Why Events and Sales Teams Should Work Together
If you had to choose two teams within a company that have a huge influence over its bottom line and audience perception, sales and marketing would top your list. Successful marketing teams create a positive brand image and help bring in prospects that successful sales teams close to increase company revenue. Working towards such similar goals, it's safe to assume that both teams always get along.
However, within an organization the two departments are often at odds. In organizational speak, event planners usually work under the umbrella of marketing, and sales is often a separate department altogether. Thus, the two groups compete for funding, time and attention, which can lead to interdepartmental conflict. In addition, each discipline attracts a different type of person, inherently causing tension. "This cultural clash impedes revenue generation," says Ken Thoreson, president of Acumen Management Group. "However, each group must understand where they fit into overall company strategy."
One important reason that organizations host events in the first place is to create opportunity for future sales. Through face-to-face client interaction, branding and overall user experience, meeting planners pave the way for sales teams to do their jobs effectively. If meeting planners are to create as many sales opportunities as possible, input from the sales team is vital.
"While Marketing is responsible for developing the event strategy, your sales team also has a major role to play," says Annette Mattern of WireBuzz. "For things to run smoothly, marketers need to assimilate the needs of Sales into the event game plan."
Meeting planners must understand the priorities, goals and needs of their attendees. Good salespeople eat, sleep and breathe this information. They understand their clients' behaviors, and they know what customers want. When meeting planners look to sales teams for input, their events can create real, qualified business opportunities. The events team creates the opportunity, and the sales team closes the deal.
As Philip Kotler, Neil Rackham and Suj Krishansamy wrote in an article for Harvard Business Review, "There is no question that, when Sales and Marketing work well together, companies see substantial improvement on important performance metrics: Sales cycles are shorter, market-entry costs go down, and the cost of sales is lower." Overcoming the inclination towards opposition can lead to fantastic results and higher returns for everyone. Sales and events teams that work hand in hand enable each other to do a better job.