Leads and customers can tell when sales and marketing don’t talk to each other. When they flat out ignore each other. When they even contradict each other.

You think that no one can see through your company’s internal issues, but the outside world gets the chance to peek into your windows and watch the closed door arguments through your email campaigns.

Marketing usually has a clearly defined tone in their emails. Marketers optimistically introduce a new topic and then explain, in 2-3 sentences, what that new topic is and how it’s relevant to email recipients. Include a few calls to action scattered throughout the text, sidebars, and images, then end with contact information to keep the conversation going.

Sales also has it’s own unique tone. Sales reps get right to the point when interacting with prospects and leads via email. The goal isn’t to keep the conversation going online, but to shift it to the phone – where deals are closed and contracts are negotiated.

As leads are being qualified and nurtured they will be on the receiving end of emails from both your marketing and sales departments. Marketing often updating them on educational opportunities like webinars and downloads while sales has more time-sensitive goals such as demos and exploratory calls.

This juxtaposition of email etiquette is obvious to your recipients and makes it abundantly clear that the departments are disjointed, alienated from one another and, most notably, convinced they’re right and the other side is wrong.

Here are three ways to create targeted messages that present a united front to your email recipients:

  1. Establish a consistent tone: This is most easily done by drafting an email that both sales and marketing will follow. Consider the message’s subject, write an example, and have everyone base their emails off of that example.
    • Even work together to brainstorm and create email templates where marketers and sales reps can play Business Mad Libs, filling in details such as dates, times, and titles without affecting the email’s tone.
  2. Map out a lead-to-customer path: Gone are the days of in which leads were handed off from marketing to sales, like I mentioned earlier, now it is a sea of fuzzy overlap. At the very least, work together to decide when a lead has transitioned from purely marketing interactions, to both, to purely sales interactions.
    • This way, your tone can evolve slowly and recipients won’t feel like just another piece in your sales cycle assembly line.
  3. Maintain communication: Shocking! Sales and marketing have to keep talking to each other. And not just in formal, scheduled, lunch-will-be-provided meetings, but walking to each other’s desks and asking live, in person questions.
    • Don’t ever speak on behalf of another person you work with. Though you might get away with it at times it will eventually come back to bite you, so if you have questions about email messaging, tone, etc. always ask for clarification.

Prospects, leads, and customers are going to keep receiving messages from both departments in your company. Make sure that no matter the sender, your messaging and tone are consistent. We want our voice to represent our entire company and every role within it.