The numbers above are deliberately conservative and maybe a tad simplistic, but, even with these conservative assumptions, from a productivity perspective you’re either paying for the equivalent of nearly three people in the marketing team without receiving a return or, seen another way, you could hire the equivalent of almost three more staff for the same outlay.
And, in the example above, we have not addressed what additional productivity would come from a sales force that is more effectively supported by its marketing team.
"Only 25% of sales leads and collateral that marketing creates are ever used by sales teams… (which means that) 75% of marketing-generated sales leads and marketing content are never used by salespeople"
International Data Corporation
The benefits of holistically creating a sales and marketing strategy
Research shows that salespeople spend on average 20-30% of their time either looking for, or modifying, marketing content. Returning this unproductive selling activity time to the sales representatives frees them up to do 20-30% more selling. Think about what could happen if you freed up just 10% more selling time, and if that were to lift sales productivity by the same margin?
To illustrate the significance of the above statistics, a 5% improvement in sales productivity can yield up to a 20% improvement in profit, a four-times profit multiplier! Can you imagine what these numbers could mean for your business?
Making your marketing and salespeople “BFFs”
Collaboration can be achieved in three steps:
1. Benchmark the true level of collaboration between your teams to draw a line in the sand from which you can move forward. Benchmarking is necessary in order to determine just how bad or good the relationship at every level is today, where the bottlenecks are, and where the 'low hanging fruit' opportunities lie. This is best done by an external and independent, neutral third party so that it is not influenced by existing relationships and to solicit true, frank and honest feedback from all stakeholders.
2. Coach all staff on why closer collaboration is good for them and help them to define and agree on the collaboration processes and metrics that they will now live by. Answer questions such as "What's in it for me?" and "What does success look like for me, for my department and for the whole organisation?" Make sure that there is universal agreement on the above.
3. Implement and support the collaboration processes with the appropriate collaboration technology, if appropriate. Don't be tempted to rush this step. It’s important to leave this until the parties have agreed on why and how they will work together. A technology-lead approach will only encounter the usual resistance as people often reject change that is imposed on them.
Provide ongoing coaching, either by a neutral collaboration services provider or by a dedicated internally appointed and empowered “collaboration czar”, so that collaboration can grow beyond the walls of head office and remain sustainable, even when internal personnel and external circumstances change.
Creating a marketing and sales BFF culture in your business will result in: