This Week’s Big Deal: Creating Togetherness with Jeff Davis

October 21, 2019

Sales and marketing teams are fervently focused on creating. We create strategies, and lead generation techniques, and content, and opportunities, and revenue. In these (frequently disconnected) efforts to create new business, the two units also tend to create a fair amount of friction.

In his new book, Jeff Davis argues that the most valuable thing modern sales and marketing teams can create is togetherness, which holds the key to maximizing our collective positive impact. 

New Sales Book Worth Checking Out: Create Togetherness, by Jeff Davis

Plenty of people talk about the importance of alignment for modern sales and marketing teams. Jeff lives and breathes it. There’s no shortage of sales experts and marketing experts out there, but few people label themselves a sales and marketing alignment expert.

As someone who has worked on both sides of the divide, and experienced the frustrating effects of misalignment firsthand time and again, he decided to fully dedicate himself to helping others overcome it. “I reached a point in my career where I felt compelled to speak out and help companies resolve the disconnect before it destroyed their ability to compete in the new B2B marketplace,” he writes in prefacing Create Togetherness. 

His book offers practical guidance for achieving the crucial ideal of cohesive alignment, tying the history of sales and marketing’s relationship to its present and future, while also laying out a framework for breaking through common hold-ups and barriers.

3 Pillars of Creating Togetherness

Create Togetherness props up three pillars of alignment transformation: Data, Process, Communication. Here’s a quick overview of Jeff’s perspective on each.

Data

“Sales and marketing leaders struggle to achieve their revenue goal when they have only half the picture,” Jeff asserts. “It’s like trying to operate a complex system with one eye closed.”

Incomplete and outdated data is a prevalent impediment for marketing and sales collaboration. Jeff notes that the average shelf life for B2B customer data today is about three years. When the two departments jointly turn their focus toward ensuring data is consistent, accurate, and up-to-date, it becomes much easier to rally around a single source of truth and pinpoint metrics worthy of prioritizing.

Among the measurements Jeff calls out as critical for assessing revenue growth:

  • End-to-end conversion rates

  • Sales cycle length

  • Average deal size

  • MQL-to-opportunity ratio

Process

The buying cycle has changed. We all can see this, but sometimes it’s easy to fall into habits that still line up with a traditional, rigidly linear sales process. It is incumbent upon both sales and marketing to adapt, and if we are not fully in sync on how to do so, we won’t be effective.

Jeff posits there are six stages in the modern buying cycle:

  1. Problem Naive

  2. Realization

  3. Exporation

  4. Confirmation

  5. Decision

  6. Evaluation

He lists resources that can be used to address each one, and — unsurprisingly — preaches the benefits of adopting an account-based strategy.

Communication

On the surface, it would seem to be the simplest and most straightforward pillar, but communication is continually a difficult one for organizations (especially large, regionally fragmented ones) to master. 

Per Jeff’s blueprint, it all starts with establishing a unified vision. “A well-crafted vision paints a clear picture of what the organization wants to achieve over the next five to ten years,” he writes. “It should stimulate and motivate sales and marketing professionals about the company’s new direction and the vast benefits of making such a pivotal change. The vision must be time-bound and tangible so both sales and marketing can understand and apply what’s required to turn the vision into reality.”

From there, leadership must formalize a feedback loop and forge a path to collaboration, which exists on a continuum. Once you reach a point where “both sales and marketing make it a priority to act in the best interest of the Revenue Engine over their own personal agenda,” you’ve achieved collaborative sophistication. He offers specific guidance on getting there.

Together We Stand, Misaligned We Fall

We’ve only scratched the surface of all the insight and advice packed into Create Togetherness. Any sales or marketing professional (or executive looking to drive harmonious alignment between the two departments) will unlock plenty of value within its comprehensive yet brisk 100-plus pages. You can order a copy here.

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