I have recently come across some really good analysis on the alignment gap between sales and marketing.
In his article “3 Reasons Your Marketing & Sales Departments Aren’t Clicking” Carlos Hidalgo is making a critical observation. Marketing and sales organizations typically don’t have a common viewpoint on what alignment should be based:
“The truth is that the right thing around which marketing and sales teams should align is their buyers. Today’s B2B buyer is looking to engage with their vendors and have a relevant 1-1 dialogue. They don’t care about the internal squabbles that may occur between marketing and sales teams. They want to feel attended to. So, marketing and sales need to collaborate on how to have the dialogue with the buyer.
This sentiment is echoed in an excellent research report from Forrester Analyst Jeff Ernst B2B Sales and Marketing Alignment Starts with the Customer (note: you will need to be Forrester customer to access the report. Alternatively read Jeff’s thoughts on his blog).
In particular, Jeff recommends the following to overcome the obstacles of alignment:
- Develop a common understand of the buyers’ needs
- Map activities around the customer’s buying process
- Align marketing and sales initiatives around the customer
I could not agree more.
Marketing is all about moving the customers through their buying cycle journey and only by starting with this common understanding will the so called ‘great divide’ between sales and marketing become history.
I would also like to urge my fellow marketers to stop focusing on what makes us different from our sales counterparts and rather focus on how together we can provide the best buying experience to our customers.
We are all sales people. We are all marketers. Stop the blame game. Start working on your synergies. Till death do us part.
On that note, I am looking forward to attending the first Forrester Sales Enablement Conference next week in San Francisco rightly focused on enhancing the customer’s buying cycle experience.
Image Credit: Flickr