The summer season has officially started; schools are out, barbeques are on, and the temperature is continuing to climb. Just as the weather tends to heat up during the summer months, the need for leads is often on the rise as well. It’s no wonder, with entry into the back-half of the year; the pressure is often on to hit numbers. With pressure can come conflict, particularly between sales and marketing. According to our Aberdeen Group research, effective communication goes a long way in maintaining the relationship. And, often, leveraging the right set of metrics sets the tone.
It is not secret that sales and marketing depend upon each other for success. According to our Sales Enablement: Fulfilling the Last Frontier of Marketing-Sales Alignment report, many sales teams would rather work on a smaller number of warm, qualified leads than be handed a large number of unqualified leads to wade through. In fact, of our survey respondents, 47% listed “increasing the quality of leads provided by marketing” as a top business goal. In B2B sales, the best way to qualify a lead is by tracking that prospect’s interactions with marketing materials and content. It’s up to the marketing department to qualify these leads and pass them on to the sales team to close.
Conversely, savvy marketing departments measure their effectiveness through their team’s impact on company revenue, which depends upon the sales team closing deals. The symbiotic relationship between sales and marketing should bind these professionals together into one team, but as many professionals can tell you, that isn’t always the case. Why is it that the two sometimes don’t get along, despite their dependence upon each other?
One reason that our research has uncovered is that while each team is measuring the impact of the other’s work upon their success, they aren’t communicating those results constructively to each other. A great opportunity exists for marketers to sit down with sales reps and have a conversation about how the sales team perceives and uses the measurement of what marketing does for their organization and why it matters to their team. The organizations where these conversations take place – and are then acted upon – enjoy higher performing marketers and salespeople, meaning higher revenue for all.
This summer, along with working on your tan, strive to work on the relationship between your marketing team and the sales department. Start by reading our report, Consider the Audience: Marketing Effectiveness Metrics for Everyone, and seek out better ways to determine what is important to your sales reps, and how to successfully communicate to them.