There’s a lot of talk about Sales and Marketing alignment, and there has been for almost a decade, which means that we’re still not getting it right. Aligned strategies and interdepartmental KPIs are helpful, but something practical is missing. These two teams might be closely aligned strategically, but they don’t actually work closely together. They may share a CRM, but do they actually collaborate?
Are we getting distracted?
Marketing leaders are always looking for ways to do more with less. Of course, all business leaders are doing this, but for Marketing teams, the challenge is compounded by shrinking budgets, a talent gap and a huge array of MarTech and AdTech solutions. All these solutions promise to deliver more leads with less effort. It’s all automated, measured and reported on, with CMOs spending a fortune on software. But they aren’t delivering the results they promised.
HubSpot is one of the biggest providers of MarTech. They coined the term ‘Inbound Marketing’ and have created hundreds of educational blogs, videos, guides and templates to help Marketing teams attract, nurture and convert leads. And while companies are seeing some results (lots of ‘Marketing qualified leads’), many are struggling to find the ROI. In fact, HubSpot’s own 2017 State of Inbound report found that 63% of marketers say their top challenge is generating enough traffic and leads
And Sales is having trouble converting these into actual leads (‘Sales qualified leads’). Global B2B marketing agency, The Marketing Practice, reports seeing figures as low as 0.5% of MQLs being accepted by Sales.
Of course, Inbound Marketing is just one element of a much bigger business development strategy, but is this true of the time and budget devoted to it? Are Marketing teams getting distracted by shiny automation solutions with all the bells and whistles, while neglecting the basics of supporting their partners in Sales with practical activities like proposals, RFPs, account-based campaigns etc?
When Sales teams are left to fend for themselves – searching desperately for content, creating their own proposals and RFP responses, and running their own mini lead generation campaigns – we see inconsistent communications, confusing lead attribution, and a lot of frustration all round.
Getting the basics right – understanding the modern workplace
Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that basic collaboration between these teams is still too difficult. It’s easier for Marketing teams to focus on marketing-only activities than it is to collaborate with Sales teams. Emails get ignored, content gets buried in confusing file structures that Sales teams don’t understand, and document collaboration is a version-control nightmare.
The chaos only increases in larger organizations where teams are spread around the world, remote working is gaining ground, and content is stored in multiple locations and systems. The modern workplace is faster and more complex than the traditional workplace.
Align Sales and Marketing on a practical level
Qorus is an easy-to-use add-in for Office 365 that enables Sales and Marketing teams to quickly find, collaborate on and use content stored in SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business.
They simply open the newly updated add-in from Word, PowerPoint, Excel or Outlook, search for the content they need, and add it. There’s no need to navigate away from the document, presentation or email they’re working on. They collaborate seamlessly, with version control automatically tracked. They insert boilerplate and reference material into pitches, proposals, RFP responses and other documents that’s automatically updated when the original content is changed. Qorus even tracks content usage so that you can see which pieces are most valuable to the sales team and where they’re using them.
It’s this type of practical software that really brings Sales and Marketing teams together at their foundations and enables carefully planned strategies to be properly implemented – in a productive manner.