Poor alignment between your sales and marketing teams and a lack of visibility into cross-functional data cause a bevy of problems. From sub-par conversion rates to bad customer experiences, sales and marketing misalignment puts your company at a competitive disadvantage and impacts revenue at every turn. While the divide makes the two teams feel at odds, their goals are the same: to acquire customers and drive more revenue.
This is often seen as a B2B problem because the buying journey from marketing to sales and the lead handoff are more clear. Marketing drives leads, sales closes them. But the problem is actually compounded in B2C companies because the silos are deeper and the conversion path is a lot muddier. They depend on each other just as much but have even less visibility into mutually dependent strategies.
This is especially true with high-stakes purchases where customers frequently do research online and convert on the phone with the contact center because that causes an additional data divide between marketing and sales when customers leave the digital journey. It also makes alignment between marketing and sales even more important in B2C companies, as it’s the only way to get visibility into the full buying journey and accurately measure success.
When sales and marketing can become one cross-functional super-team, they become mutually accountable for these goals and the results are more efficient and effective customer acquisition and a better buying journey for your customers.
In this post, we cover the biggest challenges sales and marketing misalignment cause, X eye-opening stats to help motivate stronger relationships between your sales and marketing teams, and 5 actionable tips to resolve the issue.
The 5 Biggest Problems Poor Marketing and Sales Alignment Can Cause
Misalignment between your marketing and sales teams can snowball into a world of trouble. Even though these two departments are divided, they both have a common goal of driving revenue and growing business. Effective collaboration between them is critical for an organization’s success as it allows for a seamless customer journey from initial awareness to the final step of making a purchase. Here are our top 5 issues that can arise when marketing and sales are misaligned:
- Inefficient Lead Generation: When marketing and sales teams don't align, there can be confusion about the types of leads being generated. This inefficiency leads to wasted resources and lower conversion rates, as sales may spend time on unqualified leads. Proper alignment ensures that marketing generates leads tailored to the sales team's needs, improving conversion rates and ROI.
- Missed Revenue Opportunities: Poor alignment often results in missed opportunities to upsell or cross-sell to existing customers. Marketing may not have insights into customer needs, and sales may not receive the right content to facilitate these opportunities. This issue directly impacts revenue growth and customer satisfaction.
- Inconsistent Messaging: When marketing and sales messages are not aligned, customers may receive mixed or conflicting information. This can erode trust and create confusion, potentially causing leads to drop out of the sales funnel. Consistent messaging across the buyer's journey is crucial for building brand credibility and driving conversions.
- Low Sales Productivity: Without proper alignment, sales teams may struggle to find the right content, tools, and resources needed to engage prospects effectively. This also leads to wasted time and decreased sales productivity. Sales enablement and alignment ensure that sales reps have easy access to the resources they need to close deals efficiently.
- Increased Customer Churn: When marketing and sales aren't on the same page, customer expectations may not align with what the product or service can deliver. This misalignment can lead to dissatisfaction and increased customer churn rates. Properly aligned teams can set realistic expectations, leading to higher customer retention and loyalty.
15 Eye-Opening Stats to Drive Sales & Marketing Alignment
- An estimated $1 trillion dollars a year is lost due to a lack of sales and marketing coordination (Source: LinkedIn).
- Less Than 5% of sales and marketing executives report poor alignment. But over half who report good alignment show negative performance and pipeline (Source: Shift Paradigm).
- 46% of marketers report that data quality and accuracy negatively impact marketing optimization. 28% say data is siloed and difficult to access (Source: Invoca).
- 79% of marketing leads never convert due to a failure to nurture consumer connections (Source: HubSpot).
- Highly-Aligned organizations see a 32% year-over-year revenue growth. Less aligned competitors saw a 7% decrease in revenue (Source: Aberdeen).
- Highly aligned companies are 15% more profitable (Source: Forrester).
- Over 80% of sales and marketing executives describe each other’s departments positively (Source: Shift Paradigm).
- Businesses with strong sales and marketing alignment are 67% more effective at closing deals and 58% better at retaining customers (Source: LinkedIn).
- Highly aligned teams drive 208% more revenue as a result of their marketing efforts (Source: LinkedIn).
- 96% of companies that report being well-aligned organizationally are aligned on their sales and marketing technology, too (Source: act-on.com).
- Companies whose sales and marketing teams are aligned have a 36% higher customer retention rate (Source: LXAhub.com).
- When companies’ sales and marketing team have a strong relationship, they’re 67% more likely to close deals (Source: zipdo.co).
- Is your company a B2B? If so, companies with a strong sales and marketing alignment are seeing their three-year revenue grow 24% faster (Source: zipdo.co).
- 40% of marketing and sales teams surveyed feel the biggest issue is that their “Systems are unoptimized for alignment” (Source: revenuemarketingalliance.com).
- Regular joint meetings were highlighted as an important line item for 72.2% of surveyed sales and marketing teams (Source: revenuemarketingalliance.com).
5 Actionable Tips to Align Your Sales and Marketing Teams
It’s important to foster a strong alignment between your marketing and sales teams. A strong relationship can lead to improved efficiencies, better customer engagement, and the ultimate cherry on top, increased revenue. Here are our 5 suggestions for keeping your sales and marketing teams aligned:
- Establish Clear Communication Channels: Effective communication is the foundation of alignment. Establishing clear channels for regular communication between marketing and sales teams ensures that both parties are on the same page regarding goals, strategies, and customer insights.
- Develop Shared Objectives and KPIs: When marketing and sales teams have shared objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs), they work towards common goals. This alignment ensures that efforts are synchronized, leading to better collaboration and a unified focus on driving revenue.
- Create Buyer Personas Together: Collaboratively developing buyer personas helps marketing and sales teams gain a deeper understanding of the target audience. When both teams are aligned on customer profiles, it becomes easier to tailor marketing campaigns and sales pitches to the specific needs and preferences of potential buyers.
- Implement Sales Enablement Tools: Sales enablement tools, such as content libraries and CRM systems, empower sales teams with the resources they need to engage prospects effectively. Marketing can provide these tools, ensuring that sales reps have easy access to up-to-date content and information.
- Establish Regular Feedback: Regular feedback between these two departments will allow for continuous improvement. Marketing should collect feedback from sales on the quality and effectiveness of leads, content, and campaigns. Likewise, Sales can provide valuable insights to help marketing refine their strategies, ensuring that efforts are optimized for success.
Want to learn more about how you can align your marketing and sales efforts? Check out these resources: