What's slowing your team down? No doubt you've devoured think pieces about motivating your employees and getting more out of sales-enablement tools, but there's something else you're missing. You likely don't notice it because it's all around you: Your shared workspace is the culprit!
This is not about feng shui. This is about implementing a smarter arrangement of sales and marketing workspaces that not only align the two departments physically, but strategically, too. Traditionally, sales and marketing sit in complete silos, sometimes on different floors and sometimes even in completely different countries. A better arrangement of rooms, desks and technology gives you a secret edge, opening up a surprising amount of sales time over a year and significantly collapsing the distance from prospect to buyer.
Examine the evidence:
DIY Workplace Design
A 2015 study by CEB explored the impact that employee input on office space design could have on productivity. The results should come as no surprise. When employees say they're satisfied with their physical workplace, they become 16 percent more productive and 18 percent more likely to not jump ship.
You can be sure your sales team knows the best way to navigate around the office during the limited time they spend in-house. They know what they need from marketing to close more sales and which literal roadblocks stand in the way. When time is short, people naturally gravitate to the most direct means of accomplishing their tasks. It's your job as a leader to ensure that the best pathway for your team leads to sales and marketing alignment.
The Impact of Alignment
Companies win when they align the efforts of sales and marketing - and the statistics are there to prove it.
Oracle reported an average 20-percent annual revenue growth among best-in-class companies that had aligned their marketing and sales departments, compared to a 4-percent revenue loss by those companies where the two were out of sync. Similarly, Marketing Sherpa's sales-marketing alignment case study demonstrated how one relatively simple change increased the company's contact database by 11 percent, boosted its marketing-qualified leads by 25 percent and reduced its lead-rejection rate by 20 percent.
The takeaway is simple: Align or get left behind.
What Sales Teams Don't Need
The CEB reported that nearly a quarter of employees (22 percent) are not able to meet their execution needs due to a poorly designed workspace. After artificial lighting, layout was the second most-problematic aspect of their work area.
The top three problems that interfered with their productivity were:
- Distracting noise levels
- The occasional necessity for visual privacy
- Lack of availability for meeting space
Even if practical limitations preclude the perfect workspace, there is one thing most companies can do to start seeing greater productivity: Bring sales and marketing teams closer together.
A New Definition of the Open Office
The Harvard Business Review found that an open-concept office (with sales and marketing in the same space) resulted in more successful communications. One pharmaceutical firm reported a 20-percent sales jump (more than $200 million in revenue) just from reducing the number of coffee machines and putting them where sales and marketing could gather in one place.
Despite the convincing arguments for sales-marketing alignment, many companies continue to operate with each department working independently in different wings, offices or even time zones. Only 17 percent of marketers and 14 percent of salespeople report their companies have achieved alignment, according to Marketing Profs.
Where do you stand, literally? Examine whether your company needs to pay more attention to sales-marketing alignment and what you're willing to do about it. After all, roadblocks belong with your competition.