Why your sales and marketing alignment needs an intervention

The discord between sales divisions and marketing divisions is age old. Mention it to any company leader who contends with the tension and they will quickly agree it’s there. So why have so many companies just let it lie? Many view it as a difficult undertaking. Some think it’s flat out unfixable. Yet companies that do make the effort to tackle the problem show as much as a third higher win and retention rates compared to their peers that just choose to ignore it.

A third higher win rate would seem to be worth it. So how do we make sales and marketing alignment more attainable? Here are three ideas.

It takes an expert

It is difficult to do this in house. I know, I know. It sounds like I’m advocating for you to hire me. While that would be nice, that’s not the point. A third-party expert doesn’t have the bias or baggage that someone in house will have. A third party expert can ask candid questions without worrying about slaying the sacred cows in your organization. And a third party expert will bring proven process rather than you having to recreate the wheel.

It’s not sales' nor marketing’s idea

There is skepticism from both sides when you begin a sales and marketing alignment effort. You can’t have a sales leader or a marketing leader run the process. You need someone who can bring objectivity. And, someone who can lead a balanced processed so it doesn’t feel like it’s weighted to the sales nor the marketing side. This is the only way to break through the walls that have been built over time and to deliver a solution that will seem acceptable to both sides.

The only one who gets to be right is the buyer.

I’m going to give away a huge secret of a successful sales and marketing alignment effort. Sales doesn’t get to be right. Marketing doesn’t get to be right. The only person who gets to be right in this effort is the prospect or customer. If you set this rule, your likelihood of success goes way up. Sales or marketing may have opinions, but the customer or prospect’s opinion is the only one that really matters anyway. So if you let that be the touchstone for all decisions, you’ll get to better answers, quicker.

Get sales and marketing truly working together and amazing things can happen. But it takes an objectivity and candidness that makes it difficult to do from the inside. It takes experts and an intervention. Just know that the results are worth the effort.