While marketing and sales alignment has been both a challenge and a worthy goal for some years now, the topic has seemed to crescendo recently as the pressures for performance and accountability on both teams increase.
We recently did a roadshow with InsideView and other industry leaders on this topic, titled “Drive: Fuel Your Revenue Obsession.” The thought leader presentations and InsideView’s research, Crack the Code on Sales and Marketing Alignment, showed that while the issue still exists, solving it has never been more important.
Where We Stand Today
Today, the internet and competitive pressures have increased demands on both functions, as we’re theoretically able to process so much more than ever before: more communications, more leads, more deals. In reality, the role of a sales rep is much more difficult than ever before because the power is all in the hands of the buyer and expectations are exponentially higher. Marketing is feeling the heat, too. “Big data,” the ability to measure marketers’ performance, and the mandate that marketing needs to prove its contribution to pipeline and revenue is forcing a look farther down the sales cycle.
Thanks again to the internet, nearly 70% of the sales cycle happens before sales is even in contact with the buyer. This means that marketing and sales must work together to educate and guide the buyer down the path to a closed deal, which makes the demands on sales — once the buyer does engage — significantly higher. Sales must be both educated and consultative. And, to be those things, they need the support, training, and content to effectively compete in an environment where the buyer has all the power.
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