Misalignment between the two teams generally arises from a lack of sharing – whether that be sharing a vision, sharing their needs, sharing information or sharing responsibility. We can break this down further into five key areas:
Only 58% of US marketers and 49% of UK marketers believe that they share the same aims with their sales counterparts. Each team’s concerns are different. Sales care about meeting demand, rather than creating it. Whereas marketing haven’t connected their spend to the actual sales generated, meaning their efforts go unrealised.
There’s a lack of understanding between the two departments too, especially around how each other’s roles work. For example, sales will ask for marketing collateral, but they may not realise the research and time needed to adapt content for various channels. Marketing might additionally not know the deadlines that sales have to meet.
InsideView found that 43% believe the main challenge in bridging the disconnect is sharing accurate data on prospects and target accounts. However, often neither party is aware of what they should be communicating. Sales need to share their client insights so that marketers can produce relevant content. And marketers need to show the outcomes of such efforts, validating them and giving the whole team a sense of unified achievement.
Issues can also arise at multiple stages when it comes to lead generation. At Interlink, we believe the disconnect here mainly manifests itself in the following three:
Each team has their own separate criteria for what counts as ‘an eligible lead’. Specific rules are needed for lead qualification, as well as the relationship between sales and marketing itself. They’ll each have their own ideas and expectations as to how this relationship will play out, potentially triggering catastrophic results and misalignment.
A process for handing the lead over from marketing to sales needs to be set in stone too. The salesperson can’t simply be given a lead – they need the right information, such as where the lead came from and their position in the pipeline, as well as their background, behaviour and activity.
Similarly, if there’s no precise lead follow-up system, they can fall by the wayside. Whether the lead is given to the wrong person or it isn’t acted on quickly enough, this can make the marketer’s job (providing a qualified lead) seem futile. Yet if you get it right, the pay-off can be huge. Those that make contact with a lead via the phone within three minutes of their web enquiry, for example, can increase the chance of conversion by 98%.
Lastly, there can also be a personality conflict between the two teams. Typically, salespeople are very focused on results, confident and to the point, whereas marketers tend to be on the technical and quieter side. This can create quite the clash. But if they’re brought together effectively, they can then learn from each other’s strengths, rather than working against them.
The next chapter will build on this – looking at understanding the sides of both teams, and how they can create a successful working relationship.
Download the full ebook on The Disconnect Between Marketing and Sales and learn more about:
- What is “The Disconnect”?
- Understanding both sides
- Bridging the gap between Marketing and Sales
- Bridging the gap the Interlink way
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Whilst statistics from MarketingSherpa show that 61% of B2B marketers send all their leads to sales, they also show that only 27% of those leads are considered ‘qualified’ or ‘actively looking to purchase’ by the sales team.
Take a look at the team canvas, and you’ll notice that whilst marketing and sales may have different tasks, goals, strengths and weaknesses, their purpose is ultimately the same. They share aims and values as a result.
If conflict between the two teams arises because of a lack of specific guidelines and knowledge-sharing, a formal document that defines their working relationship can work wonders.