Turn up the Heat in the Relationship Between B2B Sales and Marketing

Turn up the Heat in the Relationship Between B2B Sales and Marketing

I first posted this over on LinkedIn – go check it out and connect with me if you aren’t already!

I have a fabulous new pizza oven in my backyard. The first concoction featured mesclun salad pizza with grilled corn and asiago, followed by wild mushroom and fontina. Delicious. We’ve even discovered that the hot oven after a pizza creation is an ideal spot for perfectly cooked s’mores.

But the other night, as I was enjoying the last of my melted marshmallow, I found myself thinking about how quickly the summer has progressed. As both the weather, and my pizza oven, have heated up, the need for leads is on the rise as well this time of year for many organizations. It’s no wonder, with entry into the back half of the year; the pressure is often on to hit numbers.

With pressure can come conflict, particularly between sales and marketing. According to our Aberdeen Group research, effective communication goes a long way in maintaining the relationship. And, often, leveraging the right set of metrics sets the tone.

It is not secret that sales and marketing depend upon each other for success. According to our Sales Enablement: Fulfilling the Last Frontier of Marketing-Sales Alignment report, many sales teams would rather work on a smaller number of warm, qualified leads than be handed a large number of unqualified leads to wade through. In fact, of our survey respondents, 47% listed “increasing the quality of leads provided by marketing” as a top business goal. In B2B sales, the best way to qualify a lead is by tracking that prospect’s interactions with marketing materials and content. It’s up to the marketing department to qualify these leads and pass them on to the sales team to close.

Conversely, savvy marketing departments measure their effectiveness through their team’s impact on company revenue, which depends upon the sales team closing deals. The symbiotic relationship between sales and marketing should bind these professionals together into one team, but as many professionals can tell you, that isn’t always the case. Why is it that the two sometimes don’t get along, despite their dependence upon each other?

One reason that our research has uncovered is that while each team is measuring the impact of the other’s work upon their success, they aren’t communicating those results constructively to each other. A great opportunity exists for marketers to sit down with sales reps and have a conversation about how the sales team perceives and uses the measurement of what marketing does for their organization and why it matters to their team. The organizations where these conversations take place – and are then acted upon – enjoy higher performing marketers and salespeople, meaning higher revenue for all.

Turning up the heat in the relationship between your marketing team and the sales department is a surefire way to get closer to your revenue targets by the end of the year. Start by reading our report, Consider the Audience: Marketing Effectiveness Metrics for Everyone, and seek out better ways to determine what is important to your sales reps, and how to successfully communicate to them.

You may also want to consider a pizza party. Anyone need an oven?

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About the author

SVP of Marketing at Monetate, and veteran B2B marketer. On Twitter @MaribethRoss. Read more at www.maribethross.com

View all articles by Maribeth Ross

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