Sales and Marketing are often considered two sides of the same coin. They both directly touch the same customer base.
Now, ask yourself this question: Are your Marketing And Sales teams aligned?
Unfortunately, even the Fortune B2B companies struggle to find common ground for these. From alarming conversion rates to dissatisfied customer experiences, sales and marketing misalignment can put your company at a competitive disadvantage and impact revenue at every stage.
But, do you know B2B companies are more likely to face this problem since the buying journey from marketing to sales and lead stand-off is clearer?
Almost 90% of B2B sales and marketing professionals report misfits in their organizations regarding strategy, process, culture, and content. Many businesses have reported this as one of the primary causes that stop them from grabbing the opportunities.
In addition, this hinders their ROI and damages their relationship with customers. Not million, not billion, a business with misalignment in sales and marketing teams can suffer an estimated cost of 1 trillion dollars.
Owners must collaborate well with sales and marketing teams to avoid a tremendous loss to achieve shared goals.
Identifying Areas Of Misalignment
In B2B companies, the sales and marketing teams are in an everlasting loop of the blame game. When asked for results, the marketing team blames the sales team for their incompetent attempts to convert leads. On the other end, the sales team asks the marketing team to level up their game and produce more leads.
But, once the deed is done, there is no way to revert it. An unsuccessful campaign loosens your pocket and compromises your company’s image. The finger-pointing exercise is good for none. Hence, it’s better to keep a close eye on these red flags.
How can you tell if your marketing and sales teams are misaligned?
- Your sales team emphasizes, again and again, the quality of the lead
- Even after increasing your budget and spending ample money on marketing and ads, you aren’t getting the expected results
- The sales team doesn’t use the feedback and inputs of your marketing team, and vice versa
- None of them understand each other’s needs, nor reach out for help
- None of the groups are willing to take responsibility for their actions
Why Are The Sales And Marketing Teams Misaligned?
As per an analysis by Forbes magazine, approximately 55% of marketers are unaware of which assets are most frequently utilized by the sales team. The sales team often overlooked more than two-thirds of the marketing material at times. Moreover, with seldom communication, sales teams have no idea where to look for resources once developed.
Here are some critical reasons for the misalignment:
1. Lack of Communication
Proper communication between both departments is essential for the alignment of the team. However, in most organizations, the sales and marketing teams lack touch. They only communicate over emails whenever the communication can’t be avoided, which ultimately isn’t as effective as face-to-face communication.
2. Lack of Consultation
Both the sales and marketing teams might be working on different goals, but they need each other for valuable input. If both departments are not serious about the feedback and suggestions of the other, achieving the target will just become a dream.
3. Company Culture
Misalignment between departments can also be due to the organization’s culture. At times organizations give departments the liberty to make decisions to drive the best result. However, this might lead to the clashing of decisions leading to unwanted effects. To align your marketing and sales team, you should emphasize collaboration and the result.
Steps To Get Your Sales & Marketing Misalignment On Track
Getting your sales and marketing team on track can be time-consuming. But, once done, it can do wonders for your organization. Here are a few steps you need to align the departments in the right direction:
Step 1: Define Common Terms
These are the baby steps in aligning your marketing and sales team. Organize a team meeting and discuss what you are referring to as common goals with both the team. Once your team agrees with the terms of common goals, the rest will be pieces of cake.
Step 2: Replace The Sales Funnel With A Revenue Cycle
The traditional sales funnel model sorted the target audience into leads, prospects, and clients. This led to separating the goals of both teams. However, the current scenario demands personalized attention from the prospects. To achieve so, organizations must replace their sales funnel with a revenue funnel where the target of both teams should be generating revenue.
Step 3: Constant Collaboration
Now that both the teams have a clear idea of what they are expected to do, your organization must often facilitate their collaboration. For example, you can arrange weekly meetings twice or thrice a week where both the departments can share valuable information, feedback and updates.
Opportunity Cost Of Having A Disengaged Marketing & Sales System
One of the major things that keeps your sales team dedicated to your organization is their belief that they can achieve a particular goal. However, if the goals are misaligned, things do not work out as they should.
This can demotivate the sales team as they can not perceive a clear picture of achieving the goal, which cuts off their dedication to that specific goal and your organization.
2. Piled Up Bills
“Team, let’s hit our targets by the end of this month.” These might be your words while motivating your sales and marketing team. But, this can cost you.
For example, in desperation to achieve incentives, salespeople might offer supplementary services without realizing the true success of the product. These can be resources like free training, free freight, refined after-sales service, and customized products. These won’t generate revenue but rather cost dollars.
3. Lagging Behind Your Competitors
Often the marketing team keeps a close look at what the organization’s competitors are up to. They analyze their websites, blog posts, social media channels, campaigns, success rate, strategy to bind customers, etc.
With misalignment, the marketing team might not convey these pieces of information to your sales department. Even if they do, it might not get used by your sales department.
When both teams work together, the competitors’ strategies can be discussed by both departments. As a result, a better tactic that is mightier than your competitors can be derived.
4. Decreased Speed Of Changes
Suppose a particular approach isn’t driving the desired results. In such cases, if the teams are misaligned, working on making a strategy that is fruitful for your B2B organization can be difficult.
However, an aligned team can together brainstorm creative ideas and bring them to the table. In addition, being on the same page with their goals will bring diverse views to bear on any challenges that may develop, leading to more innovative solutions.
5. Clouded Judgment of Customers
In B2B companies, knowing your audience is crucial. When teams are misaligned, they might reach out to two different segments of the audience. This will deteriorate the effectiveness of your overall organization to attract customers. Moreover, this might impact the experience of your customers.
If your team works together, they have a clear idea of who they should reach. Attracting and closing deals with the right customer gets more accessible with the alignment of the sales and marketing team.
With both the teams getting on the same page, understanding their buyer’s profile and stages involved in pursuing them get clearer. Moreover, with the joint efforts of both, the credit for customer experience goes to both teams. This also reduces the chances of customers feeling the gap and getting into trouble due to the misalignment.
Wrapping It Up
Sales and marketing misalignment can be costly but avoidable. Ending the war between the two teams has been a matter of concern for several B2B marketing leaders. Since the pandemic has hit worldwide, B2B buyers have got cautious about from whom and why they are getting their services.
It is observed that more than one-third of buyers carry out pre-purchase research. However, the numbers have fallen in the number of buyers talking to the B2B service providers before making a purchase. Hence, the traditional method of talking your way into your customer’s mind is way more complex than before.
The sales and marketing teams need to customize their strategies regularly as per the trends in the market. Since buyers are relying more on reviews and information in digital form, the teams must adapt to tactics that provide buyers with better online resources.
As a B2B CMO or CEO, it’s time to build the bridge between the sales and marketing departments.
Every single CMO and CEO must be already working on transforming their misaligned teams into perfectly aligned collaborative teams. Have you begun?
In the Website Engagement Design framework, this problem is uprooted naturally because the strategy is built with the essence of both teams working together. If this interests you further for your organization to make your marketing and sales efforts more effective and planned, reach out to our team. Let’s discuss your case!