The digital buyer is evolving at an exponential rate, and most sales and marketing organizations haven’t been able to pivot fast enough to keep up—and they risk falling short of their revenue mandate. New research from the CMO Council reveals that more than 70 percent of marketers don’t feel very confident in their current sales and marketing model to sell effectively in the digitalized customer journey.
The Council’s latest report, Sales & Marketing: Driving Revenue Through Collaboration, produced in partnership with professional services firms network KPMG, examines the marketing and sales relationship and how it should evolve. One key finding is that the ability to share customer insights, gathered by data science as well as AI and machine learning, with the sales team to inform the pipeline is one of the defining traits of the new sales-marketing relationship.
Other findings include:
- 60 percent say marketing and sales don’t co-own customer strategy and data
- 61 percent of marketers say fragmented technology across marketing, sales and service restrains better sales-marketing alignment
“Sales and marketing will have to redefine their relationship to enable new customer-centric purchasing paths. This requires an entirely new way to collaborate across customer strategy and data, initiatives, technology, activities and metrics,” said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council, in a news release.
CMOs should adopt four sales-marketing alignment initiatives to better support the digitalized customer journey and self-reliant buyer:
- Collaborate to achieve business objectives (e.g., revenue, customer acquisition, market share)
- Collaborate on marketing and sales campaigns that drive lead gen
- Define shared KPIs for marketing and sales
- Align on customer personas
“To sell effectively to the new self-reliant digital buyer and enable the purchasing paths customers seek, marketing and sales teams need to have the same goals, speak the same language, and hold each other accountable,” said Jason Galloway, customer advisory lead and marketing consulting practice lead at KPMG LLP, in the release.
“The keys to building a strong sales-marketing relationship include co-ownership of customer strategy and data, the agility and ability to hand off real-time data insights and employing the right technologies to share metrics and ensure consistent communication,” said Galloway. “The next twelve months are critical for marketing and sales teams to integrate data and optimize touchpoints across the customer journey.”
The report is based on a survey of over 300 marketing leaders across industries and geographies. Additionally, we conducted in-depth interviews with marketing and/or sales executives from Teradata, Schneider Electric, Valpak, Capital Group, Cox Business, Brunswick, and others.