Hi Jo,

My Sales and Marketing teams aren’t working well together. People from both teams aren’t really talking to each other or sharing information that could help them both to succeed. As a result, we work in an environment where processes are slow, communication is tense, and Marketing and Sales don’t understand one another.
How can I make my teams collaborate like partners? How can we bridge the gaps between us?

Thanks,
Out of Sync Sally.

 

Sally, it’s good that you’re asking how to fix things. When disconnect is the norm, it’s impossible for teams to work effectively together. In a past workplace, my Marketing team would publish whitepapers and run events as a separate machine from Sales; likewise, they’d turn down the majority of our leads without giving any feedback.

From a distance, you’d have no idea that we both shared the same goal: drive revenue for the business. We were completely misaligned, and worse still, Nobody felt they could speak up. That was ‘the way things were done’, with little hope for dialogue or change.

Strong purpose, shared understanding, active listening—all those things were missing. Now that I’ve moved on to manage teams, I realize just how essential these components are to bring people in the workplace together. Here are some tips to create an environment where teamwork actually makes the dream work:
– Have someone representing each team attend the other team’s meetings and presentations.
Having a representative to share feedback and updates, to show interest in helping and understanding
each other — will help both teams to work more considerately.

– Encourage transparency around data, goals, and knowledge. If Sales shares where they need help
fulfilling quotas, Marketing can help them size up the impact of campaigns. Which Marketing webinars
are valuable to particular prospects? Who can Sales pursue based on event attendance? How can Sales
and Marketing line their activities up?

– Invite teams to share their updates on a monthly basis. Common dashboards that visualize key
performance metrics, project presentations from people in various different roles—these initiatives
help everyone to demonstrate how their work connects to the bottom line.

– Consolidate your teams on one project management tool to show how each person’s activities contribute
towards a shared outcome.

– Create open channels for people to share their successes or ask for help. The mindset you want to
promote is: “how can we celebrate or solve this together?”

– Ask people what they see their purpose as, and accept honest answers. If someone doesn’t know their
purpose in the company, encourage them to think about the bigger picture and show them the true
impact of their contribution. Whether it’s press coverage from Marcomms or products from
Merchandising, quality work in every role plays a part in the company’s growth.

– Get people moving around and talking to each other. Hotdesking, catch-up calls, open invites to
knowledge-sharing and brainstorming sessions; all of these help sociability and belonging as a team.
Ultimately, people want colleagues and leaders they can trust. Make clear that Marketing and Sales
are on the same side, and that you’re here to help and encourage them to perform at their best.

You’ve got this,
Jo Pulse.

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