InsideView powers the world’s business conversations. Today the company announced the results of a business survey on sales and marketing alignment in India companies. The report is based on responses from nearly 240 sales and marketing leaders. Called “Indian Sales & Marketing Mindset Under the Lens”, the report uncovers key reasons why sales and marketing teams are not aligned and reveals the distinct differences between companies with Leading & Lagging Financial Performance.
The Biggest Challenges
According to the survey, 50% say that sales and marketing is being measured by different metrics and is the biggest challenge to alignment between the two functions.
Lack of communication and lack of accurate and complete data on target accounts were cited as the other major contributors to this disconnect.
“Sales and marketing misalignment costs companies real money. It is an age-old problem but the time is now to fix it once and for all,” said Tracy Eiler, CMO of InsideView. “There are so many things companies can do to improve – this report offers practical suggestions across people issues, process, and technology. And we have enlightening comparisons between India and U.S. companies that can help us learn from each other.”
Emphasizing on the strategic importance of perfect alignment between sales and marketing, Garima Rai, APAC Head of Marketing, for InsideView commented, “If marketers focus only on maximizing the quantity of leads generated by their marketing engine, and sales executives follow a transactional selling approach, the end objective of securing and retaining the right customers gets completely lost. Businesses that realized this early on are strategically positioned as leaders in their respective domains, and those that are still following traditional approaches are lagging behind.”
It’s interesting to note that when marketers were asked how their efforts are measured the two most popular choices were ‘pipeline generated’ and‘quality of leads’, with 64% and 58% votes respectively.
‘Communication’ emerged as the second most important reason impacting sales and marketing alignment with almost 40% votes.
In terms of what marketers need from the sales team, 46% say that they need better lead follow-up whereas 25% say that they need feedback on campaigns and 15% feel the sales team should make consistent use of system.
Sales teams too cited their needs from marketers
- 68% feel they need better quality leads
- 60% need brand awareness for the product/service/solution they are selling, and
- 47% need competitive intelligence
36% respondents voted for lack of accuracy and completeness of data on target accounts, making it the third most important factor impacting alignment between Sales and Marketing.
The fact that both sales and marketing professionals recognize the importance of data fitness augurs well for any business. Accuracy and completeness of data are the key factors underpinning a solid lead generation engine.
As modern techniques such as account-based marketing, social selling, and consultative selling are gaining traction and replacing traditional selling practices, it is extremely important for sales executives and marketers to have accurate and complete information on target accounts.
The Discouraging News
Over 55% of the marketing professionals reported having never collaborated with sales on lead scoring. The response wasn’t much better from sales – 47% responded with a ‘no’ when asked the same question. Further, almost a third of the sales respondents agreed that marketing doesn’t measure anything important.
The Good News
Relationships: Seventy-one percent of sales professionals described their relationship with marketers as good or excellent; marketers reciprocated along similar lines at 67%. Moreover, more than 85% of both teams say they are friends with their counterparts.
Respect and Appreciation: Survey respondents show mutual respect and appreciation for each other’s job.
76% of marketing professionals acknowledge that sales is a difficult job. Sales executives too displayed positive sentiments towards marketing. Almost 80% sales respondents showed respect for marketing. Although nearly 1/3 of sales people surveyed said they could do a better job in marketing than their marketing counterparts.
What Leaders Do Differently
This research also reveals an interesting divide between ‘leaders’ and ‘laggards’.
Leaders were measured as companies who said they exceeded revenue goals last year. This constituted 18% of respondents. These companies report higher levels of alignment between sales and marketing across almost all parameters – processes, priorities, success metrics, and relationship.
Among the most key behaviors is frequency of meetings and the content discussed. Leaders among both sales and marketing reported meeting their counterparts more frequently to discuss pipeline.
Nearly 90% of them meet weekly. They collaborate on reviewing and defining processes including identifying ideal customer profiles, lead scoring, win-loss analysis, and lead handover. They have well defined knowledge transfer processes ensuring better visibility into key aspects impacting business success. Further, leaders prioritize lead quality over quantity and place importance on completeness and accuracy of data on target accounts. A remarkably high percentage (80%) of leaders, report having closed a deal using social media.
The research goes a few steps further to dig into the actual pain areas and suggest ways to address this problem strategically.