Keeping your Sales & Marketing teams Accountable

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Business Man & Woman

Where does accountability lie within your organization and how do you go about holding people accountable for their performance, or lack thereof?

I know a lot of organizations have annual reviews that are conducted by HR or an immediate supervisor of how an individual is performing. Depending on the organization these can be very helpful and detailed or just fluff. It all depends on who is conducting the review. So, we can say that departments and teams have a different set of standards that they are held accountable by, and it often comes down to whether or not they are meeting the goals that have been set down for them by upper management.  For Sales, it’s often whether or not they are achieving the revenue target and quotas that they have been given.  For Marketing, it might be the number of leads that they produce, or how effective a new product launch was, or how effective the collateral they produce is.

But how do the Sales and Marketing teams hold each other accountable?

We have a lot of research that tells us that for Sales:

  • Less than 50% of Sales people are hitting their quotas
  • Fewer than 25% of Sales VP’s are satisfied that their sales team can articulate their company’s value proposition to prospects and customers
  • Sales people are spending less than 10% of their selling time in actual face to face with clients
  • More than 70% of executives surveyed felt that sales people understood their business and problems enough to meet with them (IDC)
  • Almost 60% of current opportunities are stalled, stuck at “Do Nothing” and failing to move forward to a “Yes” (SBI)
  • “The challenge facing most sales organizations is not making more calls, but rather making great calls. They need to deal with the challenge of helping salespeople increase their effectiveness in working with customers and prospects.” (CSO Insights 2012 Sales Performance Optimization survey)

Additional research tells us that for Marketing:

  • 2 out of 3 sales reps don’t think the current content “Disrupts the customer’s mindset”
  • 80% of companies surveyed by Sales2.0 Circle indicate that they are not satisfied with the ROI on their content investment
  • Over 50% of your marketing and sales communications aren’t relevant to your customer
  • More than 70% of your marketing content isn’t relevant to your sales teams
  • More than 75% of marketing executives believe they are doing a poor job of managing marketing and sales messages and content. (CMO Council)
  • Sales ignores 85% of the leads that marketing produces (Everyone)
  • Sales and Marketing can’t agree on what constitutes a “good lead”

Trust me, I could go on and on producing more research facts but I think you get the picture.  So, how do departments and their teams go about holding each other accountable?  One way would be to have tools in place that:

  1. Provide a way in which they can rate any sales or marketing collateral using a consistent scale, so they will be able to know what is working and what isn’t
  2. Provide analytics so management can see what is being accessed and what isn’t and what the ratings are
  3. Provide a way in which they can collaborate and share ideas and suggestions to improve those things that aren’t working
  4. Provide analytics so management can measure their progress and hold those people who produce sales and marketing training, collateral, etc. accountable

Organizations, departments and teams need to be able to be accountable to each other. Therefore, need to be willing to accept feedback, suggestions and ideas from the teams they are supposed to be supporting and be willing to be accountable to them. Accountability is a form of responsibility and shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing; instead it should be seen as a way for people and organizations to grow and become more effective. People are counting on other people to help them do their jobs and therefore, should be able to hold those people and teams accountable to provide them what they need. Those organizations, departments, teams and people who are willing to be accountable will be measurably more effective and successful.

At least that’s the way I see it, what say you?

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