Sales and marketing alignment drives business growth

Many B2B organizations struggle to achieve marketing and sales alignment, but what are the true costs of difficulties between the teams? A recent study from Sparks Grove, a strategic marketing and creative agency, and Econsultancy found organizations that establish true partnerships between sales and marketing have better business performance than those that do not. The research, titled “A Reinvention of B2B Marketing: The Impact of Partnership on Enterprise Growth,” revealed these companies are able to gain sustainable growth and have equal contributions and accountability to Internet lead generation from both sales and marketing.

Although many B2B firms have taken steps to improve collaborative efforts, executives have not managed to create a foundation for solid growth.

True sales and marketing partnerships are hard to find

The study discovered there are four different types of B2B companies:

  • Marketing-led organizations: Marketers drive all lead generation efforts, revenue and business growth. These businesses are often centered around e-commerce.
  • Sales-led businesses: The marketing team is required to provide sales representatives with branding materials and leads, but sales drives revenue gains. Marketers don’t figure into product direction.
  • False partnerships: These companies have some sort of agreement between marketing and sales, but marketers take the reins with lead generation strategies and salespeople handle customer experience and product development.
  • True partnerships: The two teams are on equal footing. Marketers have a significant part in lead generation, but sales is allowed to give input. The marketing team also has shared revenue responsibility with sales, as well as in managing customer experience.

Placing sales and marketing on even footing is a major challenge for many organizations. However, the study found the benefits of a true partnership included being more likely to grow and own customer research and insights.

Sales and marketing alignment drives business growth

As the buyer’s journey has evolved, marketers have found themselves with more responsibilities, according to an article in Business 2 Community. In aligned organizations, marketers are competent. It isn’t just about boosting collaboration with sales. Skills and processes need to be well matched. For example, marketers need to be delivering qualified leads before they ask sales reps to follow up.

One of the ways marketing teams can establish themselves as credible partners to sales is through concrete performance metrics. An online marketing system can show marketing teams how lead generation campaigns are performing, which can allow them to work toward strategic goals with salespeople.

To be seen as a partner, marketers need to think strategically like their sales counterparts. Marketing teams need to be proactive rather than reactive. As the nature of B2B purchasing continues to evolve, marketers will play a more significant role in revenue generation. This necessitates a true partnerships between the two teams. Without sales and marketing alignment, B2B organizations may not be able to achieve sustainable growth. This is still a challenge for many companies, but marketing automation can improve collaboration between sales and marketing and put both teams on the same page.