I recently stumbled across an article from Silver Bullet Group titled “Top 10 Reasons Why Your Marketing Team Is Failing You and How to Fix Them.” As a marketing-minded person, I was intrigued. The post first introduces four surface-level areas where problems usually arise between sales and marketing:
- Customer-facing collateral
- Demand generation
- Internal-facing sales tools
- Sales support training
Problems in these four categories are ones that companies undoubtedly address when they aren’t seeing the results they expect from marketing efforts. But the article asks marketing executives to “peel back another layer” and examine ten other, more intricate reasons that marketing is failing sales.
A few of these reasons struck a chord with me. The article states the following three ways that marketing could be fixed to improve sales effectiveness:
- Lack of a formal feedback loop from Sales, a.k.a. content usage and rating system, to understand what is working, what is not, and “why?”
- Poor alignment around the definition, rating, hand-off, follow-up, and reporting of leads
- Poor visibility into the true cost of ineffective customer communication
In my opinion, these three issues are not marketing-specific problems. These three “reasons why marketing is failing sales” can be solved easily by bridging the gap between sales and marketing.
It is the responsibility of both sales and marketing teams to establish a formal, effective feedback loop. How can marketing know what collateral is working if sales doesn’t tell them? Specifically, sales executives should take it upon themselves to ensure that their reps are keeping track of the most successful and unsuccessful content so marketing can improve its offerings.
The same can be said for defining lead distribution and follow-up processes. Marketing and sales teams should discuss what a qualified lead looks like, how and when follow-up should occur, and what content is appropriate at different stages of the sales cycle. This information should be well-documented by the marketing team but implemented and enforced by sales.
Finally, understanding and fixing ineffective customer interactions is not only integral to the success of future communication processes, but requires both sales and marketing efforts. This can be done by recording sales calls and trainings, noting what marketing collateral was used, and compiling this data to recognize trends. If certain phrases, features or content have better success rates than others, those should be used more frequently by sales and more similar content should be created by marketing. It’s important that marketing is more closely involved in the sales process so messaging remains consistent.
While Silver Bullet Group’s article brought up a slew of valuable issues marketing teams need to assess, I think they can take it a step further by working closely with sales to close the information gap between the two teams. If sales wants better content from marketing, and marketing wants sales to have more successful customer interactions, it’s the responsibility of both teams to make that happen. Once the barrier is broken between sales and marketing, companies will see much better results.