Finally! The end of another busy year. It’s hard to concentrate between holiday plans and anticipated time off with family and friends, but there is more ahead than just pumpkin pie and crowded airports. It’s also your dwindling opportunity to reach those sometimes-elusive sales or marketing goals that spell the difference between a fat or thin yearly bonus, and the time of year when any conflict between your company’s sales and marketing arms becomes painfully apparent.
Imagine your company as a football team that is taking the field against a worthy opponent. You both have a great lineup and players that are some of the best in the league. There’s only one catch – your coach has given your offense and defense separate playbooks to execute their own winning strategies while the coach for the opposition uses a single playbook for the entire team to make sure his offense and defense are aligned and supporting each other and the team’s goals. The other team makes a touchdown and there is immediate pandemonium on the sidelines as your offensive players start yelling at your defense. “What were you thinking?” “How did you let him get by you like that?”
So it is with your sales and marketing functions. Most likely, your marketing department has been working on the number of quality leads they generate for the company and how those leads engage over time. In sales, it’s all about the bottom line – how have they built your client list and how much revenue have they brought in? When sales and marketing are not aligned or mutually accountable, they are natural scapegoats for each other. Marketing doesn’t understand the product or the customer, and is bringing in too few or unqualified leads, or sales is failing to effectively follow-up with the leads marketing does generate. With all the energy consumed with the disconnect, small wonder that an estimated $1 trillion is wasted annually in company budgets due to sales and marketing misalignment.
So, what do you do? Simple, really. Align your sales and marketing functions. According to this Harvard Business Review piece, “When Sales and Marketing work well together, companies see substantial improvement on important performance metrics: Sales cycles are shorter, market-entry costs go down, and the cost of sales is lower.” If you’re shaking your head over the prospect of getting these traditional rivals on the same page, there is good news. Chances are the problem doesn’t lie with your people but more in the defined relationship between their functions including how they organize, understand, and use data. If they’re working from different playbooks, how can you expect them to effectively work together or even understand each other? First, you need to understand what is in those playbooks. Beginning your alignment process with a CRM analysis can quickly uncover key disconnects in processes, data capture and goal alignment. It’s also an opportunity for internal collaboration as you look at restructuring opportunities to give both departments the information, accountability, and tools they need to align with each other and your company’s overall sales and strategic goals.
Want to know more? An analysis of your CRM system can give you the critical insight you need to repair the marketing-sales disconnect, saving you wasted resources and increasing your ROI. Contact us for a complimentary consultation to learn more.