It’s Called Your Sales Process

Last month, Forrester found only 8% of organizations believe they have tightly integrated their sales and marketing teams. Their report, B2B Sales and Marketing Alignment Starts With The Customer also found that the greatest obstacles to achieving tighter integration are:

• Long-term thinking by marketing vs. short-term thinking by sales (58%)
• Different goals and measurement (46%)
• Not enough time to integrate (45%)

This list echoes the results of our recent Sales & Marketing Industry Survey, where marketers said their top 3 challenges working with sales were:

• Their lack of follow-up on leads.
• They do not think about the future.
• They don’t communicate.

And where sales indicated their top 3 challenges working with marketers are:

• They don’t provide qualified leads.
• Their marketing materials are irrelevant.
• They don’t understand the target customer’s pain points.

If we look closer at both surveys, we will see that the seeds of our discontent are sown with poor planning, lack of communication, and broken lead generation. So what can get all three of these back on track? What can ensure sales and marketing share the same goals, speak the same language, and march to the same drum?

Easy. It’s called your Sales Process.

Yes, if you are among the 92% of companies who feel like your sales and marketing teams are enduring a very bitter break-up, our advice is to revisit your sales process—immediately. And if you don’t have one defined and documented, well, there’s your problem right there. (Check out our What is your Sales Process article and Sales Process Template for more assistance.)

Remember, alignment problems arise when: 1) sales and marketing are not adhering to their part in the sales process; 2) they don’t understand the sales process or didn’t know it existed, OR 3) the process as defined is simply not working because of a changing market condition.

So start with a well-defined, relevant sales process that puts all of marketing and sales activities, tools, and goals on the same page. Literally.

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