84% of sales and marketing teams are misaligned as a result of the silo effect, a cross-departmental communication barrier (Callidus Software, as cited by Marketwired, 2015). Some refer to this as the organizational plague, as misalignment can have a major impact on sales revenue growth (Everstring, 2016). Are your sales and marketing departments caught up in the silo effect? Here are the core symptoms organizations see when sales and marketing departments are misaligned.
THE CHALLENGE - NO COMMUNICATION
Differing Definitions of the Sales Process
Differing assumptions of the sales process is a key contributing factor to sales and marketing misalignment. As the creators of brand awareness and interest, marketing tends to wave goodbye to prospects once qualified as a hot lead. Therefore a gap is left in the middle of the funnel before prospects are picked up by sales (Pardot, 2015). This lack of lead nurturing results in prospects feeling neglected and a large proportion of leads start to slip away, approximately 79% of marketing leads never actually convert to sales (Marketing Sherpa, as cited by Hubspot, n.d.)
Lack of Shared Knowledge
Salespeople connect with buyers out in the field, they are the ones that know what is resonating with prospects. On the other hand, marketing knows exactly what information a prospect is looking at before engaging with sales, effectively they can pinpoint which stage of the buying process a prospect is in. Valuable insights and information this like are pieces of gold when it comes to driving sales. However, due to the silo effect each department keeps treasured information to themselves, which results in a lack of cohesive content. Even so, according to IDC (as cited by Pardot, 2015) 80% of sales content is never even used by salespeople out in the field.
Lack of Cohesive Content
During the decision-making journey prospects come in contact with sales and marketing content via numerous touch points. However, the misalignment of sales and marketing departments results in competing content, where key messages differ. Essentially content becomes ineffective for salespeople, as they are unsure which stage of the buying process a prospect is in. Therefore content shared in a sales meeting does not resonate with buyers. As a result 57% of customers feel that salespeople are walking into a sales meeting unprepared, with a lack of resources to deliver an effective sales conversation personalized to their situation (IDC, as cited by Rampton, 2016).
THE SOLUTION - COLLABORATION
The key to sales and marketing alignment is collaboration and communication, after all each department is working towards a common goal, lead conversions to increase sales revenue growth. Here are a few tips to start aligning your sales and marketing departments.
Defined, Repeatable Sales Process
A repeatable sales process must be established from start to finish, including the processes before leads get captured in the CRM system. Organizations with a clear definition of the sales process that can be repeated for every prospect ensures there are no gaps in the sales funnel, thus leads are nurtured every step of the way. Each stage in the sales process should mimic a prospect’s buying journey in order to ensure efficient, effective and accelerated sales.
Sales and marketing departments creating collaborative content results in one standardized key message being voiced to prospects across all touch points. Sales and marketing teams which collaborate in the content creation process enables valuable insights and information to be shared. Content can be connected to stage in the buying process in which it is most relevant, thus ensuring prospects resonate with your organization’s solution.
In order to ensure one message is shared to prospects across sales and marketing efforts, enabling sales and marketing departments with a digital workspace allows resources to be stored in one location. Salespeople can access sales content and prepare for sales meetings on the go, delivering valuable insights relevant to each prospect. Thus salespeople can accelerate the sales process effectively.
Ultimately taking the time to ensure your sales and marketing departments align, working in unison, collaborating and communicating effectively enables sales revenue growth to be driven forward. Below are just a few of the results you could see from tightly aligned sales and marketing departments:
38% higher sales win rates (Marketing Professionals, 2016)
20% annual growth rate (Marketing Professionals, 2014)
36% higher customer retention rates (Aberdeen Group as cited by Hubspot,2015)
On average a 10% increase in sales people reaching quota (CSO Insights, as cited by Hubspot 2015)
Aberdeen Group (as cited by Hubspot). (2015). 20 Stats that prove the power of sales and marketing sychronization [Slide Share] Retrieved from http://blog.hubspot.com/sales/stats-that-prove-the-power-of-smarketing-slideshare#sm.00000o4slv18duebkqt9nwsm2ahlv
Callidus Software (as cited by Marketwired. (2015). Survey Reveals 84 Percent of Sales and Marketing Teams Are Misaligned. Retrieved from http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/survey-reveals-84-percent-of-sales-and-marketing-teams-are-misaligned-nasdaq-cald-1991572.htm
CSO Insights (as cited by Hubspot). (2015). 107 Mind-Blowing Sales Statistics That Will Help You Sell Smarter [SlideShare]. Retrieved from http://blog.hubspot.com/sales/sales-statistics#sm.00000o4slv18duebkqt9nwsm2ahlv
Everstring. (2016). How To Overcome Sales and Marketing Misalignment. Retrieved from http://resources.everstring.com/h/i/241779085-how-to-overcome-sales-and-marketing-misalignment
IDC (as cited by Pardot). (2015). Why You Should Create a Content Library For Sales — & How to Do It. Retrieved from http://www.pardot.com/blog/why-you-should-create-a-content-library-for-sales-how-to-do-it/
IDC (as cited by Rampton). (2016). Aligning Sales and Marketing Needs To Be Your Priority. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/275704
Marketing Professionals. (2014). How to Use Mobile Technology to Improve Sales and Marketing Alignment. Retrieved from http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2014/24929/how-to-use-mobile-technology-to-improve-sales-and-marketing-alignment
Marketing Professionals. (2016). The Secret To Account-Based Marketing Success. Retrieved from http://www.marketingprofs.com/opinions/2016/29174/the-secret-to-account-based-marketing-success
Marketing Sherpa (as cited by Hubspot). (n.d.). The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics#topic-leadmanagement
Pardot. (2015). 3 Key Predictions for the Future of Sales and Marketing Alignment. Retrieved from http://www.pardot.com/blog/3-key-predictions-for-the-future-of-sales-and-marketing-alignment/