From an outsider’s perspective a company works like a well oiled machine: everyone knows what they are doing, the CEO has a perfect vision of what’s next, and salespeople have higher numbers than ever. Inside the company everyone has a different perspective, especially between sales and marketing. Sales is sometimes angry at marketing for not communicating which products are part of the promotions. Marketing gets angry at sales for not following up on leads they hand over. This misalignment between marketing and sales can cause a stagnation in growth for the company as a whole, as well as those individual departments. What is sometimes neglected is the vision that sales and marketing are two sides of the same coin. When marketing and sales work together and are truly aligned in a company, according to a recent study by the Aberdeen Group, revenue is 76% better than those companies who are not aligned.
While marketing and sales goals are ultimately to increase company revenue, they often don’t see that the goal is the same because they go about trying to achieve the goal in different ways. Marketing teams are responsible for many things, part of which is creating content that will attract potential customers. They want to find the customers who need the product or service their company is offering. Marketers want the content they make to inspire people to come ready to buy. This can make marketing difficult because benefits are not always measurable like sales, but their impact is seen in the quality of leads.
Sales teams are directly responsible for closing deals. They are nearly always interacting with potential buyers of varying interest and know what it is that excites or detracts these buyers from purchasing a product or service. The nature of sales is that the revenue increases as sales increase, which can sometimes lead to a sales team wanting the customer to buy right now instead of wanting the right customer. Marketing is focused on providing the right customer which can sometimes lead to disunity because sales sometimes let qualified leads slip through the cracks because they are focused on the immediacy of a sale.
The study by the Aberdeen Group about marketing and sales alignment paints a clear picture of the success companies could have when they get sales and marketing to work cohesively towards the common goal. Companies that are strongly aligned in marketing and sales are 2x as likely to see success in marketing fuel sales success through qualified leads. Not surprisingly when sales is successful they are nearly 2x as likely to support marketing in their success. As the Aberdeen Group says, “there’s a kind of symbiotic success in this cycle.”
Now that it is evident that sales and marketing need to align, the question is then, how do they do it? Read 4 Simple Ways to Align Marketing and Sales.