In August this year, Aberdeen surveyed 453 companies to assess their state of sales and marketing alignment. The survey shows Best-in-Class companies in sales and marketing alignment and compared them to Laggard organizations. (You can download that survey for free until Dec. 3rd) Here is the bottom line:
- 20% average growth in annual revenue, as compared to a 4% average decrease among Laggard companies
- 47% of sales forecasted pipeline is generated by marketing, as compared to an average 5% among Laggard companies.
Aberdeen’s survey underlines the fact that Sales and Marketing alignment isn’t a cakewalk, it requires a lot of work. Best –in-Class companies spend more time defining what is a qualified lead, work harder at creating a mutual understanding of lead management activities and achieve a greater understanding of each other’s goals (and alignment of these goals).
What’s best about this survey is that it comes with a self-assessment tool that allows you to measure your company’s Sales and Marketing Alignment readiness compared to the Best-in-Class companies.
Another interesting part is Aberdeen’s view on deploying Sales & Marketing 2.0 technology. The report says, “The technologies solutions Best-in-Class companies deploy are enhancing the organization’s structure, improving processes capabilities and increasing knowledge acquisition.”
What do others say about the role of sales and marketing technology?
Jon Miller, CMO at Marketo, a company that has enjoyed 100% year-over-year revenue growth told me:
“At Marketo, we’ve redesigned the traditional revenue cycle to achieve much higher revenue performance. We’ve shifted many traditional Sales functions – such as prospecting and educating potential buyers – to Marketing and use lead scoring to help Sales focus on just the hottest leads and opportunities. As a result of all this, fewer than 10% of our deals are sourced by Sales reps, and our reps carry a higher quota than typical SaaS companies – and they are making it. Most significantly, we earn a complete payback on every cent of Marketing and Sales investment in just nine months, compared to 18 months or more from comparable companies.”
Brett Wallace, VP Sales, Zoominfo, a business information search engine that provides profiles on people and companies explains how his company leverages Sales & Marketing 2.0 processes and technologies.
“We achieved better sales and marketing alignment. We worked hard to blur the lines and get Sales and Marketing on the same page. Marketing owns a revenue number that is tied to the sales quota each quarter and we have product marketers working right next to the salespeople in their segments. As a result, we are creating a more integrated and execution-oriented team.
Early examples we are seeing –
- results of marketing generated business grew 44% from Q32009 to Q32010.
- we are able to change messaging and sales enablement tools and collateral on the fly with firsthand sales feedback to help our team become more relevant to customers.
- we are aligned to a single prospect list and able to create micro-segment territories to focus on the prospects that generate the greatest long term value.
- we revised our website to attract buyers to key contact forms and make those forms more accessible – as a result, we experienced a 350% increase in MQLs from our website in Aug/Sept.
- we are a 2010 finalist for a Markie Award from Eloqua for marketing to our customers at different stages in their lifecycle. We have strong programs focused on renewal, upsell or new business lead nurturing and key revenue-driving promotions that are integrate the marketing vision to the key activities that sales reps execute on via daily activities.
While we’re far from perfect, we see early signs of good progress and based on that I would highly encourage sales and marketing teams to spend time getting on the same page – it must start at the top and trickle down from there.”
Disclosure: Jon Miller and Brett Wallace will both share their best practices at the Sales & Marketing 2.0 Conference in San Francisco Nov 8-9th. This is the first time sales and marketing executives will get together to collaborate under one roof and walk away with tons of ideas that will give them a fair chance to move up to best-in-class.