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Marketing and Sales in Modern Times

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

Why Most people Get Sales Enablement Wrong

Marketing and sales are two critical components of any successful business, and in today's fast-paced and highly competitive market, it's more important than ever to get them right.

Unfortunately, many businesses struggle to effectively integrate their marketing and sales efforts, leading to missed opportunities and lower sales.

Regardless of who you believe is responsible for revenue recognition, this push-pull relationship can either create tension between Marketing and Sales or it can drive enterprise success. Let’s take a look.

The Outdated Approach

An outdated approach to sales acquisition is when a company views the process through the lens of individual departments rather than as a holistic and integrated effort. In this approach, marketing and sales operate in silos, with little coordination or collaboration between the two teams.

This leads to a disconnect between marketing and sales, as each team focuses on their own goals and objectives without considering how they can work together to achieve them. This results in a lack of alignment, leading to confusion and inefficiency.

One of the key problems with this approach is that it fails to take into account the customer journey and the role that marketing and sales play in that journey.

The Modern Approach

To avoid this outdated approach, businesses should adopt a customer-centric view of the sales acquisition funnel and ensure that marketing and sales are working in lockstep, with clear goals and objectives that are aligned with the overall business strategy.

By fostering collaboration and communication between marketing and sales, businesses can drive better results and create a more seamless and effective customer experience.

In a modern approach, we want to understand the Sales funnel by buyer intent and create a roadmap that follows suit. This means understanding which source prompted the buyer to take action. Internally, this will dictate how SMART goals are outlined for Marketing, Sales and Customer Success.

Software-based Leads Attribution

Within most enterprises, each department is measured by the blended performance of the leads they have sourced by direct software-based attribution. While most don’t question these data attribution sources, most of the time what buyers report is radically different from these attribution reports.

This begs the question: Is attribution software the source of truth Marketers and Sales are led to believe they are?

While historically, Marketing has been the one to bring in first touch attribution (leads), in today’s world, it doesn’t necessarily equate to today’s buyers engagement or their expectations. Let’s take a look at the numbers:

  • Content marketing brings in leads that typically close at 0.1% (sales wins 1 deal from 1,000 "leads")

  • Demo requests that win at 8% (sales wins 1 deal from 12 "leads")

  • But what about leads that result from community, word of mouth, or podcasts? All too often these types of leads are never tracked to attribution sources.

Meanwhile, departments (Sales, Marketing, Customer Success, SDRs, etc.) fight over credit instead of working together because that’s how teams are measured and budgets are established. With such an outdated model, it’s no wonder there is often sales and marketing misalignment.

4 Steps for a Modern Approach

Smart companies will want to adopt a modern approach with a new framework to measure success. Here’s how to make it happen:

  1. Evaluate your Go To Market (GTM) Strategy

Evaluate what GTM strategy captured the demand for your target audience (i.e., what was the trigger that prompted the buyer to enter the pipeline?). These are called “pipeline sources.”

  1. Understand the buyer’s entry point

Once you know the pipeline source(s) where demand is captured, you have an understanding of the entry point(s) for buyer intent. This will enable better predictability of sales metrics including win rate, sales cycle length, and pipeline velocity.

  1. Build a model with accurate and all-encompassing data

Build a stand alone self-reported attribution model to store data that highlights momentum from the marketing (or sales) programs that are creating demand and buyer intent.

  1. Optimize your revenue strategy

Use this data to optimize your entire revenue strategy and continue to learn from customers, prospects that did not convert and be willing to adapt to today’s digital consumer rather than focus on which department should get “credit.” The key is to understand buyer intent and to focus on what the prospect needs to solve, not on what you are selling.

By implementing this framework, you will:

  1. Create alignment and agility between all departments by collectively agreeing on what success looks like, define quarterly ROCKS for each department and achieve results for the buyer.

  2. Work together as a collaborative company rather than fight over who gets “credit.” Be open to experimentation.

  3. Create an open environment for Revenue leaders and strategists to make better decisions and strategy improvements. Adjust ROCKS as needed.

  4. Dramatically improve your revenue planning and forecasting accuracy.

  5. Clearly show which channels provide ROI, which enables the company to focus efforts on what’s working and to stop spending time, money and energy on areas that don’t.

In 2023, make it a goal for every department (Sales, Marketing, SDRs, Customer Success, Account Managers, etc.) to contribute to each and every closed won customer.

By setting up the right culture and establishing measurable frameworks, spelling out each leader’s role and accountability for success, each person will be clear on expectations and will be properly equipped to hit 2023 goals.

Download our free Sales and Marketing Integration Framework here.

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