I haven’t written in a while, mostly because we have been undergoing a really big and successful internal change that we initiated last year. Our language has changed, our policies have been prioritized, our priorities have been clarified and our team is ready for the next stage in RelampIt growth. We no longer consider ourselves as a start-up. Heck, we’ve been in business over five years. Start-up mode — out the window. Established corporation mode — implementation underway! It’s a really exciting new chapter for us that can also be seen from the outside. We have a NEW website; we have gone back to our roots by embracing our old RelampIt name but modernizing the logo; we have new directives for sales and customer service and more cohesive marketing materials, language and ads. Lots of great stuff.
But this isn’t about my RelampIt (although I am super stoked about these changes – can you tell?). It’s actually about a couple of things that really stood out to me when we were re-evaluating some policies in the Sales and Marketing departments. Really, it is about what we DIDN’T have as policies that should definitely be there. There are tons of books, blogs, speakers, etc who talk about the necessity for Sales and Marketing departments in small business (and in large, I am sure) to work together to grow business. And yet, so often Sales and Marketing departments work independently. I am embarrassed to admit it, but 80 percent of the time, mine were too.
My new policy for both my Sales and Marketing departments (simply put) is this: we are the SalesMarketing department. Single word, no spaces, one department. This kinda goes back to my childhood. I am a twin, and my cousin, Nicholas, is only 6 months older than my sister and me. So we were close like siblings. But Nicholas either couldn’t tell us apart or was lazy (not sure which). So he called us“GinaMichelle” and we would both answer. We would even answer when the other wasn’t around. My name was always first – I am 13 minutes older – and I won’t let my “little” sister forget that.
Back to SalesMarketing: Ok, so my Marketing Coordinator is not going to become my new Account Manager, (an aside – my Marketing Coordinator is FABULOUS – no one can steal her. She can be anything she wants to be. But she is MINE.) but this is what I mean by SalesMarketing:
Communication and collaboration are essential and will be/MUST BE consistent.
It is my responsibility to guarantee that this is happening – but my employees have to be on board. They are! In fact, when I told them how much we have been holding ourselves back by living separate lives, they were excited to begin this new chapter of SalesMarketing. Some take-aways from our first informal SalesMarketing meeting:
1) Sales has to give useable feedback to marketing re: leads which marketing has handed off to sales. This feedback has to be specific and will continue beyond our weekly meetings.
2) We have to be able to track and report on key SalesMarketing data – even without a sophisticated back end web analysis program, the elusive “conversion of web traffic” can be evaluated to some extent. This means that if a web lead is converted, Sales has to tell Marketing who, what, when, where and how!
3) Marketing must inform Sales of any language change or adoption that is successful and vice versa. Language consistency within the company is essential for internal team building as well as customer service.
4) Sales will have clear processes for lead follow-up. Marketing will have clear processes for lead hand-off. Both will know all processes involved.
Again, there are tons of books to read, people to listen to, websites to review on this topic. But from a small business standpoint we are able to develop the 4 points above into a great working and fluid model of collaboration and communication – a working model of our first ever SalesMarketing department!
Does anyone else have a SalesMarketing department? Give me your favorite tip! Maybe I will start a small business SalesMarketing checklist! Anyone interested?