It’s finally baseball season, so pardon my metaphor — but sales and marketing are a lot like America’s greatest pastime.
How so? Let’s break it down to the game’s smallest unit and driving engine — the interaction between the pitcher and catcher.
First, they have to both agree to a pitch based on what they know about the batter. Next, the pitcher has to deliver the ball to the catcher and hit the agreed-upon target. And finally, the catcher has to know what to do with the ball next.
Now let’s say marketing is the pitcher and sales is the catcher. Take a look at how the process works below, and see how it can help strengthen your business.
Picking a Marketing Pitch
Pitching isn’t just guesswork; the pitcher has to know a little about the batter first. Is he a known slugger? Has he struck out at every at-bat in the last five games? Will he chase a ball that’s down and away?
Furthermore, he can’t just decide on his own — he needs to work with the catcher and deliver a pitch that works for both of them.
In the business world, it works the same way between sales and marketing. You need to understand your target market — and ideally, your company’s persona.
A persona is a representation of your most likely customer. It’s built on real data and insights from your current customers, people who considered you and those who chose another company. And it should be the foundation for all your inbound marketing efforts, because it ensures you aren’t guessing about what content will resonate most.
On the other hand, sales needs to be informed of what’s going on and what efforts marketing is making. That way, they’ll be prepared to see customers coming in from a new channel or tactic, and they’ll understand the exact types of customers marketing is targeting.
Delivering on Your Marketing Promise
There’s the windup, and the pitch. Did he hit his target, or will they need to make a call to the bullpen? And was the catcher prepared for what happened?
When sales and marketing are aligned, they can work in tandem to attract leads and follow up on them quickly. For example, if you’re planning a marketing campaign involving an advertisement on a local news website, you’d want to let sales know — and possibly make appropriate changes in your CRM system — so they’re prepared for these leads to come in.
It works the other way, too. The sales team isn’t just an order-taker from marketing; the marketing team should be checking in with sales to see what they need, if the marketing materials are helpful and if leads have mentioned any feedback.
Moving Forward From Sales
Once the catcher has the ball in hand, it’s up to him to make the next play, whether that’s throwing the runner out or just passing it back to the pitcher. Either way, something has to be done to keep the game going.
Once a lead has been delivered to sales, it’s now their turn to do something with it — follow up soon after, answer any questions, provide more resources, etc.
And at this point, marketing’s job isn’t done either. How did the marketing campaign perform? Did it deliver the leads sales needed and attract the right kind of lead? These questions — and others — need to be answered to help you make improvements for next time.
The Bottom Line: Sales and Marketing Alignment Matters
If you want a winning season, you need strong collaboration among your players. Although sales and marketing can seem like two very different departments, the reality is they’re tightly linked — and they’re both on the same team.
Need help with getting these two departments on the same page? Get our ultimate guide to sales and marketing alignment and start seeing better results for your business today.