It’s no secret that divides can sometimes exist between departments. Marketing and sales departments are great examples, as even though the two often share a common goal, each tends to operate in a silo. The gap between marketing and sales needs to be bridged, however, as collaboration is essential to getting the results both teams are looking for. Marketing and sales alignment can lead to greater conversion rates, higher close rates on marketing leads and a boost in revenue directly related to marketing efforts.

As a marketing leader, there are a number of things you can do to foster collaboration between your team and sales. Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Focus on Messaging

Communication is everything in the business world, especially when it comes to the messaging you use to connect with an audience. While sales teams tend to be the ones who execute messaging, the wording itself is on the marketing team, and not everything should be expected to work when it comes to converting leads. By providing the sales team with messaging, content and subject lines that have been tested for their performance capabilities, you can increase their chances of success in getting through to your audience. Also, consider allowing your sales team to send emails themselves or offering to handle it via software such as Marketo or Eloqua.

2. Analyze CRM Data to Create Strong Leads

It’s tempting for any marketing team to simply hand over leads to sales as soon as they’re available without first vetting them for viability. The thing is, many leads end up inundated in calls, emails and meeting requirements when research isn’t first done to ensure that they’re not being over-approached, and the sales team doesn’t have time to check into the activity of each lead provided. Activity tracking software utilized by the marketing department can be a smooth, simple solution to this issue, and they may even be useful in analyzing data regarding what is and isn’t working in the sales process.

3. Qualify / Segment Leads Early-on

While overwhelming a lead is never a good idea, there are other issues that are even more likely to end in a botched sales attempt, one of the worst being when marketing teams provide leads that turn out to be useless. Your team should put as much effort as possible into qualifying and segmenting leads before ever handing them off, and there’s no use in fabricating a lead’s potential, either. It may take the pressure off momentarily, but bad leads will quickly be exposed, and there’s no need for additional tension to result from a scenario such as this. Lead scoring software can be helpful, as this will ensure transparency between teams and help to streamline the process of handing off leads.

Marketing and sales alignment can require some real critical thinking, but it’s well worth the effort. Start with the above tips, and you’ll be one step closer to realizing your goals as a marketing leader.