What’s On The Line When Sales and Marketing Are Misaligned? [Research]
Let’s review some mindsets and see if they sound familiar to you.
[Marketing Team POV]
Your team creates some stellar content and executes corresponding campaigns… leads come in. The leads are handed off into the abyss that is the Sales Team where you assume they take excellent care to turn them into customers (How could they not?! You practically handed them over on a silver platter!) only to find out nothing became of them.
[Sales Team POV]
Marketing generates leads from some arbitrary content and hands them off to you expecting you to magically turn them into revenue. Meanwhile, these leads are totally underqualified and a whole lot of time is wasted trying to nurture people who just aren’t a right fit for your services.
If these point-of-views do sound familiar, you aren’t alone. These issues are incredibly common among B2Bs operating with sales and marketing teams on different pages (which, according to our research, is over two-thirds of those surveyed).
But what is really at stake for these businesses that lack sales and marketing alignment?
(I’ll give you a hint, it’s more than just a little drama between teams).
The 3 Biggest Wins and Losses in Sales & Marketing Alignment
Convince & Convert came to us here at Ascend2 hoping to uncover what exactly is on the line when businesses don’t align sales and marketing. By surveying 346 sales and marketing professionals, we were able to gain insight into what’s working, what isn’t, and what makes each team tick.
Below are the research highlights but to get the full picture, download the entire Sales and Marketing Alignment Playbook here.
Highlight #1 (and this is a big one!): Organizations operating with totally integrated marketing and sales teams report experiencing significantly more success from their efforts.
Half (50%) of all respondents who report having totally integrated marketing and sales teams say they are very successful at achieving strategic goals. Compare this to only one-third (33%) of all other respondents – those reporting they are not at all integrated or just partially integrated.
So whatever those strategic goals may be, we can safely say that they impact the bottom line. And when those goals are harder to achieve as a result of misaligned sales and marketing efforts, I’d call that a loss.
Highlight #2: Collaboration becomes easier when goals are aligned.
When examining this same segment of respondents who report operating with totally integrated marketing and sales teams, we find that 97% report some extent of ease in working with the other team. In fact, more than three-quarters (77%) of this group said collaboration is extremely easy, compared to a mere 28% of those who aren’t fully aligned.
Effective collaboration is a natural bi-product of teams that work toward the same goals. When departments are working against each other, consider it a loss for all.
Highlight #3: Organizations need to get organized when it comes to measuring performance.
When asked how their organizations manage success metrics, about half (48%) of all respondents said that sales and marketing share responsibility for the management of success metrics. Interestingly, though, marketers reported having more control over success metrics, including that of the sales team. Sales reported having more control over success metrics, including that of the marketing team.
When sales and marketing teams aren’t on the same page about who manages these metrics, everybody loses. Both teams are in the dark about the other team’s performance, which makes optimizing the customer journey more difficult. And when these areas suffer, ultimately so does the organization’s bottom line.
So How Do We Promote Alignment for the Win?
Well, let’s start with what is preventing sales and marketing from aligning.
Both teams agree that a lack of time, resources, and an overall strategy are the most significant barriers preventing alignment. The good news is all of these challenges can be addressed through better collaboration and communication between teams. When sales and marketing are working toward the same strategic goals, less time is wasted and efficiencies emerge.
Start by strategizing together. Share common goals. Ensure both teams are represented as customer journeys and buyer personas are created. Track shared KPIs. Collaborate on customer communication and content.
Strengthen ongoing communication and understanding. Encourage relationship building between teams by mixing up the office, hosting cross-department training sessions, and establishing ways for each team to gain insight into the other team’s day-to-day.
By smashing silos, sales, and marketing teams both come out on top.
Ascend2 benchmarks the performance of marketing strategies, tactics, and the technology that drives them using an online questionnaire and a proprietary 3-Minute Survey format.
Survey responses were gathered from 87 B2B marketing and sales professionals during the month of September 2021. 184 respondents identified as being a part of the sales team within their organization and 162 respondents identified as being a part of the marketing team within their organization. Respondents were recruited from Convince & Convert and Ascend2 email subscribers, LinkedIn, and a research panel of business professionals.
Number of Employees
More than 500 16%
50 to 500 32%
Fewer than 50 52%
Owner / Partner / C-Level 48%
Vice President / Director / Manager 31%
Non-Management Professional 21%