Make your voice heard! The relationship between Sales and Marketing

August 19, 2015 Mark Emmons


Oil and water. Cats and dogs. Hatfields and McCoys.

Oh, and of course, sales and marketing.

Yes, these are all things that don’t mix. And it’s no secret that in the business world, sales and marketing teams traditionally have had difficulty playing well together. They can end up fighting like, well, you know.

At best, they have differences of opinions. At worst, they can have outright adversarial relationships. Certainly both teams at companies can be filled with well-meaning people who are trying to achieve the same thing – growing the bottom line and making their business a success. They just don’t always agree on how exactly to do that. If revenue is not increasing the way the executive team is expecting, fingers point. Voices are raised.

But at a time when the B2B space is changing so dramatically, just how misaligned are sales and marketing teams?

The first step to solving any problem is understanding it. That’s why LeanData and Docurated have joined forces to launch an industry-wide survey to gain a deeper knowledge about the state of affairs between sales and marketing.

The goal is to quantify the current relationship throughout the business world, identify if there is indeed friction, and if so, quantify it. Simply put, we’re hoping to get the pulse of what’s happening between sales and marketing. And we need your help.

“We want to pinpoint areas where the working relationship between marketing and sales can be improved upon,” said Fergal Glynn, the vice president of marketing at Docurated. “Actionable data from leaders in B2B will help us to get right to the crux of many of the roadblocks we are seeing in sales and marketing today.”

Adam New-Waterson, the chief marketing officer at LeanData, said he has witnessed first-hand “very intense” relationships between sales and marketing departments at previous companies.

“It’s not necessary, helpful or productive to have that kind of situation,” New-Waterson said. “It’s very important to see if what I’ve experienced personally, and heard about anecdotally, really is part of a broader culture in business. The best way to find out is to just ask people.”

Aligning sales and marketing departments to operate in a more cohesive fashion is part of a growing trend. B2B companies are moving toward Account-Based Marketing strategies to navigate an increasingly complicated and drawn out sales process. The research firm SiriusDecisions has found that 92 percent of companies recognize the value of ABM – describing it as “extremely important” or “very important” in this new selling environment.

ABM encompasses the entire customer lifecycle – focusing on high-quality touches with a select number of target accounts rather than sifting through a vast quantity of leads. That requires a greater integration between sales and marketing teams as they work to raise brand awareness and engage high-value prospects.

“Buyer behavior fundamentally has changed over the last few years,” Glynn said. “Every lead today is influenced by both sales and marketing from start to finish. So it no longer makes sense to work along the same old, demarcated lines we have grown used to. Marketing and sales should start to act as one unit to match the needs of the modern buyer.”

In other words, sales and marketing can no longer act like squabbling siblings if the company is going to be successful.

“It’s so important to get this right when you think about the direction where business is heading today,” New-Waterson added. “This survey will help us better understand the current environment.”

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