How a business suffers when sales and marketing aren’t on the same page

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Sales DownIn today’s challenging and competitive economy, it is more important than ever that a company’s sales and marketing efforts are productive, effective and efficient. Unfortunately, millions of dollars in business opportunities are lost or squandered every single day when these two seemingly close-linked departments get it wrong. Here are a few examples:

Business opportunities are lost when the Sales Department…

  • Doesn’t have access to the information within its own organization that can help close sales opportunities.
  • Cannot clearly articulate the company’s value proposition.
  • Doesn’t understand the value that customers gain from the solutions the company sells.
  • Doesn’t understand the pain and the issues of the prospects they are attempting to sell to.
  • Cannot differentiate the company from its competition.
  • Focuses on selling to the wrong prospects.
  • Doesn’t consistently use the company’s best sales practices.
  • Doesn’t know the strengths and/or weaknesses of the company’s competitors.
  • Misuses or doesn’t have access to corporate marketing collateral.
  • Misuses or doesn’t have access to customer references/testimonials.
  • Doesn’t analyze the reasons why they have won, lost or had no decisions in the opportunities they have pursued.
  • Does not follow up on leads created by the marketing department.

Business opportunities are lost when the Marketing Department…

  • Creates marketing campaigns with the wrong message to the wrong market.
  • Believes the role of marketing is purely to create brand awareness rather than selling solutions.
  • Doesn’t know who the customer is or what they want.
  • Doesn’t know why the customer buys from the company and/or the value they gain from that purchase.
  • Doesn’t provide a clear and consistent customer message.
  • Is misaligned with the sales department and therefore doesn’t provide the right customer messages, marketing collateral, or quality of leads that the sales department needs.
  • Isn’t able to differentiate the company in its messaging or collateral.
  • Doesn’t develop and catalog customer references in a way that sales people can quickly and easily access them – and in a way that is most impactful for them.
  • Doesn’t provide quick and easy access to the type of marketing collateral that sales people need to sell effectively.

What happens when Sales and Marketing both get it wrong…

  • Lack of sales growth and market penetration
  • Unpredictable sales performance
  • Higher costs and lower profits
  • Low sales productivity (revenue per sales rep)
  • Lower customer retention
  • Longer sales cycle
  • Lagging new product sales
  • Lower or undefined marketing productivity
  • Lower revenue from merger/acquisition/alliance products/channels

It’s clear that there is definitely a price to pay when Sales and Marketing are not as aligned as they could and should be and it impacts the whole organization in a negative way. It also impacts customers as well.  I just don’t understand why organizations don’t understand this better and see that their islands unto themselves is a negative influence on everything they do.  At least that’s the way I see it, what say you?

  1. “Business opportunities are lost when the Sales Department…Doesn’t have access to the information within its own organization that can help close sales opportunities.”

    Why are sales opportunities not closing? When they do close what did a sales rep do to help that happen? The more you know about your internal sales process the better because you can spot bottlenecks and pitfalls before they become a problem.

  2. Good point Pat and I agree. The more you know about your internal sales process the better, but you also need to know what your sales people are using that helps them be more effective and so you need tools that provide feedback and what content and assets they are using and how effective and valuable they are.