Hundreds of businesses around the world work in silos and not in a collaborative environment. We believe that it only helps when marketing talks to sales and sales talks to product. The idea of having open conversation is stemmed from the concept of collaborative creativity.

Collaborative creativity allows for different verticles to help each other for the greater good of the company.

For example, someone in sales may be great at talking to customers, but not so great brand building. And by no means are we trying to throw sales people out the window, it’s just a reminder that the combination of different skills can increase the probability of success. When it comes to sales & marketing, a great opportunity exists. Here are a few questions we would recommend any marketing team ask their sales reps:

Can you explain to me the sales process?
Simple enough.

Marketers should understand the sales process just as well as they know their own marketing funnel. In many cases, they should be directly linked to one another and thus, it’s important for marketing to get a grip of how it works and their role in it’s delivery. Some of the sub-questions to this piece range from “How do you begin a conversation” and “How long does it take for you to get the product in front of a decision maker?” These questions are critical to establishing synergies between marketing and sales. Neither should work in silos and this is why we encourage conversations as simple as this.

What qualities make a lead good or bad?
A great opportunity to develop synergies between marketing and your sales team is the development of a lead scoring system. This system would act as a tool to qualify leads and identify key insights around what differentiates between a strong lead and a weak lead. It’s important to have this conversation together as your sales team may have a different opinion than marketing.

The sales team are the ones who hit the pavement trying to generate sales so it’s important that you hear it from the horses mouth. Find out what factors they look for when they’re deciding which of their leads to call, and figure out how you can generate more of those kinds of leads for them. It’s a collaborate process but one that can lead to great synergies between both sides of the conversion table.

Do Leads Know our Value Proposition?
This might sound like an obvious one but it’s shocking how often leads go to a business because they “think” they offer what they need and not because they actually do. It’s important to identify whether or not the sales team is being met with hot leads that quickly turn cold when they learn about product or service limitations. It’s also important to measure this to adjust your communication efforts on your website, signs or any other marketing materials. If the potential leads don’t know what you’re offering – You can bet that you’re missing out on a handful of potential customers.

What do our leads like most about the offering?
It’s important to find out what leads tell the sales team they like about your offering the most. In having this discussion you need your sales team to be aware of any subtle cues during a demo, assessment or webinar that your leads are giving off. It’s important to understand what your leads view as your key value proposition as this can be what you take forward as your focus with your marketing message. Understanding what your leads or existing customers like will only improve your marketing efforts and your ability to deliver a compelling story.

What do our leads hate about the offering?
This is a big one but one that we often overlook. We often focus on the great things we’re doing but ignore the things we’re doing poorly. Instead of just giving the product team high-fives for producing something that people want, identify exactly what it is that leads say negatively about your product. Let’s say the top 3 things they hate are design, cost and a missing feature. This information is extremely valuable and should be not only shared with the product team but also identified as opportunities from a communications perspective.