Frequently, sales and marketing departments have what could nicely be described as a “spirited” relationship. This sibling rivalry can be a big problem in construction firms. How and when a company responds to this problem often determines whether it will sink or swim. With the economic outlook improving across the country, it is time for construction companies and building product manufacturers to align sales and marketing teams through collaborative information sharing.
An Unclear Dynamic
Traditionally, marketing and sales have relationships based on rivalry more than collaboration. Although they share the goal of increasing profits, their individual objectives differ. Marketing concentrates on customer segments, while sales rely on individual customer experiences. The problem is that both teams possess critical information that, when used together, can strengthen a construction firm’s positioning in the AEC industry.
In many small businesses, the revenue driver is sales and sales alone; marketing is often nonexistent. As firms grow, however, marketing becomes more important and often grows separately from sales. A marketing professional’s understanding of segmentation, targeting, and positioning is crucial as the business grows its footprint and diversifies.
According to the Harvard Business Review, when marketing and sales are in sync, sales cycles are shorter, market-entry costs decrease and the cost of sales is lower. One of the best ways to get both departments in balance is to invest time and resources to synthesize the insights coming from their different data sets and market interactions
Finding Usable Data
Sales and marketing teams in construction and building product manufacturing companies often possess large amounts of information–far more than they give themselves credit for having. The challenge is to find a way to sort all of it and get to the usable data.
Sales departments have a wealth of qualitative information through direct communication with customers and often have a great feel for the market and the needs of potential customers.
Marketing relies on other tools to identify big-picture trends and areas of opportunity, such as construction data software that can give an inside look into new projects, industry activity, competitors and specifications.
The key to growth for construction companies and building product manufacturers is to find the right combination of sales and marketing products that not only offer project information but provide data on trends in the construction industry.
In an ideal world, marketing identifies the need and sales carries the message. Unfortunately, all too ofleft-handeft hand does not know what the right hand is doing.
Communication is key to integrating the separate knowledge bases of sales and marketing. As marketing identifies trends and opportunities, it’s crucial to get the information to sales teams as they reach out to customers. Similarly, sales results, conversion rates and customer feedback need to flow back to marketing to ensure they’re getting an accurate read on the market.
Setting up processes to enable lines of regular communication is essential to success. Many sales and marketing products make it easier by knocking down boundaries and providing one place for everyone to access key data points.
When a company’s sales and marketing boundaries are softened, processes, information and missions are shared. Instead of an us-versus-them mindset, the two groups can work more cohesively as a unified team. Aligned departments openly communicate with feedback and analysis that is rapid and to the point.
Construction and building product manufacturing companies that strategically align their sales and marketing development can capitalize on their shared data to create value for the company and its customers.