I visit many companies and I repeatedly see the same issues that revolve around marketing and sales are not being on the same page. I do see a few exceptions but I typically see the following:
- Marketing and sales do not have a common definition of a lead (or anything for that matter).
- Marketing and sales are not in alignment in regards to the sales and marketing funnel
- Sales do not follow up on leads passed over by marketing
- Marketing passes on "crap" (unqualified) leads to sales
- Sales do not attribute opportunities or closed deals to marketing campaigns (sales is the broken link in closed loop marketing)
- Sales use excel to manage their lists and pipeline which limits marketing's visibility into the effectiveness of their efforts
- Marketing does not provide sales with the materials and/or messaging needed.
- There is no defined process to route leads to sales
- There is no defined process to handle leads that are qualified, yet not ready to buy
- Sales are given the tools to make their jobs easier but refuse to adopt to them.
- Marketing doesn't pass over enough leads
- Sales don't follow the sales/marketing process as it's not enforced by management
Five Resources on Aligning Marketing and Sales
- B2B Marketing and Sales Tip #65 - Defining a Lead: This post deals with the issue of how to get sales and marketing on the same wave length in terms of defining what a lead is. This post is part of B2B Lead website and is run by true marketing professionals - worth taking a look for some actionable marketing and sales alignment tips.
- 7 Tips to Improve Sales Follow-up & Close More Leads: This post provides some quick tips that can help you steer marketing and sales teams through the rough waters of alignment. What I like about Brian Carrol's post is the give and take. marketing promises to get leads to sales as quickly as possible but if sales doesn't follow up with a lead by a certain time, it will be reassigned. I highly recommend Brian's Lead Generation Blog.
- What Sales Really Needs from Marketing: Jill Konrath over at Selling to Big Companies has been there and done that when it comes to working with sales and marketing teams. She has written and excellent e-book which will help marketers get a better understanding of how they can get sales better aligned with their marketing objectives. It really comes down to providing sales with what they need to succeed.
- Marketing & Sales with a Single View: This post is a good one because it provides some immediate action items and brings everyone back to the reason you are in business: to serve the customer. Ardath Albee at Marketing Interactions stresses that a common definition of what the customer is looking for will help bring together the various strategies and tactics that are being deployed by individual marketing and sales groups.
- Need to Improve Salespeople’s Behaviors? Don't Bother with Sales Training or CRM Until You Face the Facts: I really enjoyed Michael Webb's post over at Six Sigma Selling. He doesn't pull any punches. If you want sales to buy into new processes, then make sure that the process has been firmly established, it's proven it will succeed and that management is completely bought in.
PS - here is a additional article that I liked that refers to aligning metrics in the sales and marketing funnel: You're Measuring What?! Why Marketing and Sales Metrics Aren't Customer-Aligned