Are Marketers to Blame for Lack of Alignment with Sales?

Marketers are the chief cause of misalignment within the revenue-generating functions of B2B companies if results of my recent poll are representative of the business world (which it isn’t because of sample methodology and size). Even though the poll is not statistically representative (it is still open so please participate) results already point out a disturbing finding.

The poll asked the question, “What is the biggest obstacle to successfully aligning Marketing and Sales long term?” The choices given are:

  1. Culture–lack of commitment and trust
  2. Technology–lack of CRM, etc.
  3. Process–lack of a shared action plan
  4. Funnel–lack of funnel definitions, roles
  5. Skills–lack of the right skills in Marketing

Lack of the right skills within the Marketing organization has received 50% of the responses thus far. Lack of commitment and trust within Marketing and Sales is second most popular choice having been selected by 35% of the respondents. Lack of agreement to funnel stage definitions and roles is third most common obstacle to alignment with 14% of respondents.

Frankly, I was expecting culture and process to be the top two obstacles. Sure, I know that lack of B2B marketing skills is the root cause of much malaise in companies today, but I wasn’t expecting the respondents in the poll to believe overwhelmingly that marketers were the culprits in the offense of  misalignment.

What do you think? If you haven’t taken the poll yet, please do.

2 replies
  1. Neil Edwards
    Neil Edwards says:

    In my dealings with businesses, I regularly see a lack of confidence that a marketing led approach will work in the end.

    Sales people are targetted to deliver results and when they are not delivering results, they need to show that they are busy.

    Meetings with prospects that are not yet ready to buy are fine in the eyes of the salesperson – the ‘get me in front of somebody and I’ll make a sale’ mentality – but clearly they aren’t and many hours are spent in sales meetings justifying a stagnant pipeline.

    The fact that buyers want to see the salesperson later and later in the buying process means that, in many organisations, the size of the sales force could be reduced in favour of more in-bound marketing techniques. This naturally leads to sniping as a means of self-protection. Unfortunately, this leads to panic at senior management levels if the results aren’t immediate and everybody returning to their comfort zones.

    I will vote for no.1. The real debate is how to solve it, which I hope will be the subject of your nrxt poll!


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