Coming Together

I’ve been talking about some of the issues that are created within organizations when Sales and Marketing teams get separated in their missions. It’s important to meet at the planning process, so both groups are headed in the same direction with a shared vision. But there’s more detail work that goes into the process.

Coming-TogetherIf the two groups can come together at the customer intersection, this works best. The customer, after all, is their common concern. Once we know how things went for the customer, we can create a better path to turn prospects into customers as well.






Customer Experience

What was the customer experience with your organization? This is information that should be gathered in a standard way and shared regularly with both Sales and Marketing. A formal system of metrics can drive customer experience as a shared goal.

I talked about a method of surveying customers a while back.

The Net Promoter Score – and the system around it – is one very good way to bring the two groups together with a purpose. It’s a system that seems easy on the front end, but takes a lot of work to fit to your organization. So approach it with a plan. But this is an excellent way to build the discipline of continually understanding the customer experience with your company.

Transparency between Silos

Within this process you should have a regular way of sharing these results with both teams. As you review data from whatever customer survey system you decide to use, this creates transparency between the Sales and Marketing silos. You begin to see your organization from the customer perspective. You can find the vulnerable spots where customers might be tempted to break up with you.

Joint Planning

Once everyone has an accurate picture of what it’s like to be your customer, more effective planning begins. This planning should include the field team. It’s best that they have a vested role in the planning, since they are often the first point of customer contact. You need them to be strong supporters of this plan. This group typically has a firm understanding of how the customer will receive the message or promotion.


A key piece of the plan has to do with the timing of each event. Think about this like you would any relationship. If a friend received a barrage of attention from you all at once, and then didn’t hear from you for months, they might wonder what was going on. Consider the customer touches you make.

  • Field rep visits
  • Phone calls
  • Direct mail pieces
  • E-mails
  • Field events

It takes coordination to keep these evenly spaced and driving together toward a goal. Set up a shared timeline with each touch documented. Most importantly, be responsive when the customer reaches out to you, whether it’s a call or text to a field rep or an e-mail to customer service. This information also needs to be shared between the teams in a customer-by-customer record.

There are all kinds of CRM systems that track this sort of thing. Even with the systems, however, it’s important to keep talking among your teams – and when you learn something new about a relationship, think about WHO needs to know. I promise, that kind of information is in the customer’s best interest, and before long it could have your Sales and Marketing teams coming together.


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