Dangerous Waters: When Sales and Marketing Diverge

by Debra Andrews | May 18, 2022

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been in a room where the sales team is referred to as the “revenue generating team” and the marketing team is referred to as “an expense.” Chances are high you’re currently raising a hand.  

But it’s imperative for companies to view both—sales and marketing—as your revenue team.  

When it comes to driving new business, the sales team is often thought of as the most important. And while they are certainly a critical part of the equation, what’s happening below the waterline is equally as important.  

RELATED: Who should drive your revenue team? A fractional CGO!

In this blog post, we’ll explore the concept of the revenue iceberg and discuss how united revenue departments can drive business growth.  

The Revenue Iceberg 

Did you know that, for the most part, a buyer is 80% of the way through their customer journey by the time they contact you? 

Picture your revenue team as an iceberg. Well-over 80% of an iceberg is actually formed below water. But the 10 – 20% above water is the part you actually see (the part that gets all the recognition). In this example, the marketing team is generating leads behind the scenes (or under the water), while your sales team is far more visibly converting leads into new customers. 

Your sales team deserves plenty of credit for the work they do. But if your marketing team is guided by a strategic marketing plan, they’re working just as tirelessly to ensure your high-growth company is achieving the aggressive goals you’ve set. Your sales team—the 20% above the water—is responsible for growing the relationship marketing has cultivated at the final tip of the iceberg.  

Align your Marketing and Sales Teams 

Everything below the water is driving your business to the sale above the water. Therefore, sales must become involved in the marketing side of the business, that 80%, and marketing must become accountable for revenue, that 20%. Sales and marketing are the whole iceberg: your revenue team.   

So how can you ensure your high-growth company is achieving the aggressive goals you’ve set?  

#1: One person from marketing should attend a weekly sales meeting. 

When both marketing and sales have a seat at the table they can align on a more refined and tailored strategy to address the customer’s greatest need. It’s the job of marketing to warm up leads for the sales team so the sales team has an easier time converting those warm leads into customers. 

#2: Sales turns to marketing as the subject matter experts for all content production. 

Whether the content is audio, video, or text, the sales team should turn to marketing as the expert in each area, because marketing is the expert in content production. Marketing has performed a serious due diligence process regarding your customer base, and it’s their job to tailor content that addresses a key need. Answering prospects’ questions before they have them helps build trust with your potential leads.   

#3: Sales continues to tell marketing the stories they hear from prospects.  

The sales team has firsthand knowledge of what concerns, fears, questions, and issues prospects are sharing with them. Sales should share the prospects’ stories with marketing often, to help determine key topics and trends that prospects are discussing. This will help with overall revenue team strategy.  

#4: Sales is highly aware of everything the marketing department is creating.  

This step is crucial, the sales team should be using the content marketing creates in every step of the funnel. This will help prospects become more informed and move through the revenue funnel more quickly and effectively. The sales team should know exactly why a particular asset was produced and what problem it solves for a prospect.  

#5: Marketing and sales see one another as being on the same team with zero “us versus them” mindset.  

Marketing and sales are both a part of the revenue team and should be well aware of one another’s wins. Both are equally invested in helping each other reach their goals because a win for one is a win for the other.  

Smooth Sailing from Here 

Now that we’ve looked at some of the ways in which marketing and sales can be aligned with each other, let’s explore how this alignment can help drive business results. When the revenue team work together harmoniously, it can have a major impact on your business.  

You should see clear results with higher MQLs converting into more SQLs, leading prospects to convert to customers. That is the ultimate goal of the revenue team, to move quickly and efficiently through the buying journey with the help and support of sales and marketing: your revenue team.  

If you’re not already seeing these results, don’t fret. It takes time to build trust and communication between sales and marketing. However, once you do start seeing results, it’ll be clear that working together was the right decision all along. Now go out there and start revenue-ing! 

Get sales and marketing on the same side with Marketri’s Chief Growth Officers overseeing your revenue team. Schedule a free consultation with CGO Deb Andrews today.