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.

Read More

In a January 31 announcement on its website, Mozy’s President, Harel Kodesh, finally admitted defeat by halting Mozy’s unsustainable Unlimited backup plan. But he didn’t go down without taking an uncharacteristic desperate swing at competitors, alive and dead. After I read the article my first thought was, “Something is wrong over at Mozy.”

Read More

Recent statistics from SmartBrief on social media marketing reveal the urgent need for companies to define a measurable social media strategy and manage to it:

• 20% of companies have started to use social media in the past 13 to 18 months

• 94.1% of companies are using social media for brand-building, as compared to 49% who indicated they use social media for new business and lead generation

• Companies still don’t know how to manage social media and whether or not it is effective (only 14.7% reported they measure ROI)

• There is a low-level of confidence in social media strategies, with only 7.3% of companies describing their strategy as revenue-generating

Either we get better at it with time or we get used to the feeling of uncertainty, but around the 2-year mark, companies begin to express confidence in their use of social media. Hopefully no damage has been done in the meantime.

What did we take away from SmartBrief’s report? If 2010 was the year for adoption of social media, then 2011 must be the year we learn how to manage it. Like any other initiative, social media’s success depends on accountability to a well-thought out strategy.

So for the 33.3% of SmartBrief’s respondents who said they are NOT the social media decision maker in their organization, we ask: who is?

It’s time to figure it out.

Download your complimentary copy of SmartBrief’s State of Social Media for Business: Select Themes 2010 white paper today.

Read More