The Trouble with Marketing and Sales

Author: Cathy Kenton
August 6, 2014

The Harvard Business Review (HBR) penned an article regarding the relationships between marketing and sales entitled “The Buying Funnel”. Here is a quote from that article:

Marketing blames the sales force for its poor execution of an otherwise brilliant rollout plan. The sales team, in turn, claims that Marketing sets prices too high and uses too much of the budget, which instead should go toward hiring more salespeople or paying the sales reps higher commissions.

It’s the same old story, marketing complains that the sales team isn’t doing enough to close good leads, and the sales team(s) complains that marketing’s efforts result in poorly qualified leads or inadequate materials/support. Even in smaller companies where the organizational lines are blurred the tendency is for one group to lay blame on the other.

Sales and Marketing

In the HBR article, it is suggested that “when Sales and Marketing are fully integrated, boundaries become blurred. Both groups redesign the relationship to share structures, systems, and rewards”. I couldn’t agree more…there’s nothing like live interaction to help define not only the prospect’s needs, but also clarify in the marketer’s mind the supporting information the salesperson needs.

It’s all about Leads? Are the leads produced by your marketing efforts the right ones? It’s not about the quantity, it’s about generating quality prospects for the sales team. It’s all about working backwards, starting with results:

  • How many ‘qualified’ leads must you produce to generate the desired close-ratio?
  • What is the unique persona of a qualified lead?
  • Where can you find qualified leads?

Are the numbers realistic and achievable? If not, revise your projections…don’t pad the numbers with inappropriate leads just to make the first part of the equation work.

 

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