We talk a lot about alignment in the sales industry. Bringing sales and marketing into alignment is a key step to improving sales messaging and making a sales organization successful. If sales and marketing aren’t on the same page, you’re hurting your return on investment (ROI) and competitive advantage. Here’s why:
Shrinking Revenue and Margins
If sales and marketing can’t deliver a consistent value-oriented message, you’ve got a chain reaction of problems. Marketing can’t deliver sales-ready content, and their campaigns won’t generate qualified leads. Without sales ready content, the sales team can’t articulate value to customers. Then, you’ll be dealing with longer sales cycles, discounts that eat up margins and deals lost to the competition.
Poor Customer Experience
Conflicting sales and marketing messages make it difficult for prospective customers to understand how a product delivers value and solves their problems. Mixed messages also cause customers to lose trust. Real, articulated customer needs may be ignored, and customers will go elsewhere.
Ineffective Sales Force
Prospects and customers can’t be expected to understand value if there are conflicting sales and marketing messages. Messages that focus on features and functionality deny the customer a meaningful dialogue that could lead to purchase of a value-added solution. When products and services are introduced by features and functions, rather than tying them directly to a customer need, sales conversations dwindle to the lowest common denominator – price.
Alignment may not be an issue in small or startup companies, where relationships are informal and there are fewer conflicts between sales and marketing. But, in larger or more mature organizations where there is duplicate effort or competition for funding, it might be time for a change.
We’ve shown you the problems, you tell us about your successes.
How have you been able to increase alignment between sales and marketing in your organizations?