Aligning Sales & Marketing in a changed economy
Category: Knowledge Base
Group: Industry Trends
Aligning sales & marketing divisions has become a key area of conversation.These conversations show that there is a need for alignment and integration between corporate sales and marketing functions. Studies show that only 40 percent of companies have formal programs, systems or processes in place to align and integration between the two critical functions.
This leads to lower sales conversions and higher cost of sales.
Traditionally, these two functions, have been largely segmented and left in siloed areas of tactical responsibility. In today’s global and fast changing economy, however, Marketing and Sales teams have to work hand-in-hand. Glen Petersen highlighted that salespeople are spending approximately 40 percent of their time preparing customer-facing deliverables while leveraging less than 50 percent of the materials created by marketing, adding to the perception that marketing is out of touch with the customer, and sales is resistant to messaging and strategy.
Internet applications, commonly referred to as Sales 2.0 tools, have also increasingly been created to help align the goals and responsibilities of marketing and sales departments.
The Sales & Marketing Relationship
Marketing and sales are very different, but have the same goal. Marketing improves the selling environment and plays a very important role in sales. If the marketing department generates a potential customers list, it can be beneficial for sales. The marketing department's goal is to increase the number of interactions between potential customers and company, which includes the sales team using promotional techniques such as advertising, sales promotion, publicity, and public relations, creating new sales channels, or creating new products (new product development), among other things. It also includes bringing the potential customer to the company's website for more information, or to contact the company for more information, or interact with the company via social media such as Twitter, Facebook, a blog, etc.
The relatively new field of sales process engineering views "sales" as the output of a larger system, not just that of one department. The larger system includes many functional areas within an organization. From this perspective, sales and marketing (among others, such as customer service) are labels for a number of processes whose inputs and outputs supply one another to varying degrees. Considered in this way, to improve the "output" (namely, sales) the broader sales process needs to be studied and improved as would any system, since the component functional areas interact and are interdependent.
The Sales department's goal would be to improve the interaction between the customer and the sales facility or mechanism (example, web site) and/or salesperson. Sales management would break down the selling process and then increase the effectiveness of the discrete processes as well as the interaction between processes. For example, in many out-bound sales environments, the typical process is out bound calling, the sales pitch, handling objections, opportunity identification, and the close. Each step of the process has sales-related issues, skills, and training needs as well as marketing solutions to improve each discrete step, as well as the whole process.
One further common complication of marketing involves the inability to measure results for a great deal of marketing initiatives. In essence, many marketing and advertising executives often lose sight of the objective of sales/revenue/profit, as they focus on establishing a creative/innovative program, without concern for the top or bottom lines. Such is a fundamental pitfall of marketing for marketing's sake.
Many companies find it challenging to get marketing and sales on the same page. Both departments are different in nature, but handle very similar concepts and have to work together for sales to be successful. Building a good relationship between the two that encourages communication can be the key to success even in a down economy.
(Publish Dt) 10/23/2010
Buzz: aligning sales & marketing,sales conversions,sales 2.0,cost of sales,sales process engineering
Industry: Unspecified , Educational Services , Manufacturing , Goverment , Financial Services , Technology , Consulting , Healthcare , Internet
Focus & Interests: Unspecified , Cost Savings , Efficiency Management , Consolidation , Increase Sales , Customer Loyalty , Process Automation , Lead Management , Reduce Cost of Sales , Web 2.0 Strategies , Web 2.0 Communities , Channel Management , Reporting & BI , Forecasting , Sales Innovation , Viral Marketing , Campaigning , Website Innovation , System Integration , eCommerce , Demand Generation , Portals , Education / Learning , Event Management , Cloud Computing