For Sales Leaders

6 Myths That Could Be Holding Up Referral Partnerships

Explore what it takes to bring marketing and sales together — as the foundation for forming successful collaborative partnerships.

Marketing and sales have traditionally had difficult and stormy. While sales experts advise that these two sides must work in harmony, there are a few barriers, myths, and tendencies that can stand in the way.

If you’ve been noticing that this tension between sales and marketing is a problem, consider the bigger issue. It is likely causing friction and static, slowing down or inhibiting building collaborative partnerships. 

The logical question is, “what can you do?”

Let’s expose 6 myths that could be at the root of the issue. 

In doing this, we’ll explore what it takes to bring marketing and sales together—as the foundation for forming successful collaborative partnerships. It may help you share a fresh light on what it takes to move ahead.


Myth 1: “We Can Go, Solo”

In many organizations, marketing does its thing. Sales do its thing. There is a long-standing belief that things can go along as they always have…and it will work to view these two departments as solo operators.


That may have been acceptable in the past. But we live in a digital business world. Our interactions are occurring in digital reality and everyone is included. This means that marketing and sales are intimately intertwined. 

The customer journey is not starting with marketing and ending with sales. The ability to work with new partners starts from shifting out of this solo mentality. When you are seeking to build successful collaborative partnerships, it’s critical to present a united face for your organization.


Myth 2: “It Will Never Change”

What is your customer roadmap? How do prospects and customers find you, interact with your products and services, and ultimately become loyal customers?

As you work within an ever-changing landscape, it is no longer logical to say, “it will never change.” Just look at all the unprecedented changes we’ve experienced in the last year. 

No one ever thought that virtual work and remote working would happen at such a massive scope. No one ever imagined that partner selling would take off the way it has. No one imagined the scope, the speed, and the sweeping momentum of ongoing change to transform the landscape of business.

Is it true that we can say, “it will never change” with a straight face? Unlikely.


Myth 3: “There’s No Upside to Collaboration”

Most people resort to blaming, complaining, and whining for a single reason. They don’t see the value in doing something different.

In marketing and sales, this is often the case. It may be because of labels, names, and terms. Marketing gets called names because they are working in a broader sphere and creating bigger movements that may not have immediate quarterly profits. Sales get called names because they are focused on quarterly results, numbers, and revenue.

Think about it for a moment. It’s a bit like the human brain. One side is holistic. One side is linear. We aren’t constantly fighting to eliminate one in favor of the other. We are thinking in ways that show both are important, especially when we respect diversity.

It might sound like a match made in heaven—under a different name. If you’re noticing that your teams feel there is no upside to collaboration, explore a new name. Perhaps calling it a ‘relationship’ is spooking people. It sounds like we need to go to see a relationship or marriage counselor.

Look for ways to capture the value instead of only defining it by an unpopular name. Some organizations call it collaboration. Others call it revenue partners. What is right for your teams?


Myth 4: “They Don’t Get Us”

Feeling misunderstood is a drag. This is true in personal and professional relationships. In personal ones, we often work hard to become better communicators, increase empathy, and learn to respect differences. 

In professional relationships, we also need to take extra measures to build understanding and alignment.

If your marketing managers are in touch with sales perspective, compensation, goals, and knowledge, you are heading in the direction of cohesive marketing-sales revenue partners. Marketing VPs who are dialed-in often sound just like sales VPS. They know the up-to-minute numbers of a closed business, pipeline opportunities, and performance statistics.

Similarly, with sales managers. When there is close alignment, you’ll see a boost in creative brainstorming. Marketing may have innovative ideas to streamline the path that buyers take. They have more to offer than ideas about promotional items, event marketing, and expensive advertising. 


Myth 5: “It Won’t Happen Here”

Perhaps you work in an organization with a long-standing tradition of hostility and bias between sales and marketing. You can’t imagine it will ever change.

Yet, change it will. 

Perhaps your old boss was a died-in-the-wool sales guy. He may have passed on a bias about marketing that still holds weight today. However, every executive on the senior team knows that this kind of thinking is keeping your organization in the dark ages.

It’s only a matter of time before things change. Forward-thinking executives know that they must look for adding customer value. They know that they have to connect with the true desires of consumers to optimize value for their shareholders. 

This means only one thing: marketing and sales will coordinate efforts to meet the needs of current and future customers. 


Myth 6: “No One Needs To Know”

If your organization is seeking to build collaborative partnerships, your workflow, relationships, and culture will show. The silo is not a functioning way to operate. Separation does not serve your organization, nor your potential partnerships with other businesses.

To focus on your customer’s needs, aim for openness, creativity, and transparency. As you do this, you’ll be in a great position to boost sales, improve collaboration, and grow company value. By connecting your departments, you’ll be ready to face the future, with open arms. 


Sum Up

Collaborative partners are a key to gaining a competitive advantage. By breaking down the traditional barriers between sales and marketing, you are positioning your company for success. 

By starting with a collaborative mindset, you can join successful businesses that are shaping the market and realizing significant revenue potential. Partnership Co-Selling is how you can virtually qualify B2B sales opportunity. You can use this to boost sales, expand your network, and grow profitability.

Using a platform like CoSell is the simplest way to get your sales team on board. CoSell is a robust platform that makes it easy and fast to automate and scale collaborative co-selling across sales teams. 

If you’d like to explore how partnership co-selling can help you and your team boost sales and win major clients fast - check out our selection of free eBooks.

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