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4 Tips for Getting the Sales Department to Buy-In to Your Next Marketing Campaign

4 Tips for Getting the Sales Department to Buy-In to Your Next Marketing Campaign

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: June 14, 2012 Updated: August 18, 2015

Are you the person in charge of running your small company’s marketing campaigns? Ever get a sense there’s a disconnect between what the Marketing team and the Sales team are doing?

Large and small businesses alike deal with this challenge on a regular basis. Marketing is busy planning and executing campaigns to generate new leads, while Sales is off pursuing its own goals and even devising its own campaigns! Successful marketing cannot happen in a silo.  This is especially true for small businesses, where success hinges on campaign buy-in and follow-through across the entire organization.

If you want your sales teams to generate leads and close deals based on your campaign activity – whether it’s following up with attendees who participated in your latest event or webcast or identifying cross-sell opportunities among new customers – then you’re going to have to motivate them. This doesn’t always have to involve blackmail or bonuses!

Here are four tips for gaining buy-in from your Sales team for your next marketing campaign.

Engage Sales Early

One of the most effective strategies for gaining buy-in on any project (marketing or otherwise) is to identify and engage the right stakeholders early. No one likes having a project or campaign dropped in their laps, particularly when they’ve had no input into its development, and especially if they are expected to be partly accountable for its success.

If someone from Sales isn’t in your Marketing planning meeting helping you formulate your plan and align it with company objectives, then it’s going to be difficult to engage the Sales team when the campaign launches. 

So bring Sales in early. This includes Sales leadership and Sales reps, who both can drive creative thinking and offer valuable strategic and tactical input about your target markets and what they will and will not respond to.

Plan for Regular Campaign Updates and Mutual Action Items

Once Sales has bought into a campaign, maintain a regular line of communication. Give the team regular campaign status updates and be clear about what you expect them to do, and expect the same from them. You need to hear how the field is responding to your latest campaign. Do you need to tweak your message or adjust your target?

Now you are really working as a team!

Recognize Sales Reps Who Excel

Keep Sales teams motivated by introducing some healthy competition and target-based incentives to make the campaign successful. Keep score, and have some fun with a leaderboard and pit sales reps or teams against each other. Give credit where it’s due to those who reach or exceed their campaign targets with monetary-based rewards if you have the budget, or non-monetary rewards (think Flex Fridays, use of the boss’ parking space, or time off). Don’t forget to reward those who also put in the hours to support the campaign, or who advocate for your marketing campaign in other ways such as encouraging business partners or channel partners to spread the word.

Position the Campaign in the Wider Context of Business Success

Few business leaders regularly share their vision for their business with their staff, many of whom are often left to perform their day-to-day duties with little awareness of how their contribution fits into the bigger picture.  Keeping staff abreast of how the business as a whole is doing against campaign targets, thanks to their help, can be hugely motivating.

That’s why marketing campaigns are a perfect opportunity to align company goals with individual goals. Whether it’s a rebranding campaign or diversification into new product lines or markets, set definite individual team goals, explain why the campaign is important, track results and share them with your team.

What tips have worked for you when it comes to gelling sales and marketing organizations? Leave a comment below or in the SBA Community below.

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About the Author:

Caron Beesley


Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley