Why Sales throws Marketing under the bus (and how you can avoid the fatalities!)
1 to ignore the request from sales for more light.
1 to develop a creative brief on why light is important.
7 to shoot the YouTube video on how to screw in a light bulb.
1 to evaluate the amount of light offered by competitors and draft a competitive analysis.
2 to create the product slick.
1 to determine competitive pricing for the service and then set the cost well above that.
1 to buy 150-watt bulb for a 60-watt lamp.
1 to put the right spin on the process.
The above scenario, while humorous, is a sad indictment of the misalignment and disconnect that often exists between Sales and Marketing departments – a disconnect that, according to a recent webinar hosted by market intelligence firm IDC, can cost a company in excess of 10 percent of its annual revenues. While some organizations have been attempting, for many years, to equip their sales force with the right information, at the right time, in the right format, to help drive the sales process forward, many companies still struggle to get their Sales and Marketing teams aligned around the right processes and technologies.
One of the major reasons for the misalignment between Sales and Marketing is that the two departments simply have different agendas. Because of the lack of communication, understanding and alignment, Sales believes that the content and collateral created by Marketing isn’t as effective as it should be. At the same time, most marketers don’t have an effective way to track and receive feedback on what collateral was actually used to win and close business, or to know what was working and what wasn’t.
Since Marketing rarely makes face-to-face sales calls to actually see how the customer-facing content that has been developed for them is working, it is almost impossible for Marketing to react accordingly and know when it isn’t. My previous Blog “Are office politics, silos and turf wars killing your sales?” is a perfect example of the problem that exists between Sales and Marketing. The politics, silos and turf wars between these two groups is often one of the main reasons why neither Sales nor Marketing are as effective as they could and should be. So, it’s all too easy for Sales to throw Marketing under the bus and complain that Marketing is “out of touch”, with the “real world” of Sales.
When Marketing responds to a request from Sales to create a particular piece of content or collateral, it’s not uncommon that it goes unused once it has been created. Marketing responds to the Sales request only to get thrown under the bus, by Sales, because it didn’t meet their needs. So, whose fault was that? I mean, did Sales not provide the right information or detail of exactly what it was they needed? Or did Marketing not listen clearly enough and ask for clarification regarding what Sales wanted and needed? So they wind up finger pointing and blaming each other for the outcome. All too often we find salespeople spending way too much time rewriting marketing collateral that takes them away from the time they should be using to sell. This results in less selling time in the field with collateral that is often less effective than the original marketing piece they attempted to rewrite.
The best way to avoid these fatalities is to clearly have a formal process in place that allows each group to collaborate and work together for the common goal of the whole organization and customer. Information and feedback need to flow in both directions so Sales and Marketing are in sync and are supporting each other. If the two groups can develop this type of relationship where they both recognize that each desperately needs the other, then and only then, will they have each other’s backs and eliminate anyone from being thrown under the bus.