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Misconceptions about the B2B marketing and sales alignment often impair revenue growth and internal productivity.
The marketing and sales departments—and their leaders—may misunderstand the other’s motivations, goals, and challenges, which can add cost and inhibit success.
Addressing misconceptions of B2B selling can dramatically affect your company’s marketing and sales alignment, productivity, and results:
Marketing and Sales Alignment: Addressing Misconceptions of B2B Selling
B2B Sales is all about the RIGHT numbers
The more salespeople sell, the more money they make, so numbers (e.g., number of proposals, average deal size, sales cycle) are leading indicators if individuals or the sales team will achieve their goals.
Many marketing and sales leaders miss the importance of account and contact identification and prioritization for sales success
For example, if the sales teams focus on the number of proposals, it’s likely that salespeople will make proposals with a low likelihood of winning. However, if sales and marketing align that the number of proposals is relevant if the salesperson has proposed to the right individual within the company, it will likely improve sales results.
Marketing has a vested interest in providing leads to the sales team
As well, the marketing team should prioritize helping the sales team identify and prioritize the right accounts and contacts to pursue. Determining the proper accounts and contacts can be a function of the right data tools, CRM data management, data quality, and hygiene.
Marketing efforts ARE measurable
Sales teams in the past may have complained that marketing was in the dark about numbers.
Sales teams can benefit by better understanding the insights offered by marketing analytics, and help the sales team adjust their go-to-market approach to the richest market opportunities.
Marketing DOES NOT take too long to deliver results
Sales team expectations are that marketing launches a campaign, develops new content, and provides an influx of quality leads within days or weeks.
Typically, the benefits of marketing campaigns aren’t visible until 3-6 months after execution. So while it may seem like marketing is taking longer to deliver, sales teams should adjust expectations to the reality of the time it takes to deliver. A well-executed marketing effort can support the production of positive sales results over a sustained period, so it pays to be patient.
Marketing and Sales are NOT independent functions with proper marketing and sales alignment
If sales and marketing work as separate functions, lack of alignment, and poor results are guaranteed. A single sales and marketing leader helps with alignment in some organizations, while other companies function well with separate leaders that foster a culture of collaborations and alignment.
Without marketing and sales alignment, messaging will be inconsistent, content irrelevant, lead generation will suffer, and sales productivity will suffer due to the lack of the optimal support they need.
Marketing needs feedback from sales
What content works and what doesn’t, what prospects are seeking—and sales need marketing to provide them with the most useful information to attract prospects.
While marketing and sales can sometimes be at odds over processes and priorities, both departments must understand where their interests align. Recognizing and avoiding barriers to collaboration and alignment can accelerate revenue growth and improve the marketing and sales teams.
So what is the best approach to gauge your marketing and sales teams’ alignment?
We suggest that you pose the leaders of each organization (separately and privately) the following question:
“List the top three critical success factors for both teams to succeed?”
The results will indicate the level alignment between the two teams, and you can schedule a meeting to review the results.