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Are Your Sales and Marketing Aligned To Drive Revenue?

February 24, 2011

Costly Consequences When Sales and Marketing Don’t Collaborate Properly

Throughout my career, I have never seen a company with sales and marketing in total alignment. Listening to a webinar by Bright Talk, they claim that 70% of brochures developed by marketing are not used. Sales people recreate the wheel 90% of the time by customizing to a customer. Yet these two disciplines have the same overall objective – DRIVING REVENUE.

Consider also, that the landscape has changed from 20 years ago. Buyers are taking advantage of the increased availability of information, and choosing to engage with sales people later in the decision process. Cold calling is still alive, yet 50% of sales time is spent on unproductive prospecting.

Companies generally assign marketing to generate the leads. One statistic from Marketo says that 80% of the marketing leads are ignored by sales. Does that make sense? Why does it happen?

Biggest Mistakes When Forming a Sales and Marketing Campaign

  1. Not using a formalized process to develop marketing strategies and campaigns.
  2. Not collaborating with Sales team when creating Marketing programs or materials.
  3. Not spending the time to understand the competition and articulate the company’s unique selling proposition.
  4. Lack of respect and understanding of the respective skill sets needed to be in Sales or Marketing.
  5. Thinking prospects want to read or hear as much as the Sales & Marketing team want to share.

How to Change the Mindset and Get Marketing and Sales to Work in Concert

  1. Train Marketing to think of Sales as their customers.
  2. Clearly define market segments and target accounts in each segment.
  3. Compensate both Sales and Marketing based on ROI and revenue generated.
  4. Ensure that Marketing understands the whole sales process, not just how to generate leads.
  5. Train and involve the Sales people with social media, and have Marketing help them by providing the right sales messages and other useable content.
  6. Jointly develop an e-mail marketing strategy that combines Marketing and Sales communication. Marketing may send it out, and the follow-up is done by Sales.
  7. Share data information on a regular basis. This means that sales must provide market intelligence on a regular basis, and marketing must provide trend information.
  8. Cross-train Sales and Marketing people, for better understanding and respect.

In conclusion, maximum profit potential will be achieved when the roles of Sales and Marketing well understood, plans are aligned, and there is ongoing communication and coordination. A good alignment is when the targets are the same, the compensation package has a mutual reliance, and when marketing participates in the whole process NOT just lead generation.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2011 5:08 pm

    Alan, this makes a lot of sense!

  2. March 1, 2011 12:32 pm

    Great newsletter. How do you recommend a small business start building this mentality and approach with a small sales/marketing team of 1-3 people?

    • March 1, 2011 3:33 pm

      Hello Aaron,
      My suggestion is to first set one attainable 3-6 month goal, that the team should work on. Develop and discuss different strategies as a team to reach the goal, and who needs to take what actions and when. I hope that helps get you started. If you want to discuss further, please do not hesitate to contact me.

  3. Clark permalink
    March 4, 2011 10:53 am

    Another great newsletter Allan! I would like to add another important aspect of the power of sales and marketing working together. Tracking lead sources to determine which ones result in closed sales and profitable relationships is also very valuable. As a small business owner I found that figuring out how to spend my marketing dollars effectively is a big challenge. Maybe you can make this a topic for a future newsletter.

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