The historical gap between sales and marketing has worsened, suggests a B2B
InsideView report released this week.
A disconnect between sales and marketing can have a direct impact on business results.
The 995 US based sales and marketing professionals who responded to the InsideView survey came from a representative sample of industries across the country.
Fifty percent of respondents were in sales and 40 percent were in marketing, with the remaining 10 percent classified as "other".
They represented a range of business sizes, from small businesses to large corporations:
- 33% of enterprises with less than 500 employees
- 41% of companies with 501 to 4999 employees
- 26% of companies with more than 5,000 employees
They cited a host of challenges to alignment:
- Communication Problems – 49%
- Broken or defective processes – 42%
- Different metrics used by sales and marketing – 40%
- Lack of accurate data on target accounts – 39%
- Challenges to be met – 27 percent
- Lack of common perspectives and customer data – 27%
- Lack of responsibility on both sides – 26%
Communication issues include how leads are converted, and issues that can affect performance and closing rates.
Sales professionals wanted marketing departments to improve:
- Quality of lead – 55 percent
- Quantity of lead – 44 percent
- Competitive Information – 39%
- Brand Awareness – 37 percent
- Feed the lead – 37 percent
Sales Marketing Improvements:
- Best Follow-up of the Inquiry – 34%
- Consistent use of systems – 32%
It's the people, not the Tech
The closing of the sales and marketing division has been a slow and slow process, "because alignment is difficult and requires constant attention," noted Tracy Eiler, executive director of InsideView.
Sales and marketing departments are digitizing and software vendors are moving towards the adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning, but this is not the case. is not only a software problem, but also a problem of personnel, process and technology. "
AI and machine learning will help immensely, but these are not miracle solutions in the broader context of a co-ordinated and consistent marketing and sales strategy, "he said. Mr. Eiler.
"The problem lies in siled departments and lack of communication," suggested Cindy Zhou, senior analyst at Constellation Research.
The challenge is data quality, she told CRM Buyer. "If the quality of the data is bad, then the ideas will be wrong."
Process and collaboration issues
"Technology helps with activity tracking, coordination, and reporting, but what's broken is the process and communication," Zhou said.
The lack of defined and achievable business processes, especially those directly related to the main funnel, has become a problem because pipeline is the key, noted InsideView. The lack of agreement on key factors – such as the lead flow, which constitutes a skilled lead and the pipeline review process – has led to misalignment.
The founding conversations about the pipeline did not take place or did not give the same value to both departments, according to the survey.
Collaboration is another problem. While 63% of sales managers said they had not collaborated with lead scoring marketing, 57% of marketers said they were meeting weekly sales to discuss lead scoring.
"Marketers should take the initiative and include sales in account discussions [target]," Zhou recommended. "Remember, the goal is the same – to generate revenue."
Sales and marketing often have different centers of interest, InsideView found.
Traditional sales focus on:
- Quota of Completion
- Accounts, Titles and Names
- Closing Offers
- Speed through the sales cycle
Traditional marketing axes:
- The top of the lead funnel
- Parameters of the campaign
- Awareness of the brand
In addition, sellers were encouraged to reach the quota, while marketers were encouraged by the volume of lead, noted Eiler of InsideView.
Successful companies focus on lead quality, and they discuss pipelines twice as often as unsuccessful pipelines. They work on lead scoring together five times more often, and they give higher priority to the quality and enrichment of the database, according to the survey.
In the future, critical strategies for sales and marketing departments will likely include the adoption of common metrics and consistent communication practices, suggests the report, as well as a stronger focus on the quality of the lead and data.
Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network journalist since 2008. His areas of interest are cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, the 39, mainframe and mid-range computing and application development. He has written and edited for many publications, including Information Week and Computerworld . He is the author of two books on client / server technology.