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The Actual Cost of Sales and Marketing Misalignment

Donal-dalyThis guest blog post is by Donal Daly, CEO of the TAS Group. He shares sales insights, hindsight and a little foresight on his sales and technology blog, Dealmaker365 (previously Sales20Network).

In many quarters, the (mis)alignment between the sales and marketing departments is a cause of some debate and the source of many opinions and much frustration. Apathy and anxiety are mixed in equal part, some saying that's how it always is, and others – searching for a higher return on that "50 percent of marketing that works" – are anxious to discover the real cost. Well, the results are in, and alignment really matters.

In fact, there can be a difference in quota attainment of up to 25 percent between those organizations where sales and marketing are singing in harmony versus those where these two interdependent functions are just singing their individual tunes, more counterpoint than on point.

The source of this data is the Dealmaker Index Global Benchmark Study,  a free global sales service where you can score your sales effectiveness relative to your peers and get advice on how to improve. One of the areas addressed in the Dealmaker Index study is the alignment between sales and marketing.

From the chart here, you can see that quota attainment is much greater at those companies where these two departments are working well together. If you've been agitating in your company to increase cooperation between these two functions (as I know many of you have), well, here is some independent data that you may choose to use.

Of course, alignment between sales and marketing is also a predictor of win rate, but far less so (about 15 percent delta) than overall quota achievement. In many ways, this is not too surprising, but it is a little disappointing. Here, the inference is that the salesperson can win the deal anyway, whether supported by marketing or not, but it also suggests that marketing's input frequently stops at the top of the funnel. Marketing should be equally engaged in moving deals through the funnel, thereby impacting win rate and overall pipeline velocity, as it is at filling the top of the funnel.

I'd love to hear whether you think the relationship between sales and marketing in your organization is truly synergistic or if there is room for improvement. If you've not done so already, you can also participate in the Dealmaker Index benchmark study and see how you score and rank against your peers and what advice you get to improve.

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Wow - those are frightening statistics. One way of avoiding this problem is to set up good communication systems between the different departments. Using online project mangement software (such as Clarizen is a great way for lots of people to track the progress of a project, the time frame and the budget. If everyone has access to the same information, you can work together and not against each other.

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