article | September 22, 2017
What Sales Operations Can Do to Eliminate Friction with Marketing
Cats and dogs. Oil and water. Sales and Marketing. Commonly these pairs do not get along well with each other. Do you experience friction between Sales and Marketing? If you do, you’re not alone. There is a natural rivalry that exists between Sales and Marketing in most organizations. But the best Sales and Marketing teams agree on one thing: Strategy.
Our Annual Research Report identified that the best teams are differentiated by their strategic plans. But are the goals, objectives, and metrics that support the strategic plans aligned? Are Sales and Marketing working together or are they creating friction with each other? Sales Ops leaders can hep by leveraging SBI’s 2018 annual or with your CMO and Head of Sales.
Sales Operations can be an effective bridge between Sales and Marketing organizations. Sales Operations can ensure alignment on key elements of the business to reduce friction. How can you tell if you’re aligned? Answer these three questions:
Step 1: Establish a single view of the customer.
Sales owns customer engagement and new customer acquisition. But Marketing plays a significant role supporting them in their efforts to obtain customers. Without alignment the customer may receive too many, or worse, competing messages. A single view of the customer will reduce friction and the risk of customer dissatisfaction. Sales Operations can align its CRM system with the marketing database to enable this single view. To begin, make sure each system exchanges a basic set of information:
This common single view allows Sales and Marketing teams to avoid customer disruption. Activity logs can be used to generate dashboard reports that track progress against goals. With these insights, teams will be more collaborative and less competitive with each other.
Step 2: Gain agreement on common terms and definitions.
A significant source of friction between Sales and Marketing is with terms and definitions. Without alignment on a few key terms there will be discord throughout Sales and Marketing. Marketing will count leads differently than sales. Sales will complain that leads aren’t qualified properly, if at all.
Sales Operations has a vested interest in pipeline and funnel management. The best marketing organizations contribute to revenue growth by supplying top of funnel leads. But without a common set of terms and definitions misalignment is inevitable. Start with the following list to drive consensus and alignment between Sales and Marketing:
Step 3: Ensure alignment on goals and metrics.
In step one, Sales Operations and Marketing established a single view to the customer. In step two, you gained agreement on key terms and definitions. Now you’re ready to align your results reporting and metrics. In most companies, Sales and Marketing organizations have different methods of reporting results. This can create tension any time a monthly or quarterly report is generated.
What’s the solution? Leverage the single view of the customer to establish common metrics and ensure alignment. Start by jointly defining the goals and objectives for the fiscal period. Marketing is accountable for the generation of MQLs that align with the goal. Sales is accountable to further qualify and convert leads into opportunities. By working together on common goals and establishing common reporting frameworks, dashboard reports align. Friction is reduced.
For most companies we are entering the annual planning season. As you develop your plans for next year leverage SBI’s 2018 annual or . Review it with your team and your VP of Sales. In addition, request a workshop with one of our experts. You’ll discover additional benefits of alignment with Corporate, Product and Pricing.
© 2017 Sales Benchmark Index (SBI)
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© 2018 Sales Benchmark Index (SBI), B.V.
A Business Strategy Consulting Company
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands