The river between sales and marketing runs cold and deep. We can see each other’s camp on the opposite bank, just out of range. That we all work for the same corporation is often the irritant, yet I have seen how much success is generated when there is cooperation. Let me tell you how.
“Good fences make good neighbors,” Robert Frost concedes in his poem Mending Wall. He’s not entirely happy with the concept, but the sucker works, and it will work here. Building a strong fence will define the playing field (formerly, battlefield).
I like good fences because they have to be built, and both sides must participate for it to be strong. I encourage you to build a fence that is well-planned and of the best materials. We’ve got to engage with sales and set the rules – the milestones, roles and responsibilities – that will govern our prospecting. If both sales and marketing participate, it will have integrity.
Each side understands “what’s in it for me” and agrees to their contribution. There must be provisions and a forum for continuous improvement.
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.*
Tracy Staniland. Vice President of Corporate Marketing for Asigra, a backup and recovery software company, has established a productive, mutually-supportive relationship with the sales team:
“We start with a Service Level Agreement. Sales stipulates the lead score criteria for when leads are sales-ready. Leads that need to be recycled are pushed to marketing in a timely manner. We regularly engage to review the challenges in the marketplace, and whether the lead criteria needs to be adjusted.”
The fence defines the turf that we will work together. It’s where we will build our prospecting marketing plan, messaging, and communications with the goal of inviting our prospects in.
The foundation of success here is trust that we all share the same clear