It’s been long said that there’s a disconnect between sales and marketing teams. Some might even call it a deep chasm. There’s a common belief that if these two groups are in the same building, they’ll suddenly be in alignment. But this usually isn’t the case. And this disconnect leads to weaker messaging and offer positioning because of internal information silos and other issues.
It creates an environment where tiny crevices become huge voids that are hard for businesses to escape from—and impact the relationship between them and their customers. But when companies are fully aligned, they grow 19% faster and generate more revenue.
So how can you remove these information black holes and ensure marketing and sales are on the same page to optimize customer experiences (CX)? By understanding where each side is coming from and then bringing them together to position your company’s offers strategically.
The state of sales and marketing teams
With technology and business evolving at lightning speed, only some companies are as agile or aligned as they want. Marketing and sales departments are traveling down rough roads, making it more difficult to engage with each other.
And naturally, this affects how well they market to their customers and measure performance.
Marketers have long lamented about how hard it is to get what they need internally to create effective campaigns. In 2022, 44% of marketers admitted that they weren’t providing consistency throughout the buying experience. These issues mean the links between data collection, measurement, customer experiences, and persuasive messaging are shaky at best.
As Brent Adamson, Distinguished VP, Advisory, Gartner noted, “Digitally enabled customers, facing dramatically more difficult considerations, are mismatched with today’s sales model.”
When silos exist within organizations, it’s challenging to exchange ideas. Marketing doesn’t know what sales teams are hearing from customers to optimize offers. And sales teams aren’t getting valuable data from marketing that would benefit them in their quest to nurture customer relationships.
According to a recent Salesforce survey, things aren’t much better for sales teams, who spend only 28% of their week actively selling. They’re bogged down by manual admin work like data entry and wading through inefficient internal processes.
There are also grumbles from sales leaders about seeing a drop in their access to customers. One Gartner report showed that B2B buyers spent less time interacting one-on-one with sales reps. Instead, buyers are getting most, if not all, of the information they need via digital channels—especially younger B2B buyers who prefer to learn autonomously and asynchronously.
It’s becoming harder and harder for sales to engage with buyers when internal channels compete with their ability to foster positive relationships.
Even with the increase in companies taking a more hand’s off approach to direct sales, it’s still challenging to automate the human experience. Relationships are still important to buyers who still feel like there’s a divide between their expectations with businesses online and the reality of dealing with computerized systems.
These issues chip away at internal alignment, customer acquisition, and retention. This erosion costs businesses nearly $1 trillion in lost revenue each year. Companies that don’t take the disconnect between sales and marketing seriously will be blown away by competitors who value and actively support internal alignment to optimize their buyers’ experiences.
Engaging customers as a united front
Moving forward, companies must take a more progressive approach to combine the superpowers of sales and marketing to tap into new opportunities to engage with customers and close more deals.
Krista Neher, CEO of Boot Camp Digital, pointed out, “The key to success is understanding that sales and marketing are complementary – not competitive. Strong marketing supports sales teams.”
Very few businesses currently track customer health as a metric, resulting in lost sales opportunities. Sales and marketing teams will have to focus on user-centric strategies internally to enhance CX, which means transferring their data and learnings that explain:
- What drives customers to the channel the company speaks to them on along with;
- The factors stopping them from reading on, taking action, and buying and;
- What obstacles must you overcome to get prospects to sign on or prevent an existing customer from churning.
When all of the pieces are in place and your teams work in tandem, life looks something like this:
Better offer optimization
Customers will tell you everything going on in their head’s that leads them to say “yes.” When this information is shared internally, it’s easier to spot issues causing drop-offs in your funnel. The synergy between sales and marketing enables them to effectively—and consistently—learn more about their buyers. These insights lead to creating more relevant messaging and offers for landing pages, product descriptions and pricing tiers.
Solving the right customer problem
When teams communicate internally, alignment becomes less of an issue. Sales understand what customers are challenged with and can relay this to marketing. They work together to form a strategy addressing the exact problem they need to solve and the barriers to push through before getting the sale. From there, they can continue to elevate the customer service experience and exceed expectations.
Making smarter decisions in stages, not leaps
Having internal teams on the same wavelength creates the space for adaptive decision-making, not reactive. Their combined knowledge helps everyone focus on solutions based on data. They can zoom in on the reasons behind sales dips, test out theories, and make iterative changes to messaging and offers that increase conversion rates.
Creating progressive sales and marketing teams
Only a tiny percentage of companies have aligned their sales and marketing teams around enhancing customer experience. Even though 80% of marketers and sales teams talk about each other positively, there’s still a discrepancy between these good vibes and the flow of information.
But all is not lost. When these two groups center their efforts towards a common goal, they’re an unstoppable force for cultivating long-term customer relationships and increasing revenue.
But it all starts by acknowledging the existing communication holes between sales and marketing that lead to ineffective messaging and offer optimization.