The Sales and Marketing disconnect is a reason of concern for most B2B companies. These two divisions which need to compliment each other’s effort often end up being at logger heads, with each under estimating the efforts of the other.
According to IDC’s latest findings, in an organization the marketing team’s rating of its own effectiveness is higher than its sales team’s rating of the marketing team’s effectiveness. For example, Marketing gave itself a score of 64 out of 100 when ranking its own efficiency and effectiveness and Sales gave a score of 45 out of 100 when ranking Marketing’s efficiency and effectiveness. Marketing thinks they are doing their job and Sales disagrees.
This disconnect between Sales and Marketing can be attributed to several factors – the most significant being, in most set-ups these teams work in isolation. Marketing’s job is to generate demand for the company’s solution, drive prospects down the sales funnel, and the Sales team’s job is to convert these prospects into sales. Both the teams work individually passing on the baton once their individual tasks are completed.
The definition of success is also different for the two teams, Marketing considers itself successful if it manages to create enough mindshare for the product in the market and increases the number of inquiries. Sales can consider itself successful only when an actual conversion or sale happens.
In truth from a Company perspective the real ROI on its marketing spends is when both teams together can support and assist each other in converting the inquiries and prospects to sales.
Finding a common platform, which enables these two teams to collaborate in real time can help bridge this gap between marketing and sales within an Organization. Initiating processes which help these teams share more with each other can ensure increased productivity and higher conversions for the Organization.
But the sharing will happen only when both see some advantage in making that extra effort, below we discuss ways which will help these teams to become more efficient, just by sharing some basic feedback.
Marketing – In-house Reality Check
Marketing teams do a lot of market surveys and market research to arm themselves with information, to base their marketing strategy on. While the information thus collated might be genuine and useful, the best reality check for the Marketing team is to have a heart-to -heart chat with their sales teams and get a direct feedback on the following -
- How is the product they are trying to market perceived in the market - Sales guys work on ground and are cued to the ground realities, they are the best people to tell Marketing, in reality if all those twitter followers translate to increased brand equity
- Feedback on any Comparisons offered/mentioned by prospect on other competitor offerings - Today, the B2B customer is quite aware and does a lot of research on the available solutions for his problems, much before he even reaches a company’s Sales funnel. Sales guys, hear prospects showoff this knowledge they have gathered about the Company and its competitor offerings. Such priceless insights can help Marketing plan their next move more strategically, ensuring they cull any negative opinions formed, even before their company gets a chance to present its case.
- Any specific questions that pop up frequently, when pitching, which can be addressed in the Marketing materials – Sales professional have to answer a lot of queries about the product/Solution they sell and it is good to know, the doubts the company’s prospects harness – it will help Marketing re-orient their marketing in such a way that they effectively address those queries.
- Reasons on why a product was not sold – This is very important to understand how marketing can improvise by showcasing the offerings differently.
- Any other challenges your sales team faces when pinning down prospects
- Positive feedback from clients - This is an indicator that the company’s marketing initiatives are geared in the right direction, also such positive feedback can be used by marketing in its promotional content.
Sales – More informed and co-ordinated action
For Sales teams, a bit of tête-à-tête with the Marketing guys can provide them with a lot of information on the prospects they are pursuing, ensuring a more customized pitch and higher chances of conversions
- What kind of information material piqued the interests of the prospect – Can give Sales insight into the needs and solution requirements of the prospects, this can help them add some bit of customization to their sales offerings.
- How long has the prospect been researching your product - This can give Sales some idea on whether the prospect is looking for more information to find the perfect solution or is he at a stage where he is choosing his vendor.
- What is the prospect’s pain area – Arms Sales teams with information, which they can use to highlight those offerings of their company, which will help the prospect deal with his pain areas
- How well has he responded to the Lead nurturing program – Informs Sales on the the interest levels of the prospect
- Any insights on his behavior during the Lead nurturing program – Can give an heads-up on best Sales should tackle this prospect.
- Any successful case studies that are similar and relevant to the prospect, the sales is trying to approach – Makes it easier for Sales to present their case
- How has the marketing customized their materials to attract prospects from a particular industry - The same issues and concerns can be addressed during the sales pitch stage
With a bit of give and take – Marketing and Sales teams within an organization can arm themselves with enough information to define and achieve success from the Organization’s perspective – higher return on its overall investment.
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