We don’t need to take much time in this post to make a case for the gap between marketing and sales. We all know it exists and experience the chasm to some extent every day. But in case you need to be reminded, here are two statistics that should cause everyone in the industry to stop in their tracks:
- 60–70% of marketing content is never used. (Content Marketing Institute)
- B2B companies’ inability to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes has cost them upwards of 10% or more of revenue per year. (IDC)
This isn’t a little problem — one to push off until next year or even next quarter. Your bottom line depends on you taking action today.
Companies with aligned sales and marketing generated 208% more revenue from marketing. (MarketingProfs)
Leaders must bring together their teams to stop wasting precious company time and money. But all too often leadership doesn’t know where to begin, or they only apply bandages where major surgery is needed. Here are three tangible things you can do this quarter to begin to mend one of the biggest issues attacking your revenue performance:
Agree on the target buyer profile (characteristics, attributes, personas).
This seems like a simple step, but this is where a majority of miscommunication and mistakes begin. You may think your sales and marketing teams are aligned and after the same prospects, but there is a good chance there are more discrepancies here than you think. Even small variances in audience profiles cause marketing to generate unqualified leads and/or create irrelevant content for the sales teams. Take the time this quarter to sit down with both sales and marketing to ensure everyone understands who the target buyer is. Have both teams capture for you (and one another) the characteristics (e.g. industry, size, geography), attributes (catalysts like M&A activity, executive turnover) and personas (e.g. CFO, CIO). This will reveal any disconnect and kick start the dialogue for alignment on a common target buyer profile.
Invite marketing to support some sales cycles (e.g, preparing for the conversations, developing the proposal, identifying the differentiators)…even if it is behind the scenes.
You might be asking, “Who has time for this?” Go back and look at how much revenue is potentially being lost annually (10%) and make the time. Even if your sales and marketing teams are strategically placed in close proximity doesn’t necessarily mean your employees communicate regularly. And even if your employees say they communicate regularly, doesn’t mean they are having the fruitful, aligning conversations you envision. Inviting marketing to take part in the daily grind of the sales team, allowing them to see where their work flows and how it is used, will dramatically change their point of reference and thus what they create on their end —in turn providing more value to your sales professionals.
Invite sales into the campaign planning meetings (e.g. market segmentation/territory coverage alignment, activity timing, sales’ role in the campaigns).
Inviting sales into the marketing world empowers ales to pose necessary questions to be asked and processes to be refined. Create space for the teams to understand each other’s challenges and find ways to work together to overcome them. Is marketing not providing enough leads in general? Are there too many unqualified leads passing over to sales? Is sales even using the leads marketing is providing? Take the time to dig in and address the issues both teams have been complaining about.
This relationship needs to flow both ways. The current divide between sales and marketing is not one team’s fault more than the other. Be sure as you initiate these proven techniques, to emphasize the importance of everyone working together toward the common goal of boosting revenue performance.
Bonus step 4. Set up a regular cadence to not only review the pipeline but also the three items above on a monthly basis.
Yes, monthly. These steps are not meant to be a checklist but a new process. This process creates more than mutual understanding. It establishes lasting alignment that equips your sales and marketing teams to take your company’s revenue performance to new heights.
Want to discuss how Mereo can help your team implement these game-changing steps? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.