We have written several blog posts that touch on the topic of communication. In fact, communication is one of our 7 NEW Rules of Employee Engagement and detailed with ideas in our 35 Ways to Influence Corporate Culture and Increase the Bottom-line. In many companies, it is the sales and marketing teams that feel the fire of discord but we know that this same issue can reside between any two departments from accounting to operations to IT.
Every industry has this same challenge. Doctors and nurses and tech staff sometimes miscommunicate. Drivers can feel frustration with operators. Warehouse workers can't always effectively communicate with plant supervisors. Each scenario applies in the reverse as well. We are human beings and sometimes we think we communicate better than we actually do.
We know communication matters but what happens when you've got two very different departments speaking two very different languages; with neither of them understanding the other's value?
Let's create a stereotypical profile of Sales and Marketing to make this point.
Sales Teams Are From Mars
You've got Janet. She is a textbook saleswoman. She leaves a business card with her tip at restaurants, and she can always find a way to turn any conversation into a pitch opportunity. Janet is a Sales Superstar! She can sell anything. She brings in million dollar accounts and when she says jump, she expects you to jump. She needs everything by yesterday and doesn't understand why you can't just copy and paste. I mean really, it only takes a few minutes to type a paragraph - why does it take hours to design a brochure?
Seriously, she does the hard work. She is the one who contacts the client and nurtures the sale. She is the one who has to do the final pitch and sign the account. Janet wants results and marketing needs to be there to support her.
She is impossible, or so says Marketing.
Marketing Teams Are From Venus
Meet Greg. He is a creative spirit. He doodles on the napkins at restaurants and then leaves his artwork with his tip. He is a magician when it comes to design and presentation. He can paint a green tree with a purple crayon. He's good, and he knows he is good. When you say jump, he wants to know how high, will a net be there to catch me, what is the purpose for the jump, will it be videoed, will the video air on television or web and is there a color he should avoid wearing when doing said jump.
When you think about it, he does all of the hard work. If it wasn't for Greg's presentations, brochures, business cards and every other custom item he has designed, the sales team wouldn't have anything to show. I mean really, all they do is talk.
He is impossible, or so says Sales.
Back to Planet Earth - Smarketing!
In reality, they are both wrong but they are both right! The two departments should never operate as us versus them. I describe it as this:
There is no one superstar. There are multiple great players on one championship team. If marketing doesn't throw the ball to sales, they can't score. For every win or loss, there's a team involved. TweetThis!
Smarketing is described as an alignment between the sales and marketing teams. A team that exercises smarketing has departmental measurable goals that are made together. These goals are evaluated monthly and their status is visible to all. Communication is frequent and direct.
Janet is a super star and her contribution is valued. Greg is a creative genius, and sales would be lost without him. They are both right, but they both need to understand each other's value. Had their managers attempted to play as a team, their frustrations and misconceptions could have been avoided.
In a Smarketing-driven team:
- Losses are discussed
- Each member's contribution is known
- Each team is accountable
- Details are not hidden
- Wins are publicly celebrated with all involved team members recognized
I think it is time that the Janets and the Gregs sit down to a cup of coffee and a doughnut and realize that divided they may fall but united - they can win them all! As for me, I'm headed over to the People Are Everything Rec Room to let the Sales Team know how much the Marketing Team appreciates them!
C.A. Short Company helps companies create engaged teams and provides opportunities to enrich the communication and recognition among their employees. We bring the game plan to your team so that you can see the winning points reflected in your bottom-line.