Find out how — and why — the two functions should collaborate
Research suggests aligning marketing and sales within an organization can have a positive outcome — including a 67 percent greater probability of closing marketing-generated leads, which can potentially offer a more than 200 percent stronger contribution to revenue, according to data from MathMarketing and Marketo.
Whether they’re treated as a combined department or separate entities, the two functions, however, aren’t always in sync.
Stereotypes may be a contributing factor; nearly 30 percent of sales leaders said in a 2018 InsideView survey that “marketing doesn’t measure anything important;” 28 percent claimed they could do a better job than their marketing colleagues.
In the same survey, 34 percent of marketing professionals said they’d describe sales professionals as “single-celled organisms that chase revenue” — and 23 percent felt they could perform the sales team’s work more effectively.
Although at first glance, it might seem like personality differences are the problem, InsideView’s research suggests other factors — ranging from insufficient contact to skewed processes — may actually be to blame.
To position the sales and marketing departments to collectively be more productive and profitable, companies need to get them on the same page — potentially by adopting some of the following workplace dynamics:
More than a third of sales leaders cited a lack of regular communication as the biggest roadblock to aligning marketing and sales, according to a Televerde survey involving companies that sell B2B products and services — which noted consistently discussing strategy and accounts can help remedy the situation.
To ensure content marketing efforts draw the most relevant potential customers — giving the sales team the most viable leads — blog posts, webinars and other items need to convey consistent messages, according to the sales and marketing department and other employees software provider Kapost spoke to for its 2018 survey. Sales professionals ranked identifying and prospecting good leads as one of the top five sales aspects that have gotten more difficult in recent years, according to HubSpot research.
Consistent reporting methods
Sales and marketing team members need detailed, well-organized data to gauge what’s working, what to focus on and what to change. Forty percent of the B2B and B2C companies that participated in a 2017 Allocadia survey described their company’s marketing and sales measurement data as a challenge, and said it was beginning to be cleaned up and reformatted; an additional nine percent said their data was messy and ultimately not useful. Restrictive reporting methods meant 42 percent of organizations were only able to run baseline reports on past marketing performance; 13 percent didn’t know where all their data was housed and couldn’t, as a result, really leverage it.
A streamlined sharing process
A 2017 LeanData survey found one out of every four sales leads is routed to the wrong account owner — resulting in lost leads and reducing the sales team’s overall efficiency. Establishing a defined system to share vital information — and clearly conveying the process to employees — can help make lead generation and follow-up more effective.
In addition to sales initiative-related work, companies may also benefit from having their sales and marketing departments collaborate on other efforts, such as establishing and maintaining their employer brand. For information about employer branding strategy best practices, view our blog posts on employer branding basics, 4 things to emphasize when building an employer brand and our white paper on building an effective employer brand.
For additional ideas involving content marketing and other promotional efforts, view our posts on where – and when – to post social media items for the best response; other online venues you can use as promotional outlets and managing
appropriate use of social media in the workplace to keep your organization’s reputation in tact.