We’re seeing a shift toward more cooperation between sales and marketing, driven largely by the payoffs from shorter sales cycles.

Why Do It?

CEOs want to see direct linkage between revenue and what sales and marketing are producing every day. Today there’s more than enough technology, including sales and marketing automation platforms, to help with this.

Sales and marketing fight over shorter sales cycles.

Marketing takes a swing at sales for complaining about the leads.

It’s simple. Studies prove that when sales and marketing are aligned, shorter sales cycles happen and sales costs go down. More and better qualified leads are generated and nurtured while sales cycles get shorter.

Before the dramatic increase in technology usage these two departments could have a Cold War relationship and somehow things would get done. Today’s drive for more efficiency and faster results mean sales and marketing are joined at the hip and must work well together.

How To Do It

For small and mid-size B2B companies start with where you are today.

  • Self-educate by searching for articles and papers that can help in your situation. There’s hundreds of vendors selling tools and services that can help…read their insights.
  • Do a brief internal audit that shows where your leads originate. If they’re mostly from the sales team then marketing might be missing some low-hanging fruit.
  • Sketch out the lead process from each lead source, from the point of origin through nurturing and qualification and on to the sales team.

More Reading on Achieving Shorter Sales Cycles

Here is a 12-page guide to better alignment from Pardot, a leading marketing automation platform available through Salesforce.com. This excellent paper points out that ‘businesses with the greatest degree of alignment’:

  • Grow 5.4 points faster than their less aligned competitors
  • Close 38% more proposals than non-aligned businesses
  • Lose 36% fewer customers to competitors

The paper also shows where to align the two teams for shorter sales cycles and how to do it. You should pick up some good ideas for your company or situation.

Click here to view and/or download 6 Keys To Sales and Marketing Alignment.