Should we worry about sales and marketing being less than 100% aligned? What can be done to align sales and marketing—recognizing that they are two different functions with different leadership, goals and critical success factors?
When sales and marketing are aligned, you can strategically pull the unique levers of each function while ensuring you invest your combined resources wisely.
This is truer now than ever. Web 2.0 and other digital marketing technologies enable marketing to dive deeper into the sales funnel and sales to go further up the sales funnel. The lines are blurred, which frequently causes more confusion and conflict.
There is a flip side to this challenge: Organizations that openly acknowledge and productively address these conflicts enjoy greater revenue and higher margins than would otherwise be possible.
A key outcome of the work we do with customers in aligning these two functions is creating a shared game plan that includes common strategies, objectives, plans, critical success factors and processes.
Our approach includes aligning:
- Strategies: We examine current linkages and disconnects between sales and marketing and work with key stakeholders to create shared goals and coherent, parallel approaches.
- Processes: We help our customers establish check-in points for key steps to keep communication between functions open and consistent. We also create common criteria to indicate readiness to advance to the next step in the marketing and sales process.
- Communication: According to a survey of B2B marketers by Genuis.com, “Fifty-four percent of marketers said they share, at most, half of their data with sales.” Marketers also raise the flag of suspicion when “an even greater number, at 66 percent, note that [the sales function] shares, at most, half their data with them.” This is insanity when you consider that the two groups share a common interest in building the business. We help customers utilize Web 2.0 and other technologies to create and maintain open communication between sales and marketing functions .
Aligning sales and marketing functions enhances effectiveness while ensuring an open exchange of real-time information about what’s going on in your accounts, your company and the marketplace. It is a critical success factor to gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage.
Interested in knowing what we consider when creating a sales and marketing alignment strategy? Contact us today. We will send you information.