Marketing and Sales still don't understand each other. A new study by the CMO Council and summarized by MarketingCharts confirms what we all already know, which is these two critical corporate departments still have a long way to go to optimize the sales and demand generation process.
While there isn't much new in this study, the results remind us of how much work is left to be done-and that technology alone won't solve the sales and marketing divide challenge.
Some highlights of the study include:
- Forty percent of marketers surveyed said they had some top sales producers but there was mostly a need for improvement.
- Only 10 percent of surveyed sales professionals see marketers as market-savvy and on target with demand-generating campaigns. Confirming the stereotypical view that many marketers are tactical, 41 percent of sales professionals say marketing provides good/right content and sales-support materials.
- Twelve percent of sales and marketing professionals say they have a well-integrated, real-time view of all customer interactions.
- Thirty-seven percent of sales and marketing professionals report good visibility into prospects, pipeline, deal flow and conversion rates.
- Fifty-five percent of marketing and sales professionals surveyed say their companies have not implemented, or are just in the planning stage to implement formal efforts to integrate or align the sales and marketing functions.
- Twenty percent of sales and marketing professionals indicate that marketing hands off leads to sales, yet marketing has no insight into conversion and close outcomes; 13 percent say most leads are never captured, qualified or acted upon; and about 11 percent report they have no on-premise or on-demand CRM system in place.
- While CRM systems tend to be mandated and adopted across the sales organization, they tend to be more selectively embraced by marketing teams in business units and departments.
As someone who has been in and around marketing departments the last 24 years, I believe it is incumbent upon marketers to take the "bull by the horns." Sales people do what they do-and most do it well. They sell. They aren't going to change, just as my wife of nearly 25 years isn't going to suddenly stop squeezing the toothpaste tube in the middle.
Demand generation and marketing automation solutions are clearly the foundation and the catalyst that will help bring sales and marketing departments together. But marketing professionals also need to change the dynamic of their conversations with sales people. When speaking with sales, remove words like "hits," "downloads," "sign-ups," "trade booth forms" from your lexicon. Shifting the conversation with sales beyond "leads" to "quality leads" is also one of the first steps to closing the sales and marketing divide.
Like any attempt at change, always begin at "home."