In today’s B2B market, sales and marketing silos are unlikely to be effective. The buyer’s journey is only becoming more complex, which means that sales and marketing increasingly must rely on each other for insight and collaboration in order to succeed. If you are experiencing stalled sales and marketing and sales departments that blame each other, then you most likely lack alignment. We have gathered five of the most common signs below. More of them are linked, and you will probably find that if you are experiencing one, you are experiencing more.
#1 Misaligned goals
Goal agreement is a key factor in sales and marketing alignment according to SiriusDecisions. Collaboration is impeded from the start when sales and marketing are working towards different goals. Different goals mean that completely different metrics are applied to the two departments. This makes it hard for them to see how they can support each other to reach their common goal of generating revenue.
#2 Low utilization of marketing content in sales
A sign of misalignment that is very evident is how much of your marketing content that is used by the sales department – or maybe how much that is unused. If sales and marketing do not collaborate, marketing is not creating marketing content that enables sales. Instead marketing creates content based on their own data and research, which rarely coincides with the needs of the sales force. Therefore, sales reps might start creating their own content, which hardly ever lives up to the strict brand guidelines defined in the marketing department.
#3 Lack of communication
Research by Demand Gen Report shows that communication is perceived to be the greatest challenge for sales and marketing alignment. It is obvious that nothing can be aligned without talking about it, and when sales and marketing do not communicate, it often shows – not just internally but also to customers in contact with sales reps: When sales reps talk about your product or service in a different way than what customers can read on your website or in other marketing material, it damages the buying experience. Inconsistent communication is a clear sign that you need to improve sales and marketing alignment.
#4 Lack of transparency
When there is little or no sales and marketing alignment in the organization, there is often a need for more transparency and insight into workflows. When it is unclear who is accountable for what, and how tasks are handed over and to whom, leads are likely to be dropped on the floor. In a Forbes article, the lack of a lead movement strategy is highlighted as a specific problem that causes misalignment. This again points back to lacking communication.
#5 Inefficiency both in sales and marketing
As a result of all the signs above, you will experience inefficiency both in sales and in marketing. Everyone does their best – but on their own and not together. Marketing will simply waste their time creating a lot of content that sales reps will not use in the sales process, and sales reps will spend a disproportionate amount of time making their own material, when they should be spending more time interacting with prospects and clients.
If you are experiencing one or more of these signs, you could benefit from looking into sales enablement practices. If you would rather like to have some specific advice for improved sales and marketing alignment right away, we recommend looking at the takeaways from our webinar with Pam Didner.