excellent source of customer insight.
Websites are always driven by the marketing team, but it is a sales tool. You need salespeople to make your website real. The sales people have all the knowledge needed to make the website better at helping customers.
Get your website growing and glowing from the feedback from your sales team.
So often we see fancy marketing department created websites that are untouched after the first day they were launched.
Your website needs to grow organically day-by-day as it answers more and more questions that are relevant to your customers. Make it a task for your Innovation Team to list 40 questions customers have every day from your collective team powers.
Is your website confusing your salespeople?
Your website is the tool they need to win deals. Salespeople develop their rhythm and style based on years of experience. The better the salesperson, the more refined the sales processes are. Sales people know the hot points that make customers convert. Frustration occurs for salespeople when the website does not match what they are selling. Use your Innovation Team to understand the customer hot spots and make them a feature.
Are your marketing sales materials gathering dust?
Put your sales and marketing materials on the table at your Innovation Team meeting. The reaction will surprise you. It's a fair bet that there will be a bunch of items that neither teams knew existed. Use the power of your Innovation Team talents to assess the materials from a customers point of view.
Get some action happening.
Don't let your Innovation Team just be a talk-fest. Real innovation requires action. Set to-do items and go away and innovate. Change needs change. Make it happen.
Would you like an activator?
The Kingdom provide innovative digital marketing solutions for business. We see sales and marketing unification challenges all the time. Particularly when it comes to the Internet revolution. Many businesses find it hard to come together and use the Internet marketing tools to best benefit both sales and marketing teams and the organisation as a collective.
If you would like some help on getting your Innovation Team operational, then we would be delighted to be of assistance. Furthermore, if you have created a bunch of ideas but don't know where to start to get them happening, speak to us, we can help.
Chances are, your Innovation Team will find a website that is not performing well, so why not take our High Performance Digital Marketing Assessment? It's free, and provides a great range of reports to get your Innovation Team humming.
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