Using Campaigns to Fix Common Sales and Marketing Team Problems

Learn how to improve your relationships and boost production with your next campaign.

Peter Wisniewski

By: Peter Wisniewski
November 2018

Are you getting the most out of sales and marketing people? Does your team dynamics need a permanent solution? If you find that marketing teams and sales teams are not working together on a regular basis, then you have major issues. Unfortunately, we find that sales and marketing often times work on separate projects and do not provide ideas, benchmarks, and feedback together along a unified timeline.

A rift often forms between these two teams. Part of this dynamic is an assumption problem. Each side is assuming what your customers want and need and taking credit for when sales are good and blaming the other side when sales are in a slump. This can hold back sales, group momentum, and personal growth.

Now, if you haven’t already, we recommend reading our article on Building Better Campaigns to get an overview of how we put together campaigns before you get into these more advanced principles. This article is how we approach getting the whole team on the same page as we start to build a campaign.

This article contains:

Sales vs. Marketing, Finding Common Ground
Using A/B Tests to Better Understand Your Customer’s Changing Likes and Habits
Developing Bonus Structures Within Campaigns
Keeping Weekly Meetings
Celebrating Wins!

Sales vs. Marketing, Finding Common Ground

Let’s start with our boots on the ground. Sales people (both inside and outside) talk to customers and form relationships with private and guarded information. They get feedback from many different directions from both potential and long-buying customers. They are typically better compensated than marketing folks and are rewarded for risky behavior that is tied to compensation.

In the office, marketing people see what customers click on and create messaging that hits customers head-on. Marketing folks see the potential of anyone who clicks on their content, but typically only get to talk to long-term customers who are already “drinking the Kool-Aid”. They get access to the inboxes and mailboxes of your customers (two very private places). They make less potential compensation and are less-risky in their behavior because of in-office relationship dynamics.

From a Sales Point of View:

  1. How do I best introduce a new product, event, or service?
  2. What Point of Sale Piece will help my customer sell more of our products?
  3. How do I tailor my message based on interests of my customer?
  4. What customers are interested in the new product or service?
  5. How do I focus my energy on those customers who are ready to buy?
  6. How do I get bigger bonuses?

From a Marketing Perspective:

  1. What subject line has the highest open and click through rates?
  2. What imagery should I use in my communication?
  3. What articles are my customers learning more from?
  4. Who requested a POS piece, poster, or quote?
  5. How do I create stuff that gets used and how do I make those assets better over time?
  6. How can I make more money based on the success of the team?

Customer tastes change over time.

So, you need to test assumptions about their interests on a regular basis. We use A/B tests in multiple ways to understand from a broad sense what they may be interested in and then follow-up with those who open, click, and submit data. We feel that A/B tests can help unite the team through careful consideration to details that can help push the whole team together to improve customer service and sales.

Using A/B Tests to Better Understand Your Customer’s Changing Likes and Habits

Building campaigns allow you to test different messages to different groups of customers and share the data with your whole team. This is where A/B testing becomes very handy. A/B testing is where you can test different email subject lines, sent from email addresses, different homepage designs, images, etc. to see what your customers click on or open.

What Can You Test?

  • Headlines
  • Offers
  • Call to action statements (like buttons and links)
  • Images
  • Content

According to Alex at the email company Mailchimp, “In our research we found that campaigns that were A/B tested consistently lead to better engagement. That isn’t a surprise, considering the entire point of testing content is to optimize and get better results. What was surprising was how much better tested campaigns did than regular campaigns.

When looking at campaigns sent by the same account, we saw that A/B tested campaigns did 73% better with open rates, 198% better on click rates, and almost 15% more in sales than regular campaigns. Not only are people learning from testing campaigns, they’re also seeing massive, immediate payoff.

Last year, we did some research with e-comm accounts and saw that when revenue was used as the test metric, testing typically yielded those accounts 20% more revenue than regular campaigns.”

“Before creating your next A/B test, grab a piece of paper and write down a series of questions you would like to know about your customer.”

A/B Test Ideas:

  • Testing educational formats against each other: Webinar, Seminar, Hands-On Workshop, and Recorded Video.
  • Testing emotional subject linesagainst each other
  • Testing point of sale pieces against each other before going to print
  • Testing “Instant Quote” versions against each other
  • Testing campaign introduction pieces against each other
  • Testing time-expiring landing pages against each other
  • Testing sales presentations against each other before sending your sales people into businesses

Sharing results of these tests are a great way to start meetings and get people involved! Result driven meetings can destroy assumptions and allow everyone to learn together. Creating tests before things go to print, before decks are made, before products are developed, and before services are offered, will offer direction and discussion points.

Developing Bonus Structures Within Campaigns

Are you incentivizing ONLY your sales teams? If you are not incentivizing your in-office staff, you may be missing the mark on your growth potential. You could also be causing sales and marketing team problems.

We typically see organizations that have only one way of compensating teams. The older the organization, the more rigid the compensation pattern. This can cause problems with how employees feel valued.

Be mindful to set your sales goals and performance benchmarks low enough to get multiple “wins”. This will improve the confidence and grit of your employees. Make it a team win! Having a fair and balanced bonus structure will create camaraderie.

Make sure that office people get as equal bonuses as your sales field people. We like to incentivize in-office support staff with bonuses based on getting work done as quickly as possible. If they can get email content, photography, videos, landing pages, done quickly, it gives us time to proof and elicit feedback at the meetings. Then there is time to revision and test assumptions.

Bonus Structure Ideas

  • Give individual bonuses when each team member completes various tasks within the campaign (number of calls made, number of customer visits, web assets completed, number of meetings made, etc.)
  • Give team bonuses when different performance marks are reached (sign-ups, event registrations, product sales, donations, etc.)
  • Give team building prizes to celebrate “wins” at the end of the campaign (dinner, activity, resort, tech, trips, etc.)

“Campaigns are a great way to build and test various bonus structures.”

Keeping Weekly Meetings

Let us tell you from experience. You need to stick to weekly meetings. Everyone that is involved in the campaign needs to attend. They need to be safe places to share ideas. This means that there are no ultimatums, no always/never, and no assumptions. Use data to prove points, not opinions. If using examples to illustrate sensitive points, use detail.

We typically will record the sessions and email the recording to only people on the teams. This helps with keeping information safe. We think that the same person should moderate every week. This can help establish roles and keep meetings tight. These meetings are excellent places to review marketing pieces to get feedback before they go out to the public.

Weekly Meeting Benefits

  • They make everyone accountable for their tasks
  • They help share A/B test results
  • They are opportunities for learning about what is working in the office and field
  • They help manage the “Superman Complex” whereas one person thinks they are doing more work than everyone else
  • They give managers opportunities to share sales and signup data
  • Help celebrate your small “wins” and show gratitude for everyone’s work

Celebrating Wins!

Sharing positive news about hitting performance and sales goals keeps meetings fun and creative! When celebrating individual successes, have the person tell your group about what they are doing that is working. Recording these meetings can be awesome for your group to learn different techniques from your best performers.

Documenting goals of each individual and giving time for them to share what they learned can help everyone for the next campaign. Keeping it brief (about half the time allotted) is a lot important because you will need time to gather intel for your next campaign.

What’s Next?

Team dynamics can suffer if you do not align sales and marketing tasks, flatten bonus structures, and create regular meetings to showcase progress and wins. Creating your next campaign with these ideas in mind can help elevate your sales where everyone can benefit. Our team can help you integrate these ideas in no time flat. Contact us on how we can help fix sales and marketing team dynamics.