With marketing practices changing so dramatically over the past decade, it’s become increasingly clear that if your organization isn’t able to keep up, you’ll get left in the dust by companies who are rolling with the tide of new online marketing tools. If you look around the organization and feel frustrated by a lack of clear improvement, it’s time to review your own involvement.
Many companies are still working under the impression that the job of marketing and communications belongs solely to the marketing department. But they’re grossly mistaken. Marketing is there to roll out initiatives, look for new ways of engaging prospects and customers, help maintain relationships with existing customers, and help communicate messages across platforms.
But as social media has taken a front seat in the world of marketing, it has become increasingly important for both the sales department and leadership to get involved in the communication as well. And being honest, not everyone loves this new direction. There are plenty of challenges that come along with establishing new behaviors.
You might be having trouble getting your sales team to participate on social media by liking, commenting, and sharing content your marketing team is rolling out. Or you could be trying to implement a new CRM that requires your sales team to input data on their contacts, but running into resistance from the team.
If any of these scenarios sound familiar, you need to ask yourself if you, as a leader, are part of the problem.
If you won’t do it, why would they?
You’ve got a lot on your plate, and, if you’re being honest, sharing content on social media may not feel as though it should be a priority for you. Why take precious time out of your day to do what you see as the job of marketing?
Because it matters to your clients, prospects, and team members. That’s why it should be a priority.
The frustrating truth is that just giving the go-ahead to new initiatives isn’t enough. If you want to see your sales team get on board and start engaging on social media, or correctly using a new CRM, but you aren’t taking the time to do so yourself, you’re setting everyone up for failure.
When people are comfortable with a system they’ve been using for a long time, it’s difficult to get them to change their practices. They have to see it as a valued priority in the organization and your actions dictate what your team prioritizes. If they don’t see you actively prioritizing the implementation of change, they won’t believe it matters.
By participating, and leading it, you are showing that you believe in the value of the initiative. If it’s important enough for you, it becomes important enough for them.
Take accountability for your impact on the success of new initiatives. Hold yourself and your team accountable for their participation. Just saying, “That sounds great! Let’s review progress in a month” isn’t good enough. To help your team stay on track and hold them accountable you can:
- Set clear expectations around how and when they participate
- Acknowledge team members when they successfully participate in initiatives
- Establish consequences for those who fail to meet the expectations
- DO IT YOURSELF
Holding your team accountable can be uncomfortable—especially when they fail to meet your expectations. But this is part of proving the value of the work and motivating everyone to get onboard.
Your marketing team can come up with as many great ideas and new initiatives as they want, but if leadership isn’t committed to putting in the effort to contribute, then the initiative won’t be able to succeed.
Showing the team that you are completely committed to the change will push them to accept that, yes, it is really happening, and help them to get onboard quicker and with less groaning. If you want to see your team running with a new initiative, then stop dragging your own feet and get in the race yourself.