Do you really know what’s working and what isn’t in your sales, marketing and product areas?

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See Hear Speak No EvilI had a very interesting and enlightening conversation today with a consultant who works for the company that developed my website. She asked me to tell her who my target audience was and who I was trying to reach. I explained to her that my target audiences were medium to large-sized organizations that were struggling with poor sales and marketing alignment, effectiveness and productivity. She responded that was a large audience, because so many companies experienced those problems.

I went on to explain to her that most organizations recognize that they have this problem, but they often get into finger pointing around who owns the problem and just how bad it really is. You see, most organizations don’t really know what’s working and what isn’t, when it comes down to sales and marketing alignment, effectiveness and productivity. They just know that it’s a problem.

Because many departments work in silos, they are very protective about what they are responsible for. Many department heads are deaf, dumb and blind to what’s working and what isn’t, in their own departments, because they simply don’t have the right tools or feedback systems in place to tell them. Those same people may be quick to point out why another department isn’t aligned, effective or productive, while lacking the perception to recognize what’s working and what isn’t, in their own department.

For example, Marketing creates messaging, presentations and collateral all the time, without ever going out in the field to validate or verify its effectiveness. What’s worse is that there often aren’t any structured processes in place to provide feedback on its effectiveness. So, Marketing continues to crank out more and more content and collateral that either goes unused or people attempt to rewrite it.  This is even worse, because there is no consistency or continuity of what is produced and presented.

This problem isn’t the sole burden of Marketing, because Sales Training often experiences the same thing. They produce training materials that they have no way of knowing whether they are being used or not, when the last time they were used or how valuable they still are. The Product department sees new product launches fail at a rate of 75%. Could that be because they are creating new products in a vacuum and not collaborating with their customers or sales people? Most sales organizations will not attain their quotas and achieve their revenue goals. Could that be because their sales people are not articulating a message that resonates with their target audience and/or don’t truly understand what the value proposition is of the product or service they are attempting to sell? How do you know for sure?

Each group needs to know what’s working and what isn’t within their own group, so they can address each of them and understand how they affect the poor sales and marketing alignment, effectiveness and productivity issues within their organization.

Organizations need to implement the right tools and process that allow them to get the feedback they need to solve these problems and increase effectiveness and productivity. Tools like our Compendian’s CollaboRate, for example, are designed to do just that. They offer ways for companies to capture, catalog and capitalize on the tribal knowledge, collective wisdom, best practices and experiences of their own organization. Those types of tools provide important analytics around what information or content is being accessed, how often, by whom and how valuable it is. They also provide the ability for users to rate, tag and make suggestions on the content, information and collateral that are being provided to them. This allows users to rate content on the quality and value of it, so they can provide valuable feedback to those who created it. They can also make suggestions on ways to improve it, because they are the ones who can see how it is being used and what is needed to make it more effective and better. This provides greater collaboration and alignment between the people who create content and those who use it. Tagging allows users to find what they are looking for, faster, the way they search for things, thereby increasing productivity.

So, if your company doesn’t know what is working and what isn’t and experiences poor sales and marketing alignment, effectiveness and productivity, then be bold and take ownership for solving this problem. Check into the types of tools and solutions out there that can help solve this, and I’ll bet you will see a measurable improvement in all of them. If you don’t know what’s working and what isn’t, you will never be able to fix it.

At least that’s the way I see it. What say you?

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