There is so much power that’s possible to unleash when you tightly integrate your sales, marketing and communications strategies. It’s astounding to me how so many organizations haven’t made the leap!
I’ve worked for over 20 Fortune 500 companies (many were clients from my days at Ogilvy) and the majority of them had disparate strategies across their sales, marketing and communications teams causing them to miss so many opportunities. Opportunities to make the first right impression, to deliver a targeted message through the media to a key prospect, to have their online presence align completely with what the customer experience should be offline – are so often missed.
Why does this happen?
I think it’s five main causes:
- Departments/teams on separate islands that report into different parts of the c-suite
- Planning and budgeting happens in silos
- Sales moves faster than marketing or communications, so the supporting teams sometimes lose pace
- Disciplines are not fully understood or valued across the groups (i.e., social media isn’t always valued by sales)
- It takes what some might consider to be a lot of effort to create this alignment
When I led marketing and communications at Amedisys, I had excellent business partners in sales that really understood the power of this trifecta. The communications, marketing and sales teams worked closely together to consistently align sales goals to marketing plans and communications strategies. During a time of great change in healthcare, we were able to clearly reposition the company as a clinically-focused leader in home healthcare and hospice from our internal communications, our website, marketing materials through to sales training. We also had close integration with the clinical leadership and our government relations teams to ensure we always reflected their latest thinking regarding changes to clinical practices and health reform.
I was lucky to have the opportunity to help create these important connections at Adecco, too. I had the opportunity to lead the communications and sales support teams, working closely with the company’s chief marketing officer and chief sales officer. The power of aligning the digital strategy, led by our marketing team with the PR and sales strategy helped Adecco achieve record sales growth. What we focused on in the media, were the same issues we were discussing with our clients and our teams.
While this type of close alignment between what we say, what we do and how we present our companies to the world takes extra effort, I’ve seen it work and it’s worth it. It also has the added benefit of providing your employees with clarity of mission, because what you say and do internally reflects what you say and do with your customers.
It’s part of the reason why we wanted to start Connective Agency – to help companies connect these powerful teams and their resources to make a greater whole.