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Sales Operations and Marketing Must Work Together

You’ll often hear about the classic “Sales and Marketing Divide”. There is actually a lot more nuance to that problem than meets the eye. After all, neither team is a monolith. They’re made up of different units with many different concentrations.

One of those units within sales that is a favorite of mine is sales operations. Sales operations help sales teams to operate more effectively. Sales operations professionals also run initiatives and automations that increase efficiency in the organization.

As a result, they understand better than almost any team the inner workings of the sales process. And they know how to improve performance in the funnel better than just about anyone because they measure and track sales data as part of their mandate.

Sales Operations and Marketing are Allies

That makes them an exceptional ally for modern marketers. Marketing teams are increasingly focused on using data to understand how to drive top of funnel performance. And using that data to increase the performance of generated leads in the bottom of the funnel (i.e. marketers want to drive sales, not just leads).

So, how can sales operations and marketing work well together to help drive the shared goal of increasing revenue?

Your prospects follow a ‘journey’ to go from initial awareness to becoming a customer and beyond. We as an industry have divided that journey into two segments – the early step of marketing and the later step of sales. But do prospects really care about how you divide your go-to-market? No. They just want to make smart decisions that drive business value for their organizations.

So, sales operations and marketing must take a holistic approach to the journey. That is, looking at how prospects engage with different messages and value props throughout the journey. By taking a complete perspective on their needs, instead of slicing it into silos, you can get a more complete picture of the needs of your prospects.

This kind of holistic approach to funnel data has a lot of interesting benefits:

  • It lets sales people prioritize prospects that have engaged heavily in the top of the funnel.
  • It gives marketing intelligence about which content to develop, and messaging to emphasize in their marketing plans. Marketers can develop content that addresses the pains that sales ops identifies in the data
  • It helps sales operations collect data that affects the top of the funnel. If marketing could design a campaign to target your top competitors, you’d want them focused on the competitors that affect sales. If sales operations can collect the right data, then marketing can focus better.
  • Sales operations data is also critical for helping marketing to calculate ROI. It’s not enough for marketing to know how many leads they’ve generated. What matters most is how much revenue they’re driving. Sales operations can play a key role in matching marketing’s actions with closed won deals. In fact, we’re pretty proud of the role we play there too.

Do your sales operations and marketing teams have a good relationship? What do you see as key to a productive relationship or other benefits of it?