Sales and marketing go hand in hand. Marketing is where sales begin, and sales are where marketing bears fruit. Despite being independent of each other and sharing the same objective of selling a product, sales and marketing teams don’t always see eye-to-eye.
There can be times when the sales and marketing teams are completely out of sync. A marketing team running a promotional discount campaign before the product has hit the shelves, or the sales team never reports their data to the marketing team. Things like these can have a massive impact on how an organization functions.
Since sales are the ultimate goal for any organization, it is essential to ensure that your sales and marketing team work together, and change management can be an important tool to ensure that they do.
Where does the concept of change management come in?
Change management means making changes in an orderly and controlled way. In the business context, it refers to changes within an organization (as opposed to changes in technology or processes). In his book “Managing Change,” author Richard Beckhard defines it as “the process, tools, and techniques used to manage the people’s side of change.” Beckhard has also highlighted three key components of change management:
- Ending, starting, or continuing something: This refers to the decision to stop doing something, start doing something new, or continue with what you’re already doing.
- Doing something differently: This refers to the actual change – how it will be implemented, who will be affected by it, and so on.
- Making it happen: This is the part where you implement your plan and make the change happen.
Why is change management important?
Change is inevitable, especially in businesses. To survive and thrive in today’s ever-changing business landscape, organizations need to adapt quickly to changes in their environment. That’s where change management comes in. Change management helps organizations deal with the people side of change, i.e., how employees react to and cope with change. It also helps organizations ensure that changes are implemented smoothly and successfully.
There are many different change management models, but one of the most popular ones is Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model. John Kotter introduced this model in his 1995 book “Leading Change.” The eight steps are:
- Establish a sense of urgency
- Create a guiding coalition
- Develop a vision and strategy
- Communicate the change vision
- Empower employees to act
- Generate short-term wins
- Consolidate gains and produce more change
- Institutionalize new approaches
However, not all these steps are essential to align sales and marketing models in an organization.
In reference to Kotler’s philosophy, certain techniques have helped organizations strike a balance between sales and marketing teams. It all begins with:
- Communicating visions
A shared vision is necessary for sales and marketing teams to work together. The vision should be communicated by leaders of both teams to their respective team members. It should be something that both teams can buy into and work towards.
- Setting goals
Once the vision is set, it’s time to set some goals. Sales and marketing teams must sit together and agree on what they want to achieve. This could be anything from increasing brand awareness to boosting sales figures. Whatever the goal, both teams must be on the same page.
- Creating cohorts with a mixture of sales and marketing teams
One way to ensure that both teams work together is to create cohorts with a mix of sales and marketing team members. This way, they can get to know each other better and understand their roles and responsibilities.
- Identifying KPIs to measure the effectiveness of implemented plans
It’s important to measure the effectiveness of any plans that are put in place to align sales and marketing teams. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) can be used to track progress and identify areas where improvements need to be made.
- Regular check-ins
Regular check-ins are essential to ensure that both teams are on track. These check-ins can be weekly or monthly, depending on what works best for the organization. During these sessions, team members from both sides can share their progress, challenges, and successes.
- Sharing success stories
One way to keep both teams motivated is to share success stories. This could be anything from a successful marketing campaign that generated a lot of leads to a sales team closing a big deal. Celebrating successes is a great way to keep everyone engaged and motivated.
Aligning sales and marketing teams can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. When implementing any techniques to align these teams, it should not be thought of as training but rather a regular workplace occurrence. This is because teams are always changing, and as the business grows, these changes will only increase. What’s important is that both teams can work together towards a common goal. With the right strategy in place, anything is possible.