How to Cross Train Your Marketing and Sales Teams Today

If you’ve never cross-trained your sales and marketing teams, this is a great place to start.

Cross-trained employees who have a working knowledge of different roles and responsibilities are more in sync and tend to reach goals faster. This method is especially important for sales and marketing, which are notoriously tough to align.

Sales teams ignore as much as 80% of marketing leads, according to recent research. When they do reach out to individuals, half of the time spent prospecting is unproductive. This all adds up to a lot of wasted time, energy and money.

When sales and marketing work together, companies become 67% better at closing deals.

If you’re ready to get your marketers and salespeople more in sync, these cross training tips will help you get started today.

1. Collaborate on the definition of “quality”

Too often, marketing tools are set to treat every person who lands on your site and fills out a form the same way. All submissions are sent to sales—whether a conversion’s coming from someone who’s ready to buy or simply looking for a job.

When your sales and marketing teams work together to determine which factors separate warm from cold leads, it’s much easier to end the cycle of distracting alerts and unproductive prospecting.

Your sales team can shed light on which titles, departments and responsibilities the strongest leads have in common. Likewise, marketing can show sales how cold leads that are being ignored have potential to become hot prospects after going through a few well-designed 

When both sides gain a better understanding of what “quality lead” means for your business, it becomes much easier to effectively engage with prospects and seal more deals.

2. Create a culture of camaraderie

Sales and marketing are working toward the same goals. But the different paths they’re taking don’t always run parallel to one another. This can be a big problem in an era where 57% of the customer journey is completed before the buyer even talks to sales. 

Cross training these two teams to create a culture of collective success will help. 

Sales should be equipped with a working knowledge of what prospects are researching and reading before they become receptive to one-on-one calls and emails. Likewise, marketing needs to know which attributes to filter out so dozens of unproductive leads aren’t blindly sent to sales each day.

An occasional crash course on the other side’s roles and responsibilities can be a great way to accomplish this—even if it’s just for a simple project here and there.

For example, marketing might pull together insights from a competitive analysis to build comparison charts that support sales calls. Similarly, sales could put together an FAQ for your blog based on questions they frequently get.

3. Build buyer personas together

Personas are a great way to get deep insights on leads and ensure your campaigns are targeting the right people. Yet sales and marketing often create them separately—if at all.

Getting the two teams together to fine-tune buyer personas can be a surprisingly easy and effective way to get everyone on the same page. Your sales team is interacting with customers every day and has the front-line stories marketers need most. Marketing has access to all kinds of analytics that can help fill in the blanks.

Instead of working with basic profiles based on instinct, everyone gains a clear picture of who the strongest leads are and what most appeals to them. The process can lead both teams to more insights and ideas than ever. 

While there are many other ways to effectively cross train sales and marketing, these three initial strategies are great places to start. Just be sure you have the basics down first—like integrating your sales and marketing software and properly routing data—as you work to implement them.

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