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Are you REALLY aligned with sales?

The marketing-sales wars are a past staple of modern marketing lore--and in today’s world of collaboration, revenue centers, and continuous engagement, certainly the stage is set for sales and marketing to truly work side by side to attain the goals of the company.

But what if the sales goals don’t align with your marketing goals?  I was in a job one time where we’d transformed the marketing engine from a leads-based, throw-it-over-the-fence-to-sales machine to one that scored and qualified the leads, engaged with website visitors far more than they were in the past.  The quality of the leads was undeniably better, the quantity of the pipeline was as strong it had ever been.

Now that's close alignment

And the sales leaders and the board didn’t get it.  They didn’t see the corresponding increase in sales from all the marketing efforts.  We had new events and field marketing to nurture and accelerate customers through the funnel; ABM programs that showed engagement; more velocity than ever before.  And yet the needle didn’t move.

And that’s because sales was measuring something different--opportunities per AE.  And those weren’t going up. So all of the work we were doing back upstream to get the SDR’s better leads, more qualified leads, and more substantive conversations wasn’t doing anything downstream.

The goal of this post is not to diagnose the problem I encountered--we can do that some other time.  The goal here is to remind ourselves that we can build the best, fastest, most beautiful marketing engine around--it will win awards and be the envy of every other team in your industry--but if sales is measured on something different from what you’re producing, none of it matters.  

So--what is your sales team being measured on?  And--is that what all your efforts are actually producing for them?

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