Marketers, the business world’s storytellers, provide their sales teams with a host of tools they need to drive leads, close deals and bring in revenue.
Demand generation firm Televerde recently surveyed more than 200 B2B sales leaders for its What Does Sales Need & Want From Marketing survey—and the results show impressive overall growth in alignment between sales and marketing, opportunity for account-based marketing initiatives to drive further alignment and a continued need for enhanced communication between groups.
While previously treated as distinctly separate entities, the state of sales and marketing alignment is improving. The majority of sales professionals surveyed think that sales and marketing are aligned at their companies, with more than 75 percent characterizing the leads they receive from marketing as “good” to “excellent.”
“In today’s world, the customer is empowered to easily do their own research, reaching out to the sales representative once they are further along the buying process. Because of this, sales and marketing are more successful when they coordinate their approaches along the full buyer’s journey,” said Jim Thorburn, chief sales officer at Televerde, in a news release. “The branding, website content and campaigns produced by marketing are more effective when coordinated with the customer-specific solution messaging that sales uses. Understanding the customer needs and aligning with how sales addresses those will help marketers to focus their strategies.”
Survey results include:
- 77 percent said the quality of leads generated through marketing are good to excellent
- 62 percent feel sales and marketing are aligned within their companies
- 34 percent cited a lack of regular communication as the biggest challenge to aligning sales and marketing, while 33 percent cited the differences in the way sales and marketing measure success as the biggest challenge
- 45 percent said marketers usually deliver on the tools/assets/activities promised
- Industry events (50+ percent), value proposition (46 percent) and customer case studies (42%) are the top three assets sales wants from marketing
Key takeaways include:
- With social channels rapidly evolving as an information source, marketing and sales need to quickly adapt to how information is shared
- Account-based marketing has the ability to drive exceptional alignment, meaning both sales and marketing must regularly discuss accounts and strategy
- The customer is the biggest information resource. Sales and marketing must seek out customer insight together and share and analyze stories
- Marketing automation and sales enablement tools must be invested in to ensure consistent communication and provide a central hub for knowledge sharing
“The relationship between sales and marketing drives revenue and maintains customer engagement, so it needs to be a huge priority for businesses,” said Ray Kemper, chief marketing officer at Televerde, in the release. “What we’ve found is that there are some simple, but key, steps to take that help ensure sales and marketing are on the same page. Things like adopting a common language by jointly defining an inquiry and a lead and agreeing on buyer personas and journeys are seemingly obvious steps that are often not put in place and can make a big difference.”
The survey asked more than 200 sales leaders who sell B2B products and services about engagement with their marketing teams. Of the 200 surveyed, 62 percent held sales director/manager or CSO/VP sales titles. Company size varied with 25 percent of respondents working for companies with revenues of $1B or more.