In Marketing and Sales Alignment, Marketing Automation

Sitting as the Sales/Marketing Ops person I have sat directly under that bus a few times (as we all have regardless of which side you come from), Here are a few key items that cause the friction between marketing and some steps for resolving those items.

  • Problem: Sales is frustrated when marketing hands off weak leads.
  • Solution: The key to this isn’t exactly what it sounds like, instead of placing blame, get on the same page about what constitutes a lead, get sales and marketing on the same page so that everyone knows what a lead is and execute on passing leads over accordingly. Unfortunately, if we’re all speaking different languages in terms of what a lead (contact, prospect, etc.) is then it’s just a distraction.
  • Problem: Marketing sees Sales as only griping about Marketing (therefore causing the split between them)
  • Solution: Sales needs to talk to marketing – if the leads being sent over are good 1/3 of the time, tell marketing what was wrong with the other 2/3’s. Don’t keep marketing in the dark, let them know how leads are progressing through the pipeline and what leads progress better (therefore better helping to define what kind of leads Marketing should focus on getting to Sales). Don’t take all the credit – yes you guys close the sale but materials, programs, webinars, the website, events all of those things were put together by marketing to help you close that deal – give them a little credit too!

Remember: aligning Marketing and Sales is all about communication.

Sales asks: How many marketers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Sales answers: 15.

One to ignore the request from sales for more light,
One to develop a creative brief on why light is important,
Seven to shoot the YouTube video about screwing in light bulbs,
One to evaluate the amount of light offered by competitors and draft a competitive analysis,
Two to create the product slick,
One to determine competitive pricing for the service and set the cost well above that,
One to buy a 150-watt bulb for a 60-watt lamp,
And one to put just the right “spin” on the process.

Joke courtesy Silverpop.

  • Adam Needles

    Hi, Lauren, and thanks for the ‘review’ of our white paper.

    It still amazes me that sales and marketing (mis-)alignment is so reminescent of the cold war. A much better approach to this is mutual understanding and workig on the problem.

    Achieving sales/marketing alignment all boils down to a four-step process:

    One, both parties need to recognize they have a common goal — i.e., closing business — and that must be focused around the buyer and his/her process. The B2B buyer is changing, and the time is right to understand this and to make sure your sales and marketing practices are re-aligning.

    I touched on this on my guest blog piece on this site on Monday:

    Two, both parties need to recognize their roles are changing — driven by a changing buyer. This re-education is critical and could help not only marketing improve productivity, but also sales.

    Three, both parties need a common language for talking about the process of generating, nurturing and closing leads — lead scoring — as you highlight above.

    Four, both partnes need to work toward a repeatable lead management process built on these principles — rather than just a recurring gripe session.

    To get going, you need to ‘break the ice’ in this cold war, and we hope humor is one way to do that — hence the title and tenor of the paper.

    Thanks, again, for the review and thoughts on this.