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Aligning Sales & Marketing

Jamie Allebach
Jamie Allebach Chief Executive & Creative Officer

Marketing vs. Sales—an age-old rivalry. “Sales are down because ‘marketing’ isn’t supporting our brand with the consumer.” “The new product launch failed because ‘sales’ didn’t do their job!”

How many times have we heard both sides of the story?

Can’t we all just get along? After all, we do have the same end-game in mind—to grow the brand!

Unfortunately, this is a very common scenario with food and beverage brands; sales and marketing, each working in their own silo.

There is a better way, but it takes work and commitment from upper management, and a “can-do” attitude from both the marketing and sales teams.

Here are some thoughts on building unity between the teams and making the process more successful for the overall brand.

Better Communication
Improving communication is always a great first step. Schedule regular meetings with marketing and sales to keep the lines of communication open, the ideas flowing, and to address challenges. Quarterly power-sessions are also great for team-building and for long and short-term planning.

Collaboration is Key
When there’s a campaign, new product launch, or any significant marketing initiative, bring the sales and marketing teams together at the same table, as early in the process as possible. Early collaboration will pay great dividends to both teams and it will incubate a higher chance for success on all levels. With this approach, everyone is vested in the process and final outcome.

Coordinating Trade Promotions with Marketing Programs
There’s nothing worse than a lack of communication when it comes to your marketing programs and when your brand is on-deal. It’s kind of like giving your product away. Every brand has a marketing calendar, and every sales team has a promotional calendar. Here’s a novel idea…why not bring them together?

There’s a lot of software options that can bring this together efficiently or simply have a master calendar.

Shared Goals
Every major marketing initiative should have shared metrics and KPIs between marketing and sales. Agree on what success looks like, long before the consumer launch, and this will not only eliminate most of the finger-pointing afterwards, but it will have common goals for each team to rally around.

Data Sharing
A huge part of success is being on the same page when it comes to reading data. Everyone in sales and marketing receives the data, but how many are sitting down, together, and coming to a clear understanding of what success looks like? What are our goals in our core market? What are the best opportunity markets for us to go after? Data is only worthwhile if it can be turned into valuable, actionable insights.

Short Recap Sizzle Video
One of the things that I’ve seen go a long way in team-building between sales and marketing is producing a short sizzle video that recaps a campaign, product launch or other marketing initiative. I’ve seen these types of videos shared, with enthusiasm, within organizations, with retail partners, board members, and other stakeholders. This is also a great communications tool to tout your success, company-wide and with business partners and stakeholders.

Too often, we quickly move on to the next thing without communicating to the team and company the outcome of the marketing program.

We’re all in this together—sales, marketing, and the overall brand team. Working together will make your brand more successful. Let’s work at aligning your marketing and sales teams.

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