As someone who has been holding weekly sales and marketing check in meetings since 2010, I think I've learned a thing or two on how to make them go smoothly, and what not to do. Here are my top 4 tips on how to make these meetings successful for both parties involved.
1. Decided on the metrics you are going to report on and stick to those numbers. I learned this first one the hard way. A couple companies ago we looked at different metrics every meeting from website traffic, sales call activity, MQL conversion rates. This made the teams unfocused and a bit scattered. Decide early on which numbers you want to look at every meeting and stick to that. Whether it is weekly inbound leads, number of requests for demo, website traffic, or untouched leads, pick the metric you and the head of sales want to look at week over week and do not deviate. Going into the meeting with a different set of numbers every week will only confuse matters.
2. Communicate the marketing plan widely and openly. I once heard the adage that marketing lives 6 months in the future, sales can only see the present, and finance lives in the past. Events book months if not years in advance. Typically marketing will put together their entire plan at the beginning of the year and know where they will be every single week. The thing is, sales is rarely privy to those planning meetings or checks the marketing calendar. Since sales lives month to month, it is up to marketing to communicate and champion the plan. Even if you feel like you are repeating yourself, tell them over and over what events are coming up, where case studies are located, what email nurturing means. It is always better to over communicate than to let a great marketing program go by without letting sales know it ever existed.
3. Be open to new suggestions. To your Building off point number #2, it’s great that you have a marketing plan in place, but be open and flexible to new ideas and suggestions. If sales says they want to do a local event to feed a certain territory, take it into consideration. Sometimes speaking opportunities come up last minute. If sales sees an ad campaign that isn’t making sense to them, be open to their suggestions; prospects are probably just as confused by the messaging. This also means building in a bit of slush to your budget for last minute changes, with the caveat of communicating that if one project is added to the time table another project will have to slip.
4. Be your own cheerleader. Marketing events tend to rely heavily on active participation. To make the events successful, marketing needs to “sell” the event to the sales team and the ‘higher ups’. Convince sales that the event is the correct one to invite their prospects to. I prepare campaign briefs for events and big initiatives to explain through what we are doing there, who else will be there, and what we are aiming to get out of it. Often I worry that I am repeating myself in weekly meetings, but it is always better to over communicate than to let an event go by without letting sales know it ever existed.
What are your tips for making sales and marketing meetings a success?