Trying to Align with Sales? Marketing, You Are the Problem

Preliminary Insights into the ANNUITAS Enterprise Demand Generation Study

Last month ANNUITAS launched a Demand Generation Research project focused on large enterprise B2B organizations.  The thought behind the research was to get very narrowly focused on how large enterprises are approaching Demand Generation and what kind of success they are having. We are still gathering research (you can still participate, and possibly win a ticket to Content Marketing World by clicking here), but wanted to share some of the preliminary findings.

marketing arrows

One of the more obvious standouts in the early data is the continual struggle of marketing and sales alignment.  Time and time again when I speak with clients, prospects and other organizations at conferences I am asked the same question: how can we get sales to buy into what we are doing?  This questions is typically followed by “our organization is so sales-focused, and they just won’t listen.”

In looking at some of the early data, I am beginning to understand why:

  • Only 25.5% of organizations describe the design, review and approval of Demand Generation Programs as “collaborative and aligned”
  • 54.5% either update or pass their Demand Generation programs to sales for review before the campaign gets launched.  This means that there is no involvement of sales in the planning or development of the programs
  • Only 43% of marketing teams involve sales in the creation of personas
  • Only 36.4% of organizations have a common set of KPIs that both marketing and sales use to measure success.

Even with this preliminary data, the numbers are a bit startling as it shows that for all of the questions about how to involve sales, and for all of the trouble that marketers say they are having in engaging with their sales people, the truth is that marketing is not taking the necessary steps to ensure they are getting sales buy-in.

While there have been volumes of pages and presentations given on how to align sales and marketing, the data shows quite simply, that marketing must do a better job in taking the necessary steps to ensure there is a joint approach to Demand Generation.  Simply “informing” or providing a brief is not aligning with sales.

If marketing truly wants alignment and sales buy-in, it means starting from the beginning, having sales representation as an active participant in the planning and development of strategy, and the implementation of a Demand Generation Strategy with a common goal.  Without this, any attempt at alignment is a waste of time. It’s not them…it’s you, marketing.

Author: Carlos Hidalgo @cahidalgo CEO and Principal, ANNUITAS

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