Bridging the Gap Between Sales and Marketing

by Workbooks Online

The disconnect between sales and marketing is impacting the bottom line for many businesses. This was the conclusion of a report published by techUK

Sales and marketing should, in theory, be perfectly aligned. Their core objective is the same –  to increase revenue – their activities overlap and should support each other. Yet, in reality these two professions take very different approaches to the same goal, use different terminology, and measure their success in different ways. The outcome is often significant misalignment of these two functions which results in serious business impact.

This highlights something we have been saying for years. For many organisations, particularly in the technology sector, sales departments feel that the marketing department is insufficiently focused on sales, and marketing thinks the sales department doesn’t really understand branding. All too often the two seem to work in parallel, each ticking their own boxes and meeting their own KPIs, while missing out on the direct collaboration that would make both of them even more effective. 

But in the modern digital landscape, it’s increasingly difficult to distinguish a marketing activity from a sales activity. Prospects do much of their research online, using marketing collateral to build trust and reassurance – they no longer rely on a straightforward sales pitch to make their decision.

But with the techUK report showing that only 41 per cent of marketing material is seen as useful by sales, there’s a clear need for the two to work together more closely. The fact that a recent Gartner survey showed that 77 per cent of B2B customers rated their purchase experience as extremely complex or difficult should be seen as an opportunity not just for sales, but for marketing to optimise the buying journey. With both departments working in conjunction, with the help of technology to coordinate activities, gain visibility, and measure results, as well as optimising contacts and collateral, the path to conversion can be made much simpler and enticing for potential customers.

A true partnership between the two teams and a culture of transparency, enabled by technology, can help uncover unique insights into the sales process, fine-tune and optimise the sales and marketing strategies, as well as grow new business opportunities and increase revenues. Alignment can be truly transformational.