Ending the Great Divide

There is still a great divide between sales and marketing. Each team uses different tools and solutions, with little to no visibility into what the other is doing, resulting in silos and a division of teams. Despite the silos, some organizations are able to meet their sales and marketing goals. However, most organizations are not that lucky and the lack of alignment between teams takes its toll in lost opportunities and revenue as seen in the long list of statistics from a post via TypeA Communications.

shutterstock_194962442Technology is a factor in the great divide. Misconceptions about tools like marketing automation (that is a marketing tool) just add fuel to the fire. Sure, sending emails and creating landing pages are all functions of marketing, but managing inbound leads and sharing prospect data with the CRM, is something that when done correctly- supports the entire organization.

Part of any successful deployment of technology requires a lot of work on the front-end to help teams work together and become organizationally aligned. Alignment needs to happen across all aspects of the organization including People, Process, Content and Technology. Omit any of these components and the silos still exist and optimal results will not occur. How to build alignment? By helping to establish and to support the dialogue between teams and enabling technologies like marketing automation to support the entire Demand Generation Strategy that drives revenue for the organization, not just a marketing program.

For example, lead scoring is an important aspect of any Demand Generation Strategy and shouldn’t be decided by one team or the other. Marketing should not work in a vacuum but in a collaborative working session involving sales and marketing. Will it be easy? No. But collaborating will ensure that both teams reach agreement on the Process and then they work on alignment with the other critical components- People, Process, Content and Technology.

At ANNUITAS we help marketing and sales align in what we call a Lead Management Framework℠ session. Over two days we work with our clients to define lead qualification stages, set scoring thresholds and define the age old question,“What is a lead?”

After the Lead Management Framework session we are able to create a scoring model that supports the needs of both sales and marketing. We also create and define the lead lifecycle and the various stages a lead will enter (and exit) throughout the buyer’s journey.

Perhaps one of the greatest things marketing automation has done for sales is to provide visibility and insight into a lead’s lifecycle. Tools like Marketo’s Sales Insight or Oracle Eloqua’s Prospect Profiler enable sales teams to see if a prospect opened or clicked on an email, what pages or content was consumed and to gain a better understanding the of buyer and their needs.

Technology is not the starting place for creating organizational alignment; however, it can be used to foster an open dialogue with sales and marketing. Technology, including marketing automation and others, enable an organization’s strategy and to build an effective Demand Generation Strategy, both sales and marketing teams must be in alignment on revenue goals, lead management, expectations and more. Technology is part of that. It’s time to end the great divide.

Author: Sierra Summers @SierraSummers is VP, Technology Practice, ANNUITAS

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