I half-joke that, traditionally, Marketing and Salespeople seem to talk more about teach other, than to each other. We are talking about your sales force and your marketing teams working together more effectively to grow your business. It makes sense, doesn’t it ? The business invests in both to gain a good return on that investment. So you would want them to work as well together as is possible, right ? What happens if they don’t ?
Have you encountered some of these comments about Marketing by Sales people ?
- “The sales leads we get from Marketing are useless, they may as well give me the phone book.”
- “Sales brings in the money, and Marketing spends it.”
Conversely, I have heard Marketers say this about their Sales peers:
- “We give them good sales leads, but they are too lazy or too incompetent to follow them up.”
- “What would sales reps know about Marketing anyway?”
- and: “Marketers have university degrees, sales reps don’t.”
So it is easy to see when there is a gap between Marketing and Sales. But that is not the whole story. Sometimes the symptoms are more subtle, or they manifest themselves in different ways. So, what are the symptoms of poor Marketing and Sales collaboration ?
I have put together seven of the more common signs for you here, together with my recommended solutions, and with their projected outcomes.
Sign #1: Our sales reps are not achieving their sales targets.
“Over 67 percent of Sales professionals do not achieve their personal sales quota.” – The TAS Group –
Give your sales and marketing leaders the ability to monitor what content your top reps use. Then use that information to boost the performance of your lower performing reps.
Lifted sales performance across the board, leveraging the sales know-how of our top sales performers for all our reps.
Sign #2: Our sales force does not fully utilize Marketing’s collateral and sales leads. And – even worse – our sales reps are spending their precious time creating their own marketing material, instead of selling.
“Only 25 percent of sales leads and collateral that Marketing creates is ever used by sales teams.” – IDC –
Establish a collaborative feedback mechanism between Sales and Marketing that focuses both teams on what really works for our customers and prospects.
Sales reps now sell more, faster because Marketing now receives valuable information straight from the front line to support salespeople more effectively.
Sign #3: The sales reps do not use our CRM system properly. Our sales pipeline is out of control, too many sales opportunities are being deferred.
“Up to 60 percent of sales leads are stuck at Do Nothing, i.e. at “wait and see.” – Sales Benchmark Index –
More effective collaboration between Marketing and Sales gives the sales force the information, subject matter insight and the argumentation they need to advance and close deals faster.
Time to sale is significantly reduced and reps are much more confident in dealing with more senior executive buyers.
Sign #4: Our newly hired sales reps take too long to become productive.
“Almost 78% of newly hired sales reps take 6 months or longer to become fully proficient at selling”. – Accenture –
Help sales teams to ramp up more quickly through fast and easy access to the right marketing collateral and information.
Lifted sales performance across the board by helping reps to access the right content at the right time.
Sign #5: We do not have a clear picture of what our customers think of our sales and marketing efforts.
“More than half of the information that marketers use comes from their previous experience, or from their intuition”. – IDC –
Have an unencumbered and neutral third party interview your customers to help better understand where opportunities for improvement really are. Then work with your sales and marketing teams towards a more collaborative and customer-focused mindset that sets the business up for growth.
We now have the insight we need to grow our business because our teams have clarity on our customers’ experience to improve our marketing materials and sales techniques to boost our performance.
Sign #6: We are exposed to high risk as valuable sales know-how and corporate knowledge walks out every night in our sales reps’ heads.
Retain valuable sales know-how within your business by capturing it from your high performing sales champions, and infuse your average performers with it.
By capturing our ever-growing sales know-how, “Tribal Knowledge” and intellectual property (IP) we reduce our risk of high performers moving on.
Sign #7: Our business environment does not attract and retain enough high performing talent.
Work with your leaders and their teams to establish a collaborative mindset to create the kind of team environment that encourages people to give their best, to boost engagement and to lift performance.
Attract more high performers to our organisation who stay longer because staff engagement is lifted right across our entire business. Our new high-performing work environment is now based on empowerment and collaboration , and it attracts a superior calibre of candidates.
Do you have any of these seven signs in your business? I’ll be interested in your feedback and whether you have stories of your own to contribute.