Connecting Marketing and Sales for improved revenue performance

Getting marketing and Sales to work well together will probably be a challenge forever but some organizations are making serious progress at overcoming this traditional roadblock.  The article in the link shown below offers three good suggestions on how to overcome this seemingly endless roadblock.  While I like the suggestions offered in the article, I feel there are three other suggestions that ought to be the central part of any initiative to get marketing and sales aligned.  Here is the article link:  http://bit.ly/X99gNz  Please note this is a lengthy article but worth the read.

The article by Hubspot puts forth that there are three key hurdles Marketing and Sales must overcome if they are going to effectively work together.  These three hurdles are:

  1. The “misconception” hurdle:

–        Sales people are greedy and simpleminded

–        Marketing folks are academics and intolerant

  1. The “misalignment” hurdle:

–        The two organizations sit apart and rarely, if ever, get together

  1. The “misleading” hurdle:

–        Sales and Marketing have objectives, but these are often not connected in any way

The article goes on to discuss the dangers of not addressing these three hurdles and how to resolve them.  Here is a short summary of the authors’ recommendations.

For the misconception hurdle, they provide a number of ideas that fundamentally suggest that the organizations should structure more activities together – hold joint meetings, have members from each group sit with the others, etc.

For the misalignment hurdle, they suggest shifting to a persona-based team structure – build teams that are made up of Sales and Marketing, have these teams sit together within the office structure.

For the misleading hurdle, they suggest setting up service-level agreements (SLAs) to track the appropriate metrics.

While I found a lot of good ideas in the article, I believe it is missing some key areas of focus.  A close friend of mine, who has been a CMO and has experience with leading both Sales and Marketing teams, has three of his own specific recommendations for getting the most out of your teams.  His three areas are:  clear role definition, structured communications, and aligned metrics.  Let’s look at each of these areas of focus.

  1. Clear role definition:

–        Define the roles clearly and make sure the other organization understands their role as well as yours

  1. Structuring communications between the two organizations:

–        Get aligned on common goals

–        More sharing of data and information with each other

–        Recognize that Sales is about personal relationships and Marketing is about company relationships

  1. Define critical metrics to properly measure performance and success:

–        Agree on goals that are relevant to both organizations – share of wallet vs. share of market

–        Try to link the metrics.  For example:  Awareness ð Leads ð Access ð Conversion ð Repeat Orders ð Share of Category within Customer ð Market Share ð Increased Revenue ð Increased Profit ð Performance Incentives

While I feel that the HubSpot article offers good suggestions, I feel that you need to first establish a higher level of alignment through the three strategies mentioned above.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback.

 

 

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