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Four Ways to Overcome the Sales and Marketing Divide

Jennifer Mulligan

It’s a tale as old as time: The sales and marketing teams at many organizations are at odds. Despite both departments working to generate revenue for the company, over half of marketers and salespeople reported that their teams are divided in Walker Sands’ State of Martech 2019 report.

Yet, almost six in 10 (58%) of those who reported a marketing and sales divide do not believe the silo is a problem, suggesting that they’ve become so accustomed to the disconnect that they’ve stopped trying to solve it.

Instead of throwing in the towel, investing the time to understand the reasons for the misalignment and find ways to resolve it can lead to faster and greater ROI.

Common Reasons Sales and Marketing are Divided

  • They have different team leads. More than half (56%) of respondents who reported that their teams are siloed blamed it on not reporting to the same person.
  • They’re working toward different goals. Often, marketers are measured by awareness metrics such as brand sentiment or analytical goals like marketing qualified leads (MQLs) – qualified by criteria such as company size, revenue, location and industry. Meanwhile, sales teams look for a different set of criteria when qualifying leads (or SQLs), such as budget, fit, timing and need. Further, sales teams focus on other analytical metrics like sales velocity, deal expansion and overall revenue targets.
  • They create redundancies and inconsistencies. While most marketing teams are responsible for creating content the sales team can use to nurture a prospect into a new client (e.g., white papers, blog posts, case studies, etc.), many sales teams are creating their own resources to close specific deals. Even though helpful resources might already exist with the marketing team, the sales team either doesn’t know how to access them or they may not be solving the right pain points. If the marketing team isn’t creating resources that are helpful in closing deals, it’s likely that an organization is pushing misaligned messaging to prospects and customers.

Although the majority of marketers and salespeople are numb to these pain points, there is an opportunity for martech vendors and marketing leaders to bridge the gap between the teams.

How to Bridge the Sales and Marketing Gap

  1. Ultimately, changing people’s hearts and minds requires a culture change. In fact, 37% of respondents said that their organization needs a culture change between the departments, and another 35% said that senior leadership must initiate that change. This shows that marketers and the salesforce are open to working together, but only if their leadership leads the charge.
  2. Incorporate more or better technology that brings the staff together instead of driving them apart. A third of respondents requested better or more collaboration tools to bridge the gap. And when asked if martech or sales tech was required, respondents were split. A near equal number requested martech (29%) compared to sales tech (28%) to bridge the gap.
  3. It’s easier to track, measure and analyze what content and tools an organization already has when the stack is integrated. Only 61% of respondents have an integrated stack, which means that four in 10 have a much harder time analyzing what tools are working for them. Integrate your CRM, marketing automation and sales enablement software, so both teams are looking at the same data.
  4. Create goals and KPIs together so you’re playing by the same rules. Nearly a quarter of respondents requested a shared definition of a qualified lead to bridge the sales and marketing gap. And another 14% requested a shared CRM system.

Make 2019 the year your sales and marketing teams come together. United with the right content and tools, you’ll be unstoppable.

Are you a marketer who needs help building a lead generation strategy and content to support your sales team? Get in touch here.

To learn more about our findings on the sales and marketing divide, download the State of Martech 2019.