The Number 1 Reason for B2B Sales and Marketing MisalignmentadminComments off.
Only about 8% of companies report having strong alignment between sales and marketing according to Forrester Research. The number 1 reason for sales and marketing misalignment is the disconnect in product messaging and positioning throughout the prospect engagement.
Product messaging and positioning is the foundation for product marketing content. And marketers know the numbers – even though we spend an average of 55% of our budgets on content creation and production, more than 50% of the content marketing produces is considered worthless by sales. (Forrester) We also know sales people spend up to 20% of their time creating their own content.
Marketers are Chasing the Sales Alignment Problem…and Losing
B2B marketers are spending enormous amounts of time and money trying to understand and correct misalignment. The reasons for misalignment are universal. Disparate and incomplete prospect data, best guesses filling in the blanks, and random customer data points. Marketers are drowning in data and starving for insights. Your competitors are wrestling with the same exact issues, so to prospects you all look the same. So, when prospects are in the ‘top-of-the-funnel’ no-touch phase of their decision process, we’re effectively leaving it to them to determine differentiated value.
- 92% of buyer start with an informational search
- 53% of buyers find that inline research is superior to interacting with a sales person
- 75% of buyers depend on social networks to learn about choosing the right vendor
- 90% of buyers won’t take a cold call
Almost always, the issue comes down to marketing teams not producing quality leads for sales reps to act on. And quality is the key word: when prospects do engage directly, its largely due to their self-assessment of our product’s fit to meet their needs. We tag these as Marketing Qualified Leads and hand them to sales. Too often, sales dismisses marketing leads as unqualified – usually because as sales digs in, they uncover a mismatch between our products and the prospects requirements.
With salespeople often working on a commission-based model, a lack of quality leads means wasted time and missed targets, which only fan the flames of animosity towards the marketing department.
Even worse, sales people are under so much pressure to generate revenue, they may start jamming round pegs into square holes (creating post-implementation support nightmares); or they generate one-off requirements for product development that siphon resources allocated to next releases of the product.
Today’s Popular Marketing Actions are Taking Too Long, Cost Too Much…and Unfortunately Costing Marketers Their Jobs
Marketing actions of endless A/B testing, attribution modeling, account profiling, and implementing MarTech tools – all while we’re being tasked with helping sales deliver revenue – is enormously expensive, time-consuming, and data starved. Marketers simply don’t have enough first-party data that’s broad and deep enough for personalized, differentiated messaging at the top of the funnel. The Content Marketing Institute tells us the top 4 ways marketers research their target audience:
- Sales team feedback
- Website analytics
- Keyword research
- Secondary research
Marketers are being asked to complete a puzzle with thousands of pieces and no puzzle box cover for reference. And we will not get it by attending sales calls, having periodic customer visits, focus groups, or qualitative research – which are commonly prescribed remedies.
If you want to differentiate and personalize from your very first prospect interaction, consider BeMarketDo. With statistical accuracy, we tell you what the functional and emotional drivers are that attracted your customers in the first place and what keeps them supporting you. And we go deep. We deliver insights from the 5-7 people typically involved in the purchase decision. And then we help you turn insights into actions.
We put marketers in the messaging drivers seat by delivering relevant, resonant, customer-informed insights that are fact-based. Our clients are leading messaging and positioning initiatives for their companies…not chasing them. Do you want to lead alignment with sales?
- Give them relevant and specific insights to the individuals they’ll encounter (not personas)
- Create personalized content that addresses individual buying committee member views of opportunity, hope, concern, fear, skepticism, and peace of mind
- Stop asking them to be your market research firm
- Help them personalize their pitch with customer-informed, analytics backed data
- Guide them on what content to use…and when
- Use fact based data to tell them, for example, what’s relevant to the CIO of a $250M manufacturing firm has almost nothing to do with what’s relevant to the CIO of a $750M insurer. Better yet, tell them what’s uniquely relevant to both.
- Help them win!