Sales and Marketing alignment has been an increasingly popular talking point in any business development discussions for CEOs, heads of Marketing, VPs of Sales, and Sales leaders for some time now.
As a result, there are now countless white papers, blog posts, webinars, and other content circulating around promoting the importance of aligning these two teams. Even with so much available information, 83% of companies are still failing to create the transparency and processes between Sales and Marketing teams that are critical to scale effectively and increase the closing ratio.
So why is it that just 17% of all organizations describe their Sales and Marketing teams as “completely aligned”, as found in a survey completed by Act-On?
We Started Looking for Answers
Here at Skaled, we use tech and sales optimization to drive quantifiable results; so when we notice widespread process failures at enterprise-level organizations, we instinctively dig deeper to find data-backed and tech-driven solutions to increase revenue and drive success.
As a result, when we noticed the bottleneck caused by misalignment between Sales and Marketing teams, and the ways leading sales organizations were failing to resolve it, we started to develop our own internal, scientifically-backed data to find the missing puzzle pieces that are keeping Sales and Marketing departments from achieving the success rates possible when the right people and technology-based processes are in place.
We partnered with Survata, an industry leader in high-quality survey research, to survey 87 B2B Decision Makers at medium and large organizations to develop actionable statistics surrounding Smarketing tactics that have never been seen before.
Until now, that is:
1. Leads Should be Targeted at Least 6 Times Before We Nurture Them
We found that only 14.9% of completed transactions between B2B decision-makers and vendors began as a result of a buyer reaching out to an organization first. This means that for 47.1% of decision-makers, sales reps are reaching out 1 to 3 times, and for 29.9% of them, reps are engaging with them 4 to 6 times.
Marketing teams can often feel like they’re generating leads without them ever being touched by reps, when according to our data, 85% of reps are touching with leads 1 to 10 times before a deal is closed.
The best way for reps to maximize the use of marketing-generated leads is to develop a strong SLA. When Sales and Marketing teams in large organizations lack an SLA, use outdated and inefficient processes to get the job done, or use outdated and clunky software, the timing, placement, method, and messaging of key solutions offered by an organization may be getting lost in translation by the time they reach a rep, and that’s assuming that the information gets conveyed to Sales by Marketing at all.
2. Most Leads Know They Have a Problem That Needs Solving
Although most sales reps are reaching out to key decision-makers at least 1 to 3 times before a constructive meeting can be secured, 74.7% of these prospects are already aware that they have a fundamental problem that needs to be solved.
Sales and Marketing teams who are generating generic content that is not buyer-specific and highlights product features rather than buyer challenges typically experience lower than average content engagement as a result of their positioning. As the data suggests, the majority of buyers (87.3%) are already aware of their issues and while the may know that they need to solve these issues they may not recognize the features on your product or service as the solution.. By instead, developing content that focuses on the buyer’s issues and then connecting that dot to how your product or service solves their problem, you’re starting with information that is already relevant to them and translating your product into their language. As a Sales and/or Marketing leader, it’s our job to provide reps with relevant and engaging content, showcasing the value-add to the prospective client. This means reps aren’t wasting their time following up with prospects using content that won’t move the sale forward.
3. 96.6% of Decision Makers Research Your Organization Before a Meeting
The days of “hard selling” and highlighting the bells and whistles of your product or service are long gone, especially when it comes to B2B sales.
Reps selling in the modern B2B market are selling to organizations who want as much information about the solution they may be investing in, and how the solution will add value to their day-to-day operations. According to our survey, 48.3% of decision-makers conduct a significant amount of research surrounding a vendor before a meeting, with the same amount completing at least some research.
This means that for Sales and Marketing teams to move a qualified lead through the pipeline, Decision Makers need to be reminded of the direct value your product or service provides at all stages of the sale. This kind of coordinated, targeted selling is only possible when Sales and Marketing use tech and processes to share information between departments and produce the high-quality messaging needed to manage customer interactions and develop engaging drip campaigns.
4. 70.1% of Successful Leads are Influenced by Other Team Members
Our survey data found that the majority of B2B decision-makers surveyed were influenced by at least one other member of their organization to have a meeting with a solution provider.
With this in mind, it’s critical that Sales and Marketing teams work together to generate information and content that is relevant to multiple Decision Makers such as Heads of Marketing, IT leaders, CFOs, and other key influencers, and is accessible throughout the sales pipeline to move the deal forward.
Align Your Teams Using The Latest Tech
The key to lowering the reach-out rate and securing closed-deals with qualified leads is developing tech-based processes for sharing information between Sales and Marketing departments. These processes should be developed not only to align the two teams, but the two technologies they use to organize and share customer information:
Marketing Automation Tools: For marketing teams, automation software like Hubspot, Eloqua, and Pardot streamline and automate social media efforts and content-based communication based on outcomes from previous successful processes.
When Sales and Marketing teams use technologies in conjunction with existing CRM tools to promote transparency and increase communication they can easily nurture both qualified leads and active clients.
By choosing to focus on the tactical, technological, and people-based changes needed. Sales and Marketing leaders can work together to pass on the right leads and close deals successfully.
Stay tuned for more data-backed Sales and Marketing alignment stats and insights to help keep leads from slipping through the cracks in our upcoming eBook, Sales and Marketing: Bridging the Gap