Phil Harrell, VP, Group Director
Marketing and sales leaders share the same big-picture goals, yet their ways of thinking and operating can seem worlds apart. Different success metrics, disagreement over basic terms (e.g., what is a lead?), and outdated perceptions of one another’s role often keep them from partnering effectively. This not only breeds inefficiency, but also can create disjointed buyer experiences that drive prospects away.
On this episode of What It Means, Vice President and Group Director Phil Harrell explains how marketing and sales can overcome this divide. The first, key step is to agree on shared targets and metrics — i.e., establishing what marketing should contribute to pipeline and revenue, which can vary by opportunity. Each group needs to be held accountable — marketing for hitting its targets and sales for pursuing the opportunities that marketing brings.
Successful marketing-sales partnerships also require technology systems that provide a shared view of customers and prospects. “The line where marketing leaves off and sales picks up is blurring,” Harrell says. “If a lead is handed off to a salesperson who has no context about the prospect and starts the conversation over, that’s a bad experience.”
Much of sales and marketing alignment comes down to relationship building and recognizing the value the other brings. Encouragingly, efforts can pay off quickly. “You can see results in three to six months if the sales and marketing leader are committed,” says Harrell. “If they know that there’s a problem and are willing to take the steps required to fix it — if they’re willing to hold each other accountable and have trust — they can get a lot done.”
For more on this topic, read Phil’s blog post on aligning sales and marketing for better results.