When I was asked to write a dueling blog post for our sales and marketing alignment theme, my first thought was, “YES. ALL THE AWESOME.”
After all, it’s not often that you get the opportunity to work through your organization’s professional limitations in a public forum. (That’s totally normal, right?) Then I sat down to write my passionate, winding diatribe on the ever-lingering problem that is our marketing and sales alignment, and something happened.
I know what the typical problem is between marketing and sales alignment (or misalignment, to be more accurate). Lack of communication. I’ve worked in places where I didn’t even know the names of sales people, let alone where they sat in my office. The marketing team would create grandiose plans and execute them, never bothering to let the sales team know what was to be expected in the pipeline.
Goodness knows we didn’t know what their sales goals or areas of focus were for the quarter. When there was eventually a conversation, it went something like this. Sales is all:
To which marketing replies:
This is the age-old sales and marketing alignment discussion. Sales wants more/better leads. Marketing thinks the quality and quantity are fine. There’s miscommunication in a clear area: What’s the definition of “enough quality leads” within the sales organization?
If marketing doesn’t know what sales is qualifying as “enough quality leads,” then how can the discussion ever be productive? Marketing will continue to work in its silo while sales continues to be frustrated by the quality and quantity of the leads that are being delivered. That is a huge area of focus for us at Salesfusion.
We meet with the sales team multiple times a week to talk through the sales goals of the company and how marketing can help sales achieve those goals. If we’re not on target with the quality and quantity of leads that sales needs delivered, we evaluate our marketing plan and see where we might to adjust. At the core of the discussion is always the goals of the company and the goals of the sales organization.
If you can anchor back to those points, the sales and marketing alignment issue becomes moot. Everyone should be aligned to the goals of the company, not to their own ideals and egos. When that happens, alignment becomes natural.