Business relationships affect work environments in a number of ways, from company culture to loyal employees to trusting customers. When discussing internal departments, sales and marketing relationships can arguably have the greatest impact on the organization’s bottom line.
Marketing and sales working together can mean the difference between having a wildly successful quarter or experiencing a record low. Even though these are business relationships, humans are still the epicenter and with that comes emotions. But what if we told you even the most emotional sales and marketing relationships can be strengthened using an unemotional tool, like analytics? It’s true!
We talked about why sales and marketing alignment is a must if you want your company to grow. In another blog, we discussed why relevant data is important to your organization. Now, we’re combining those two topics, because both are integral to a business’s success. Here’s why using something as simple as data can improve sales and marketing relationships.
Analytics provides an unemotional response
Emotions run high in workplaces. Stress is inevitable, whether it’s from strict project deadlines or quarterly quotas. Add personal lives to the mix, and tension can build quickly. Once that happens, people tend to adopt an, “every man for himself!” mentality. This is devastating when the success of an organization depends on teams working together. If sales and marketing relationships reflect that survival mentality, it can result in something drastic, like a nearly 24% decrease in close rate.
When emotions are through the roof, the best thing you can do is provide logical, unemotional reasoning— information that doesn’t involve or require human input. In other words, look at the data. Tracking projects with analytics allows you to manage and prioritize your duties.
Being able to say, “Project X is my priority, because it brings Y number of visitors to our website, which have a conversion rate of Z” provides logic to your management choices. Without that information, people could interpret your prioritization as just working on what what you feel like doing. The numbers make it rational instead of personal, and that alone can improve sales and marketing relationships.
Analytics minimizes confrontations
Most people hate confrontation, especially at work, and having tough, confrontational conversations can take a toll on relationships. But you can’t say “yes” to every request, meet your deadlines, and keep your sanity.
If your manager asks you to fill a last minute request for the sales department that will push other deadlines, having the data that supports and opposes projects is key. Approach these situations as a way to present all the information in order to establish appropriate expectations. For example, “I’d be happy to work on Project A. It will take X number of hours to complete and historically has a lower conversion rate compared to projects B and C, the completion of which will be delayed if I focus on A.”
Traditionally, managers are not “in the weeds.” Provide them with the analytics behind your reasoning so they are privy to new insights. If it changes your boss’s mind, the decision was based on facts. This omits the potential for disagreement between sales and marketing when prioritizing certain projects. What could have been perceived as a personal attack is instead only about efficiency and priorities, thanks to the data.
Analytics reduces animosity
Some organizations have sales and marketing departments that could be on primetime WWE Raw. Okay…maybe that’s a little extreme, but tensions are high and animosity is prevalent. These environments could use some analytics.
If you’re giving me this look right now, I get it. How will analytics solve THAT level of tension?! Hear me out.
Reporting dashboards of analytics offers transparency. Knowing that any person in the company can access the honest truth of every initiative in your department – how it influences other teams and the impact it has on the company as a whole – encourages trust. If every team makes their analytics accessible to show what they’re working on, why it’s a priority, and the results, there’s nothing to hide.
Eliminate the rumors, “All marketing does is post on Facebook” and, “Sales must not get anything done if they leave the office early so often”. Seeing the numbers for yourself can reduce that animosity and increase accountability.
Ultimately, having an uninterrupted, objective stream of analytical information builds trust to strengthen sales and marketing relationships. The respective teams are able to access the data on their own and get a full picture of what the other department does on a day-to-day basis. Because in this day and age, people do get work done outside of the confines of their desks. Beyond that, teams can see how the work of their counterparts affects the entire organization. And proving that in order to be successful, sales and marketing departments need to work together.
We hope your sales and marketing relationships are positive ones. If they are, you have a new, analytical strategy to continue to strengthen them. If not, incorporate analytics into the mix and see how it helps. To get some extra assistance, reach out to us. We’d be happy to hear about your organization and how we can help solve some problems.