It’s imperative that sales and marketing are aligned. The success of your business depends on it.
When there is little or no synergy or alignment between sales and marketing goals, each group will expend their energy and focus on what each deems necessary. Marketing will create content they believe will be useful, while sales will pursue leads without adequate support resources. Marketing isn’t helping sales sell, and sales isn’t selling. And that’s to the detriment of your business.
So what happens when they’re misaligned, and how do you tell?
Here are three signs of sales and marketing misalignment and their effects on the business:
(The first step is admitting you have a problem.)
Everyone wants to do a good job, but if your corporate culture doesn’t recognize the value of sales and marketing alignment, it makes everyone’s job that much harder. Finger pointing, blaming, and undermining become part of the deflection tactics used when sales results aren’t attained. The result can be frustration, indifference, and even high turnover rates among the sales and marketing teams. Now you have not only lost revenue, but you have increased your training and onboarding costs to maintain your workforce. When sales and marketing have alignment, everyone is rowing the same direction. Management can coach the team to meet goals and objectives, and the synergy will generate momentum in a more positive way. The probability of hitting goals will be much higher.
Communication and Feedback
(There’s a lack of utilization in the field.)
Upwards of 70% of a company’s marketing collateral isn’t used by sales at all. This is either because the content isn’t suitable or because sales reps simply may not know where to locate it. Marketing may know how to access it, but the sales reps may not. In fact, they may not even know that a particular file exists. The unfortunate truth is, marketing spends a lot of time and money on resources that may never be used, while sales reps often times piece together un-branded, non-vetted content to present to the customer. From a budget perspective, using the 80/20 rule, only 20% of your collateral may need improvement or change, but which 20% is it? If marketing knew, the budget could be better focused.
Putting Out Fires
(When on-the-fly content creation and rushed processes occur.)
When there is no visibility and alignment between sales and marketing goals, everyone is acting autonomously. When a sales person suddenly wants resources that don’t exist for a sales call, they will want marketing stop what they’re doing and re-prioritize to meet the customer’s needs. Everything goes on hold as the new content is created. In some cases, sales may even bypass marketing altogether and create collateral themselves. This takes time away from their core responsibility – selling.