9 Reasons Misalignment Is Detrimental To Your Social Selling EffortsAttention both departments on the revenue-generating team. Can you identify the single biggest problem in your department? The correct answer: sales and marketing are misaligned.

If that wasn’t your response, you’re not alone. According to SiriusDecisions, 58% of marketing and sales operations leaders rated their sales and marketing operations alignment as “poor.” In fact, most people don’t believe this is true or that this misalignment exists. However, it’s a huge issue for many organizations, and this misalignment is negatively affecting your success. Without proper alignment, you cannot achieve Social Selling.

But how do you know if these two departments are misaligned? Here are nine ways that you can quickly identify a disconnection between sales and marketing.

1. Sitting In Silos

Indicator: Sales and marketing don’t sit in the same building, city, or sometimes even country.

This causes a communication gap which is a huge problem. Sales and marketing are separated in silos and unable to strategically plan without insight from each other’s priorities and goals.

2. Content Creation And Development

Indicator: Sales and marketing don’t have weekly conversations together about content and asset creation, development, distribution, and evaluation.

Traditionally, sales teams in organizations argue that marketing doesn’t understand the buyer. Vice versa, marketing teams argue that sales doesn’t understand the difficulty it is to create content. What they don’t understand is that a truly unified revenue team presents a great opportunity to transfer buyer knowledge and feedback directly to marketing. And in return, marketing creates content through sales’ insight that educates the market.

3. A Centralized Content Library

Indicator: Marketing has not developed a centralized library of content for sales professionals, nor have they created an employee advocacy program.

Organizations have made it nearly impossible for sales professionals to access content nor are they aware of what content to share.60 to 70% of content in B2B organizations goes unused. The number one reason is irrelevance. The number two and three reasons are that people don’t know it exists or can’t find it according to SiriusDecisions. The solution to his problem is to create a content library, maintained by marketing or sales enablement with easy access for sales professionals.

4. It’s A Buyer’s Journey, Not A Sales Process

Indicator: Your sales team calls it a sales process and has no idea what a “buyer’s journey” looks like.

This means that if you sat the sales and marketing teams down in a room together and asked each of them to draw the buyer’s journey, they would be totally different. This is crucial for sales and marketing to understand the importance of a unified buying journey. 74% of B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before marketing a purchase according to Forrester. Sales and marketing must collaborate and map out their buyer’s journey. Map out the stages, also address what challenges and objections they face and create relevant content that educates the buyer throughout their journey.

5. Lack Of ROI For Marketing’s Efforts

Indicator: Marketing could not tell you the ROI of their efforts or content down to an individual ebook or blog, and especially couldn’t tell you which percentage it’s helping with quota attainment.

Marketing needs to understand the content consumption story. Buyers are leaving their digital fingerprints all over your website through consuming your content, assets, and intellectual property. When you understand the content path your buyers are taking, you have knowledge of what content furthers your buyers through the journey and what content helps with quota attainment.

6. Volume Of Inbound Leads To Quota Attainment

Indicator: Marketing is compensated to volume of inbound leads and has no accountability to quota attainment.

Similar to how sales has quota expectations, marketing should be accountable for brining a certain volume of leads at the top of the funnel.

7. Bad Inbound Leads

Indicator: Sales frankly thinks marketing’s inbound leads are sh*t.

Sales and marketing need to understand that the company has one funnel, one buyer, and one revenue team. They understand that both teams are integrated and that not every lead is created by the sales professional. Leads are created through a multiple of avenues, and every action you as a sales professional provide digitally impacts the top of the funnel.

8. It’s Both A Science And An Art

Indicator: Sales thinks marketing is fluffy, and it’s an art, not a science.

There’s a method to marketing’s madness. The “left brain” is the science of sales and marketing and the “right brain” is the art of marketing. When you put them together, you get a marketer who understands that understands the buyer’s journey and takes the insight from sales to turn it into content.

9. The Lead Generation Machine

Indicator: Sales laughs when they think of marketing as the most important lead generation engine of the business because they’re not creating at least 50% of all of the sales team’s inbound leads on a monthly basis.

If you recognize your organization in any of these, it’s time to align your sales and marketing teams. It’s absolutely imperative for sales and marketing to be aligned if your organization is to be successful.


Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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