Introducing “The Art of Winning,” Your Ultimate Guide to Sales and Marketing Orchestration

October 18, 2018

the art of winning: marketing automation

LinkedIn research recently found that 60% of sales and marketing professionals believe that sales and marketing alignment can boost revenue. So why do so many companies still suffer from the consequences of misaligned sales and marketing departments?

The statistics below from our new “The Art of Winning” guide show not only the clear downside of sales and marketing organizations that are not aligned but also the depth of this misalignment. The numbers are downright alarming:

  • In the United States alone, marketing and sales waste an estimated $1 trillion annually due to lack of coordination.
  • Only 12% of sales executives believe that Marketing Qualified Leads are an important.
  • More than three out of four of the connections made by sales have not been influenced by marketing.

Because of this widespread misalignment, the buying process is often broken. Does this scenario below sound familiar?

A prospect receives an enticing email offer to try a new software application for free. This well-targeted prospect contacts a sales rep at the software company, but, due to misalignment, this rep has not heard about the promotion. After some discussion, the sales rep does find a workaround to offer the software at a trial discount — but not for free. The prospect, frustrated, declines the discount and asks to be removed from all future emails and other communications from this software company. Nonetheless, the emails and calls keep coming, causing the prospect’s frustration to boil over into anger and an insistence that he will never do business with your company.

What’s even more absurd about this scenario is that marketing — which generated a strong lead — will likely see this interaction as a success. Similarly, sales might view the situation as a potential step forward: The prospect isn’t ready to buy yet, so he was placed back into the nurture stream.

So what’s to be done? Our new “The Art of Winning” guide identifies the areas where alignment between sales and marketing breaks down — and then takes the extra step of prescribing solutions that bring about true sales and marketing orchestration.

Here are three critical areas where sales and marketing alignment falls short — but can be fixed.

Automating a bad experience leads to alienation at scale

Both marketing and sales have embraced automation. Marketing uses marketing automation tools and sales uses customer relationship management tools. But oftentimes, these technologies operate completely independent of each other. In a world where the gold standard of customer experience is Netflix and Amazon, which provides a completely personalized experience for each customer based on past interactions, companies with misaligned sales and marketing departments are failing far short.

Ultimately, automating a bad experience leads to alienation of your prospects and customers at scale. The key to solving this issue is for both marketing and sales to take a holistic view of the customer journey from start to finish.

Structural gaps persist between marketing and sales

First, marketing and sales consult different data sets. Marketing relies on marketing automation and data management platforms; sales relies on customer relationship management platforms.

Second, marketing and sales look at customers differently. For reach, marketing necessarily looks at the customer in broad demographic tranches. To close deals, sales looks at the customer on a more granular and individual level.

Third, marketing and sales work in parallel, not in coordination. The two departments aren’t even aligned on metaphors with marketing talking funnels and sales talking pipelines.

The good news is these divides aren’t impossible to overcome by focusing on a unified view of the buyer’s journey. When marketing and sales do align, companies generate 208% more revenue from their marketing efforts.

The view of the customer is not unified

Marketing looks at prospects through the lens of its marketing automation system. At the same time, sales looks at prospects through the lens of its CRM system. These two systems work together to provide an efficient way to move leads from marketing to sales — but there’s much more to alignment than an efficient hand off.

To generate improved alignment, marketing and sales should stop thinking about funnels and pipelines. Instead, they should focus on the buyer journey and on working together to deliver the right content and actions at every step on this journey.

For the ultimate resource on how to align your sales and marketing efforts for a seamless customer experience, download The Art of Winning eBook today.