Sunday, March 20, 2011

 

How often should sales and marketing meet?

With all the talk these days about sales & marketing alignment, a good tactical question appeared this weekend on Focus.com - how often should B2B sales & marketing teams meet?

The answer, of course, starts well before scheduling meeting rooms. It starts with alignment around goals and roles - knowing what success looks like, and how the organization as well as each group explicitly defines successful outcomes. Those goals are then supported with explicit, common definitions and expectations for how each group will help each other.

The inventory of requirements for successful alignment and results includes a common definition of qualified leads, and clear roles for sales and marketing at each stage of the lead and opportunity funnel.

With these things in place, meeting frequency between sales & marketing becomes somewhat of a secondary issue. But in the most successfully aligned organizations, these interactions are happening daily.

Marketing is a regular attendee at the weekly sales management meetings. Marketing team members occasionally work directly from the sales floor so they can interact with reps, hear directly the challenges they have on the phones, and address issues in real-time.

Marketing attends and presents at every all-hands sales meeting. And the head of marketing likely has a weekly 1:1 directly with the VP of sales to ensure alignment and sales goals are both being met.

Those are just examples. But in short, how often sales and marketing meet isn't about just setting up a weekly meeting. Successful alignment requires far deeper integration and daily/weekly coordination.

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