The Sales & Marketing Forum

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1 The Sales & Marketing Forum Sales are from Mars, Marketing are from Venus Practical steps to align sales and marketing for improved lead generation There are a number of examples in the B2B marketing space of businesses in which there is a fundamentally different relationship between sales and marketing. Not only does alignment between sales and marketing lead to more and betterquality leads, but it helps ensure that the right proposition is created for the right people, building your reputation in the process. If the benefits are so clear, why is aligning sales and marketing still such a problem? We asked three speakers to share the lessons they have learned. Mark Armstrong: Head of Direct Enterprise Sales, Telefónica UK Robert Pickles: Director of Public Sector Business Development and Public Affairs, Canon UK Vince Kerr: Former Director of Marketing, UK and Ireland, Fujitsu 1

2 Home / Next > The honeymoon is over In the B2B enterprise space, sales teams are selling into an increasingly mature market and competition in the digital space is increasing. Businesses are innovating to offer more strategic services to solve complex business issues. At the same time buyers, who are increasingly time poor and hard to reach, are looking for compelling business cases. The honeymoon is over. It s time for sales and marketing to work more closely together, telling a consistent story to a mutually agreed audience, leading to a set of shared objectives. "The sales and marketing languages had the same words, but the way they were used gave different meanings. 2

3 < Previous / Home / Next > The communication gap It's not that the marketing team isn t working hard enough, or that the sales team is being difficult. The problem is often that there is a communication gap between the two departments with each team working in a silo. This was the common theme from our speakers. Marketing runs campaigns, events and promotions like a well-oiled machine, working hard to produce as many leads as possible. But campaigns are targeted at a general level. Over in the sales department, everyone has one thing in mind reaching their targets by cherry-picking the highest value leads. Campaigns are inconsistent and aren t followed up, which leaves a bad impression on customers and prospects. The sales team often doesn't have enough time to get up to speed with the latest marketing initiatives. As a result, returns from marketing activity are often sub-optimal and tracking is poor, with no real accountability. Campaigns are inconsistent and aren t followed up 3

4 < Previous / Home / Next > Starting over Aligning sales and marketing is no mean feat, and it s certainly not a quick fix, but our speakers took on the challenge, and found the results worth the wait: O 2 gained a clear end-to-end view of their prospect pipeline, key activities and nurture dates. Canon saw 25 times return on investment. Fujitsu hit 152% of its growth target and generated a sales pipeline that achieved 260% of the target. 57% of top performing companies had defined workflows between sales and marketing to handle leads. Aberdeen Group Research,

5 < Previous / Home / Next > Steps to a happy relationship Implementing the structural and procedural changes to achieve sales and marketing alignment takes time. We have distilled the combined wisdom of sales and marketing to give you some steps that you can take to start on the road to delivering better, more targeted sales opportunities and clear improvements to ROMI. 1. Involve sales from the start of each campaign This will ensure that your campaigns generate the results that the sales team needs. Sales will know what s coming and can provide feedback on how well campaigns are being received, and how they could be improved. 2. Make sure you are both speaking the same language Even though sales and marketing use the same words, they often mean different things. Marketers love to talk about brand architecture, campaign ROI, Facebook likes and Tweets. What the sales team, and indeed the rest of the organisation, are interested in is revenue, opportunity, leads and customer satisfaction. Find out what s important to your customers and then translate that into a language that both sales and marketing can understand. 3. Create a single set of goals for sales and marketing It s vital that everyone is working towards the same goal. Get both teams into one room and work out your main objectives. Then map out the route to reaching them. A focus for communication Account growth Winning bids Pipeline Brand favourability 5

6 < Previous / Home 4. Make sure that marketing understands how sales is rewarded When marketing understands the sales team s priorities, they ll be able to focus on the areas that are valuable to sales, achieving results that everyone is happy with. 5. Sit in on each other s meetings Send a representative from marketing to the weekly sales team meetings and vice versa so that everyone knows what everyone else is working on. This will also ensure that everyone has the same end-goal in mind. 6. Give marketing access to sales tools Tools like salesforce.com solutions should be understood by marketing as well as sales. Before the marketing department considers investing in marketing automation tools, it should spend more time understanding the processes and capabilities of the core CRM system. When sales and marketing are able to respect and accept their differences then love has a chance to blossom! When everyone has one platform to work from and a single view of customers and prospects, campaigns are more likely to be aligned to the conversations that sales are having on the ground. 7. Make sure your reporting structures support collaboration It s vital to have a clear view of what has happened to every lead or nurture passed over by the marketing team. Generating weekly, monthly or annual overviews of leads and nurtures per campaign, tracked by sector with a pipeline value next to each, will help demonstrate the true value of marketing and put an end to the question What does marketing actually do?. 8. Look after the relationship As in any relationship, respect and teamwork go a long way! Book a workshop with us We ve helped companies like Atos, Oracle, O 2 and Canon align sales and marketing for better, more measurable results. We re offering 121 planning workshops to help you set marketing targets that are aligned to sales objectives and work out which activities will help you meet those targets. For further information, or to arrange a workshop, please contact Gemma Davies on or 6

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