01 Apr Closing the Sales and Marketing Divide
Understanding the Sales and Marketing Divide
When sales and marketing are divided it can have a major impact on your revenue. Last month we surveyed the market and found that 50% of sales people were not satisfied with what marketing was delivering. That’s a scary number. But what are the root causes of the divide? In the coming weeks we’ll explore a variety of potential sources of this friction.
One of the leading causes stems from how marketing supports sales with collateral and sales material. In fact, our survey revealed that the problem of equipping sales teams with the right sales tools was as big of a cause for the divide as the classic “where are the leads?” challenge.
This content, like presentations, datasheets, white papers, and proposal content is vital to the success of a sales effort. But are sales people satisfied with the content that is being delivered? The answer is no, but its causes are more nuanced. We can break the challenges down into three major categories.
We don’t have access to the right sales tools.
Fully one-third of sales teams don’t think marketing delivers the tools (like datasheets, collateral, etc.) that support a sales process. That means that they think there are gaps in their collateral arsenal that are holding them back from selling more effectively.
Even more concerning is that nearly half of sales people find it difficult to find the marketing content they need. From a sales enablement perspective this is a major issue. Too much time spent searching for content means too little time using the content in a sales situation. We suggest tools that make it easy for sales people to get the exact right collateral and related sales material for any situation. Sales people don’t need every single piece of content. Just the right content.
Sales tools aren’t used the right way
This should be a major concern for marketing teams. While 61% of marketers think that their sales tools are being used in the right way, only 28% of sales people have the same confidence. So, sales teams are unsure if they have the right tools, the best collateral, or the presentations that match a certain stage in the sales cycle or respond effectively to a competitive situation.
Also of concern appears to be the issue that marketing believes that the sales team uses the same tools repeatedly. There is an apparent lack of confidence that sales teams are using the right content at the right time. We recommend that marketing map collateral and other sales materials to sales stages, pain points, and other elements of a sales process. That makes is significantly easier for sales teams to know what elements to choose.
Sales tools need to improve over time
Sales tools, like other marketing elements, need to get better over time. Since presentations, datasheets, and other collateral interact with prospects every day, your team gets great feedback about what is resonating and what is falling flat. But sales people don’t feel that their tools are getting updated. And when they don’t trust their content, they’ll make it themselves or use what’s familiar.
We recommend thoroughly measuring your marketing collateral the same way you measure your emails, website content, and social campaigns. At the same time, gathering qualitative feedback that can help marketing understand which marketing materials to invest in and which to jettison.
Sales and marketing friction points need to be thoroughly understood and eliminated. Because marketing collateral is a key to successful selling and is a contentious issue between the two groups, it should be addressed.