Nearly 2,000 people registered for our webinar on “How to Crack the Code of Sales and Marketing Alignment!” If you missed it, you should drop everything and watch the replay here. We had a great panel of experts dig into the findings of our recently-released report on sales and marketing alignment, and they shared some great insights. Here’s a quick recap.
Our CMO, Tracy Eiler, began by admitting that, with regards to building this sales and marketing alignment survey, “We honestly thought, ‘Does anyone care anymore?’” It’s been talked about for so long, and so many companies deal with the issue daily. But when nearly two thousand people registered for the webinar, Carol Krol, editor-in-chief at Demand Gen Report (and also our partner for the survey), added that, “We knew we hit a nerve!”
In the webinar, the panel dove right in, commenting that alignment is currently a key differentiator and a path to growth, but it’s also quickly becoming the required way to do business. Barriers still exist, however, with communications and broken processes being listed as the top two in our survey, and also with webinar attendees in our live poll.
Panelist Kim DeCarlis, CMO at Impervis, talked about the critical need for collaboration to break through these barriers. “Marketers want to help sales sell more, faster, and the best way to do that is thorough collaboration.” That’s only way to quickly determine what’s working and what’s not, she continued.
Andrea Austin, VP of Enterprise Sales at InsideView, added that smarter sales organizations are recognizing the need to be more collaborative with marketing, admitting that sales “can’t do this alone.”
When it came to processes, the panelists further agreed on the need for alignment, as well as the benefits. Krol of Demand Gen Report said that the challenges of inconsistent processes are “not surprising to me.” She added that it’s “clear that both camps—sales and marketing—have to adopt consistent processes” to get on the same page.
As the discussion turned to disconnected metrics, Krol offered her insights on the root cause. “Sales is generally focused on account-level metrics,” she said. “Marketing is focused on lead-level metrics. This underscores the disconnect.”
Eiler pointed to pipeline as the obvious rallying point, adding that “sales and marketing need to find a middle ground around pipeline.”
Luckily, a bright spot here is that our survey found that two-thirds of marketers are already measured on pipeline to some degree.
DeCarlis said that she liked seeing so many marketers using pipeline as a metric, and that it offers the benefit of seeing the ultimate quality of their leads, “even if they don’t get that feedback directly from sales.” She added that, while being measured on pipeline is “new and scary” for marketers, it’s also “the new way of marketing.”
Austin stated firmly, however, that it doesn’t mean sales is off the hook. “Sales has to get involved with awareness, especially on social media.” And, she added, when marketing puts forth the effort to execute campaigns and events, “sales has to proactively promote those events to their prospects.”
It was a lively discussion, for sure, and it was energizing to hear such direct and consistent advice on alignment coming from both sales and marketing leaders.