How to make your marketing team your company’s biggest competitive advantage

Communication is the key to outperform your competition

I have worked for small, medium, international and global enterprises over 15 years and I had the opportunity to manage teams in different countries. This experience made me clear that managing people at work is the most difficult issue.

David Parnell, a communication coach, says “People skills are, in short, the various attributes and competencies that allow one to play well with others.” In my opinion, strong communication skills are one of the most important people skills.

Organizations recognize that more frequent and ongoing conversations are the key to performance management. At the same time, employees also demand a meaningful communication with their managers in order to feel engaged and productive at work.

Unfortunately, the reality is completely different, many managers need to improve communication at work. In 2016 a survey conducted by Harris Poll with more than 2,000 US adults showed that a full 69% of managers said that they were scared to talk to their employees. It is alarming, right?

managers are scared to talk to their employees

Good communication means good business

The situation is especially dramatic in B2B marketing departments were the churn rate is one of the highest. A report from Salesforce Research indicates that in 5 of the 6 sectors measured, the marketing department had the highest churn rate.

If we consider the survey conducted by Harris Poll, could the lack of communication be the cause of this high churn rate? For sure, there will be more factors at stake but we shouldn’t miss the communication gap between management and its teams.

average annual b2b marketers churn

On the other hand, marketing departments must cooperate with other departments, right? Do you think that the communication with other departments will be better? Unfortunately, this is not the case. If managers can’t handle their own teams, how can they cooperate with other departments?

A research from Televerde (September 2017) showed that 44% of more than 200 B2B sales leaders, the majority of whom are with companies with more than 50USD million in revenues, ranked the bad communication from marketing departments as the main problem to win more deals.

It is clear that good communication makes companies more profitable, productive and helps to create a better place to work. On the contrary, companies that don’t address this problem not only lose valuable human resources but also reduce the revenues and business opportunities.

Make your B2B marketing team your best asset

In short, most of the companies have some communications problems and this situation affects its performance. If we consider communication as the key to outperforming our competition and there is a will to implement a new corporate culture, then we will transform the marketing team into the company´s biggest competitive advantage.

Now, I would like to comment my personal experience when I helped my previous company to win The Great Place to Work in 2011. I identified the following actions that made possible this change:

  1. The CEO must lead the change and create the framework for an open culture at work where communication and good ideas flow freely. He will be the top authority responsible for this change.
  2. Define, assume and communicate the company identity: mission, vision, goals, values, and culture. This point is especially important. Companies need to hire people that match the corporate identity.
  3. Every employee needs to understand that his/her work has a meaning and it will help the company grow. Top managers need to define clear and realist goals for their teams and follow their performance. It will create more engagement, better communication and will help to evaluate his/her development.
  4. Create inspirational spaces for discussions based on relationships of trust and mutual respect. This is the most difficult task but it requires tons of empathy and the will to cooperate not to dominate. These moments of mutual feedback will improve our personal and professional development.
  5. Promote, create and share moments of fun. Fun brings out a positive attitude and a positive attitude helps to improve the performance and the way we face the challenges.

In my opinion, this should be the foundation for a successful open culture in the workplace. This change will make our B2B marketing team our best asset. There is a quote that I love: “If you want to go fast, go alone if you want to go far, go together”. Please, keep in mind!

Do you want to share your experience? Please, write your comments below. It will help everyone!

POST WRITTEN BY

Chema Lopez

A Madrid Polytechnic University International MBA has worked as global marketing director in B2B and B2C international leading companies implementing global marketing and communication strategies to ensure business objectives and to optimize brands reputation and visibility on a global level.

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