Close Deals Faster with Marketing and Sales Alignment

Learn how process automation and other techniques address the popular analogy: “Marketing is from Venus, and Sales is from Mars”

One of the most pressing issues for marketing and sales executives is how to align their Marketing and Sales departments.  Winning companies are experiencing top line revenue growth and faster sales velocity within their pipelines – deals are closing faster. According to a 2011 research study by the Aberdeen Group, “best-in-class” companies exhibiting Marketing and Sales alignment showed an astounding  31.6% average year-over-year annual revenue growth versus a 6.7% average decrease in revenues for “laggard” organizations.  Top companies display a number of key attributes: process and message alignment, common lead definitions, marketing-to-sales cycle unity, and shared Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

For the vast majority of companies there is a long-standing departmental disconnect commonly described as: “Marketing is from Venus, and Sales is from Mars.” What are the reasons for this? For one, Marketing sees the world with broader brush strokes, generally at the market segment level. Sales want to focus on the individual customer value proposition.  Branding and awareness building campaigns are customary functions for Marketers and have longer time horizons, compared to the short-term quarterly quotas of Sales. Continue reading

Tapping into the Groundswell

Social media is turning the world of marketing upside down.  Companies can no longer simply “shout out” and have one-way conversations with their customers.  Today, dialogues are not only two-way, but also customers are reaching out to colleagues and trusted advisers on social networks for brand information.

Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff in their bestseller book Groundswell, describe this new shift in the relationship between customers and companies as:

“A social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.”

In fact, most B2B buyers prefer to conduct their own research first to learn about a company`s product or service offerings than rely on a customer representative.  The vast amounts of content available online, along with ubiquitous Internet access and high bandwidth make information gathering and sharing standard practice today.  Buyers are simply more social. Continue reading

Optimize Sales with Marketing Automation

According to Forrester Research, one in five B2B organizations are planning to implement marketing automation in 2012, and a similar number are expanding their usage.

Many marketers are facing increasing pressure by senior management to demonstrate marketing’s contribution to the sales pipeline and are turning to more comprehensive marketing automation solutions.

Forrester Research also reports that some companies believe their sales force automation (CRM) initiatives have maxed out and are seeking additional value by integrating them with marketing automation. Marketers can achieve better lead management and nurturing capabilities, along with improvements in the marketing-to-sales funnel process.

Some additional benefits of marketing automation include:

  • More qualified sales-ready leads
  • Faster sales velocity (close deals faster)
  • Better marketing and sales alignment
  • Maximizing Marketing ROI
  • A metrics oriented culture
  • Better insight into campaigns and budgets
  • Flexibility to adjust marketing plans as needed

Continue reading