Aan welke kant sta jij?

Aan welke kant sta jij?

De ‘Chinese Muur’ tussen Sales en Marketing is een topic dat al jarenlang regelmatig opduikt in panelgesprekken en onderzoeken allerhande. In de editie 2020 van de SAP Technobarometer gaf 86% van de respondenten aan dat ze het eens zijn met de stelling dat “een nauwe samenwerking tussen sales en marketing behoort tot de top 3 uitdagingen van een marketeer.”

Met alle technologie die vandaag beschikbaar is, always-on communicatieplatformen en een schat aan data binnen handbereik, zijn we toch nog vaak mijlenver verwijderd van een synergie tussen beide.

Sta me toe u Simon Sales en Mary Marketing voor te stellen, die nog steeds niet samenwerken zoals het hoort.

Which side are you on?

It’s the organisation, stupid!” Paraphrasing a quip by James Carville, a strategist in Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, the organisation that Simon and Mary are working in, may be a hindrance to better collaboration. The Sales and Marketing departments, regardless of technological evolution, largely remain in silos, working alongside each other. Business stumbles on, but the upside potential, both in (internal) efficiency and (external) outreach, is real, and may be huge.

How can we realize this potential? The organisational pain points and communicational roadblocks should be detected and identified. Often, the shortcomings in the collaboration are perceived as the “normal” state of affairs, just because they have been there as long as we can remember. A remedy is just as good a fit as the problem is described accurately and without reservation. Any solution for better interaction and improved communication between Sales and Marketing teams will need to address the specific pains as they are felt in the day-to-day cooperation.

Things can really be different and in fact they shouldn’t be that hard.  Let me ask you what you think would work best:

  1. Continuing to do the things as they have always been done
  2. Changing nothing because you are too busy carrying on as you are

You guessed right, the correct answer is C. “None of the above”, because the right answer is: Starting with pure and essential communication.

This is step 1: make better use of your time – hey, you’re spending it anyway! Based on my own experience I see that by continuously questioning ourselves on industry needs, specific customer needs, market trends and predictions, we as sales and the marketing team determine which arrows to use and how to sharpen them in order to jointly hit our goals.

Generating demand and revenue is something that marketing and sales teams should do together. And for sure I think that all sales people to some extend have a bit of a Simon Sales in them: we all want to spend as little time as possible from handover till landing the deal, and we want to secure the highest potential deal value. And we will want the marketing team to focus efforts on our vertical or market, while Mary Marketing has a limited budget to spend, has ROI (return on investment) criteria to meet, plus many more sales team heroes like Simon to cater for.

In my opinion, these dynamics will be there forever. Therefore, the ideal solution should probably not attempt to change these, but it needs to represent the dynamics of the entire commercial flywheel (cyclic, as opposed to the classic funnel representation) process. When sales teams understand the broader scope of where marketing is headed with their campaigns and initiatives, and see the impact (in their own market or across verticals) they will more easily buy in to it and be able to leverage things to their own advantage. Marketing teams on the other hand will benefit from structured feedback from the sales field, in order to adjust campaigns on-the-fly, increase ROI and avoid post-mortem dissatisfaction.

The ability to provide this cyclic or 360° view of the business should be the essential requirement for selecting the technology that truly brings the interaction between Sales and Marketing to the next level. The evolution from lead to opportunity to deal closure should be one transparent process commitment from sales and marketing staff and the supporting technology should combine the power of lead nurturing, opportunity management and customer success in one closed loop.

Only when this is done, you are to effectively align Sales and Marketing teams, and (paraphrasing another quote from a US President, Ronald Reagan) Tear Down That Wall between them.