Sales and marketing teams are optimistic about meeting this year’s revenue goals despite a growing disconnect between the two groups, new research from business relationship-based CRM platform Copper and sales and marketing data integration platform Outfunnel reveals.
According to the companies’ second annual Revenue Marketing Report 2022, 60 percent of sales and marketing leaders exceeded revenue goals in 2021. Despite this, not all industries were equally successful in achieving their revenue targets in 2021. Over 70 percent of those in the travel/hospitality industry (73 percent), manufacturing industry (72 percent) and software/technology industry (70 percent) reported exceeding revenue goals in 2021, compared to only 58 percent of those in the construction industry and 46 percent of respondents in professional services.
“Despite a global environment that remains nearly as uncertain as it was two years ago, those responsible for driving business growth at small and medium businesses have reported an overwhelmingly strong revenue year for 2021 and maintain a positive outlook into 2022,” said Dennis Fois, CEO of Copper, in a news release. “But sales and marketing teams continue to struggle with alignment, and we’ve seen that spontaneity can only go so far. The key to sustainable future business growth lies in control and visibility, especially in uncertain times. Predictability comes through better data and information sharing among teams.”
Sales and marketing alignment declines, despite majority exceeding revenue goals
Fifty-eight percent of respondents report their sales and marketing alignment as only “poor,” “fair” or “good,” a significant increase compared to the previous year (46 percent, up 12 percent).
This decline in alignment is noted by SMBs of all sizes but is especially prominent in larger businesses. Sixty-six percent of respondents from companies with between 101 and 150 employees currently report suboptimal alignment, up from 33% the previous year.
The report finds that misalignment can lead to poor revenue performance: 16% of businesses that report “poor” or “fair” alignment are likely to miss revenue goals, compared to just 9% of those reporting “great” alignment.
Poor communication was found to be the biggest issue causing misalignment, with 36 percent of respondents labeling that as one of their top three difficulties—a figure that rises to 51 percent for larger SMBs. Other factors that pose challenges to the alignment of sales and marketing teams include:
- Lack of accurate data on prospects and customers (29 percent)
- Lack of accountability (24 percent)
- Prospect/customer data fragmented across multiple tools and systems (24 percent)
- Broken/flawed processes (21 percent)
As work-from-anywhere era takes hold, some teams struggle
Companies with a fully remote work structure had the worst alignment between sales and marketing, with 34 percent of respondents reporting great alignment between teams, compared to 43 percent and 44 percent of respondents who are back in the office or working under a hybrid model, respectively.
Additionally, those who have gone fully remote have the most negative outlook when it comes to revenue goals for 2022, with 52 percent of respondents believing they will exceed their revenue goals this year, compared to over 60 percent for companies who have adopted a hybrid model.
“As all companies question and change their workplace models, they need to find what works best for them rather than following the pack,” said Andrus Purde, co-founder and CEO of Outfunnel, in the release. “On top of that, leaders need to ensure that marketing and sales teams communicate well and have access to the right software tools to get aligned, work better together and provide a better experience to their customers.”
How marketing and sales alignment can start with data
One-third of respondents report that their sales teams are still manually transferring data across channels.
Meanwhile, teams that are more likely to use integrations between tools and share real-time insight between each other are more likely to report excellent alignment (17 percent) compared to teams that only have a theoretical sense of their customer personas (13 percent).
To help the industry better understand the state of sales and marketing alignment in 2022, Copper and Outfunnel conducted this survey in November-December 2021 of senior-level B2B sales and marketing leaders from companies with both sales and marketing functions. The respondents were from a range of industries and company sizes. Of the 300 respondents, 150 were in Sales roles and 150 in Marketing.