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Let's talk about trust

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

I spent the last six weeks engaging with my network. Most of them operate in small-to-midsize SaaS companies. I talked to sales and marketing leaders, CEOs and founders, and my former team members (who are now marketing superstars in their own domains).

We covered a lot, with a heavy focus on revenue functions: what’s going well, what isn’t, what needs their focus, and most importantly (these days always comes back to $$), how their budgets and targets have changed in the last year.

One of my big takeaways: many Sales and Marketing leaders have little confidence in the process their teams are currently cooperating within.

Two keywords here: Confidence in Process. So let’s unpack it.

Confidence comes down to trust. There’s little of it between Marketing and Sales. And it’s not because either side are bad people with conniving agendas, always looking to undermine and steal each other's spotlight. And as much as some of us can relate to that sentiment, it’s not reality. It’s simply because both teams are often (unintentionally) pinned against each other in the current process. Speaking of which…

Process comes down to execution. It’s your team's operations. Good ones succeed based on a high degree of clarity and … trust. Trust that everyone will follow the right steps and execute properly. That everyone is committed to deliver: follow up on those leads, use the right content, lead with the best pitch, record the right steps in the right systems, and maximize the value they bring at closing. Most teams deal with inconsistencies here. They don’t trust the process in place, so they start experimenting on their own (or, most likely, they just don’t follow any process at all).

They’re not alone. You are not alone. There are ways we can fix this. For starters:

  1. Get to the bottom of the “friction” between the teams: Where is trust lacking - is it the process? Is it the culture? Is it the (perceived) value and performance gaps?

  2. Revisit your team’s goals and how you track them: are they aligned between the two teams? Are they using the same “source of truth”?

  3. Look at your lead management framework and sales process: are there steps that don’t align or (even worse and totally possible) contradict each other?

Quick resource: Alignment Framework with steps to help facilitate a deeper discussion.

Playbook Lab_Alignment Framework
Download PDF • 71KB

I’ll continue talking to my network, exploring ideas and sharing the tools that I’ve seen work. But for now, one thing is clear: confidence in the process starts with trust within your team.


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