We Need to Talk: The Marketing and Sales Disconnect

65% of marketers identify that their company’s top marketing challenge for 2017 is generating traffic and leads.

This makes perfect sense as B2B marketing is all about lead generation.

However, It is very few and far between that a hasty sale is made when a prospect enters your company’s B2B marketing loop. Because a B2B buyer’s journey is often lengthy, generating leads are the best way to gauge future sales success. Makes sense.

However, the quantity of leads Marketing generates is not enough! You must also take into account your lead quality.

There has been a major shift over the years between lead quality and quantity

We experience this in our daily lives at work and elsewhere. For example, at work you more than likely work on the most significant To-Dos before tackling the unimportant tasks. Or you might prefer fewer amounts of high-quality food over more amounts of overly processed, cheap foods.

This concept couldn’t be more true for Sales. Sales would prefer to spend their time with leads that are more likely to purchase (low hanging fruit) before trying to close deals with heaps of vaguely interested contacts.

We need to talk

59% of marketers believe that Inbound Marketing is the highest quality leads source for their company. Interestingly enough (or maybe not) salespeople do not agree. Only 22% of sales professionals cite Inbound practices as the highest quality lead source, trailing behind both self-sourced leads and referrals.

Leads sourced by Marketing aren’t favored by Sales, even if Marketing is none the wiser.

What can we do about this? It’s pretty clear: you need to talk.

Sales rarely know what Marketing is doing and Marketing has no idea if what they are doing is having any impact on Sales. If this is the case, how can your company assess what’s working and what isn’t? How can either department truly measure ROI. Easy, you can’t.

HandshakeMarketing and Sales need to talk.
Stop the proverbial arm wrestling and instead offer a handshake (in other words, make an agreement). Marketing and Sales need to align themselves and create clear goals and expectations. The best way to achieve this is through an internal Service Level Agreement (SLA).

Your SLA should:

  1. Detail marketing goals (such as number of leads, number of qualified leads, the definition of a qualified lead, etc.)
  2. Outline sales activity (follow up with leads generated by Marketing, notify Marketing of leads created by them, etc.)

This SLA clarifies each team’s commitment to support the other. This not only allows for transparency to make better and more informed decisions, but also sheds light on where past issues lie.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Just because Sales says Marketing isn’t delivering quality leads, doesn’t mean it’s true. Unless they can deliver real and clear data, it’s all “feelings.” However, it is important that marketers are aware of salespeople’s low opinion of their work and find solutions to work better together (and prove them wrong).

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