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The Sales Review

Learn about emerging best practices, strategies and insights on B2B sales today dedicated for the modern sales organization.

7 Data-Driven Reasons Why You Must Align Sales And Marketing

Posted by Daniel Ku on Nov 18, 2015 8:28:00 AM

7 DATA-DRIVEN REASONS WHY YOU MUST ALIGN SALES AND MARKETINGWhat is it with sales and marketing? Haven't you ever wondered what all the tension is really about? They share the same goal of bringing in customers and they frequently use the same communications channels. Even some of the best companies can't tell them apart. However, if you are still struggling with bringing these two divisions together, it helps to think of the problem as something akin to sibling rivalry. What may seem like a slight alteration in priorities or procedures can often drive them into conflict. It's up to you to straighten them out.

If you want to start reaping all the benefits of sales and marketing alignment, digital transformation is your answer. Put the right people, process and technologies in place to help them collaborate seamlessly, eliminate the blame game and turbocharge revenues. If you need help justifying this kind of digital transformation for your business, here's the data and hard stats that will make your case for you.

1. Faster Revenue Growth

A recent study by SiriusDecisions found that B2B organizations with tightly aligned marketing and sales achieved 24% faster revenue growth and 27% faster profit growth over a three-year period.

2. Better Communication With Prospects

71% of best-in-class companies that say sales and marketing agree that their top concern is better communications with prospects and customers over social media. This research conducted by Aberdeen Group tells a very compelling tale on why Social Selling is important for your organization. The top performing companies have made it a necessity to communicate with buyers in places where they reside, in this case it’s on social platforms. Also putting aside "the traditional reliance on the Marketing function to simply serve up highly qualified sales leads."

3. Breaking Down Silos

Only 14% of industry leaders are proud of organizations in terms of sales/marketing integration. The amount of industry leaders who positively feel the impact of their sales and marketing integration is quite small which is evident to a large problem. This is caused by sales and marketing planning separately without insight of each other's priorities and goals. What’s necessary is for organizations to break down organizational silos to cross-collaborate and ultimately follow a unified buyer funnel.

4. Marketing Supporting Sales Enablement

67% of the best-in-class companies support their sales enablement with marketing content. This content encompasses three main categories: internal sales training content, external sales process content and external sales relationship content. The value of this content is to furthermore keep sales teams informed and aligned with their buyer’s journey.

5. Importance Of A Service Level Agreement

Lead management is crucial for successful sales and marketing alignment. Only 43% of companies have practical lead response service level agreements (SLAs) in place to effectively manage leads between the two departments. The SLA is a crucial joint responsibility that documents the mutually agreed-upon best practices for each team regarding lead management, response and implementation.

6. Streamlining The Data

The number one challenge companies face in sales and marketing collaboration is data validation and sharing common metrics between both functions. This includes assessing the state of measurement, established metrics that are aligned and creating a shared measurement process together. By addressing this key challenge, organizations can have visibility in their metric definitions, reporting cadence, KPI alignment and analysis. Further collaboration of data helps both functions gain insight into revenue, measurement, and analytics which can drive sustainable improvements with communication, accountability and ultimately eliminate inefficiencies and silos.

7. Poor Alignment

58% of your competitors rated their own alignment of sales and marketing as "poor." This result was conducted in an alignment and efficiency survey of marketing and sales operation leaders by SiriusDecisions. There is no quick fix for organizations that fall in this statistic however the right actions can be taken to improve alignment for long term revenue growth. The four critical points of marketing and sales alignment include planning, lead management, data management and measurement. Taking the right steps for both teams can ensure sustainable improvement and revenue growth.

Reinforcement and Support

Share these stats with your team so sales and marketing can stop fighting and play nice. The health of your business is on the line and your competitors are going to figure it out sooner or later. Here's a stat for the road: 87 percent of sales professionals lose their training improvements one month later when they don't have on-the-job reinforcement and management coaching for support. What steps is your organization taking to further align your sales and marketing teams? With the right training and support, you can jumpstart your company's sales/marketing alignment, for more cold hard stats about the importance of sales and marketing alignment, check out our latest eBook here. We'll show you how others have grown their pipeline by 20 percent or more in under six months.

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Daniel Ku

About the Author

Daniel is focused on creating content that inspires conversations within the digital space. With his knowledge of marketing, design, and innovation, he’s passionate about exploring the possibilities of storytelling.