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How to Develop a Mutually Beneficial Relationship With Sales

by Elise Musumano  |  
May 30, 2014

Marketing and sales teams function best when in sync, but too often the two are opposed. If that's how it is at your company, here are six ways to change the unhealthy paradigm.

1. Don't rely on emails

Sales reps are accustomed to in-person communication and phone calls. You need to work with them. Just sending off emails and waiting for your colleagues to get back to you will not bring you success.

If you have a choice between typing out a request or calling or walking over to the person, make the push to call or walk over. Every time. In the long run, doing so will make your work relationships with salespeople stronger.

2. Assume people won't get back to you

If you no longer keep tabs on an item after sending out a request to Sales, relying primarily on your colleague's response to keep a to-do on your radar, chances are you have a lot of tasks left hanging, unfinished.

Give your colleagues deadlines by which you need information they have, but keep yourself accountable in making sure you get that information. Set yourself a reminder to check back if you don't hear from them. Worst case: you jokingly get a reputation as a nag, but people will respect you for your sense of accountability.

Keep it light: Preface subsequent requests with a light apology for the nagging, but... you need the info, after all.

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Elise Musumano is a marketing specialist at ChoiceStream, a provider of real-time programmatic media buying solutions for brands and advertisers.

LinkedIn: Elise Musumano

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  • by Katie B Fri May 30, 2014 via web

    "past-faced environment" What is that? And I disagree with #5 to some extent. You have to be willing to be a partner with Sales, but if you do nearly every RAM (random act of marketing) they come up with then you'll spend most of your time reacting to their immediate wants, and never make progress on the more strategic initiatives that will bring them better, more qualified leads in the long run. Do what you can but establish clear boundaries over what you will and won't do and how much advance notice they need to provide you with. If you don't, I promise it'll end badly.

  • by Vahe, MarketingProfs Fri May 30, 2014 via web

    Hi, Katie. That should've been "fast-paced," not "past-faced." It's now been corrected. Thanks for catching the mistake!

  • by ChrisSColyer Sat May 31, 2014 via iphone

    Great article - certainly resonates with my experience. No.5 is the tricky one, being helpful enough to not be seen as a barrier/opponent, but keeping enough control to achieve your plans. Can be a real balancing act.

  • by LindyDT Mon Jun 2, 2014 via web

    I like it, Elise - every point is valid as I've come to find out over the past 30+ years...;-)). Another tip: show them where they can benefit, which can be as simple as posting a calendar with marketing events and publications coming up. And about point 5: yes it's balancing, but learn how to negotiate and get your point across. If your arguments are valid, other than "because I say so/it's not in the plan/don't have time, money,resources", they will probably work with you to get things done.

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