A worthy look at the relationship between sales (business development) and marketing

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Insyth marketing sales marketing
Image from the Insynth Marketing Blog

The U.K. based Insynth – The Inbound Marketing Blog — has published a worthy article describing the distinctions (and relationships) between sales and marketing, touching on the real challenges of wasted marketing (activities that don’t help salespeople achieve results) and mis-understandings by salespeople about marketing’s role in sustaining the business. (Sure, marketing should provide actionable leads, but the concept of branding — which done right both generates the leads and makes the salesperson’s job much easier, has a much longer time-span from initial actions to decisive result (the order).

Nevertheless, this observation should cause concern for any business leader wondering if the organization’s marketing budget is being well-spent:

While the overall objectives of sales and marketing teams are notably similar (increase company revenue), this fact seems tangential in relation to their means of reaching that goal. Would it be surprising to know that a staggering 76 percent of marketers are overlooking the importance of sales enablement?

Put differently, a mere 24 percent of marketing specialists have an agreement with sales on defining lead responsibilities, according to Hubspot’s Fifth Annual Review of Inbound Marketing Trends and Tactics.

This point adds to the importance of enhancing/building relationships between the departments:

Case in point: Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment enjoy a 20 percent annual growth rate. Companies that struggle with this alignment, however, face a 4 percent decline in revenue. In other words, seamless integration means more than mere kumbayah; it means money.

Additionally, studies show that a failure to align sales and marketing departments around the right processes and technologies may cost B2B companies 10 percent or more of revenue annually.

For smaller businesses, if there are sales and marketing departments, they are usually linked by direct relationships in part because everyone needs to multitask. But if you’ve grown to the point where you have distinctive divisions, you will want to think carefully about your systems and departmental alignment. In fact, I would assert this should be a key business priority a key performance indicator.

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