The data related to business-to-business buyers and their purchase behaviors continues to point to the need for a better relationship between marketing and sales. Why? The relationship with a buyer starts well before sales is involved and continues well after the initial sale is made. There is no way for marketing or sales to manage the complete customer lifecycle without support from the other.
A CEB study reported that B-to-B buyers are 57 percent of the way to a buying decision before they are willing to talk to a sales rep. And, a survey by Demand Gen Report indicated that 77 percent of B-to-B buyers did not talk with a salesperson until after they had performed independent research. It is during this period that marketing analytics and automation are paramount to success. Without the right touchpoint plan coordinated between sales and marketing, meeting revenue goals become more elusive.
Yet, even when the moment does arrive for sales to meet with the customer, there continues to be hurdles. Quoting from a Forrester Research report, “According to executive buyers we surveyed, most salespeople they meet with are not prepared to engage or help them understand a problem and how to solve it. These buyers observe that 80 percent of the salespeople they meet with have an agenda focused on presenting their products, rather than understanding the buyer, their company, and its business challenges.”
This presents another place where sales and marketing can work together. Really understanding the buyers and their industries and sharing these insights with each other improve success during the face-to-face sessions.
Yours, Mine and Ours
In spite of the challenges, there is hope for better results. Forrester found that with better integration and coordination between marketing and sales, an organization’s success is greatly improved.
In the Forrester report titled, “From Priming The Pipeline To Engaging Buyers: The B2B CMO’s New Role In Sales Enablement,” it was concluded that marketing in companies that continue to have classic sales/marketing tension and low marketing automation maturity generates less than 30 percent of the leads in the sales-forecast pipeline. On the other hand, in companies with high collaboration between marketing and sales and high marketing automation maturity, marketing generates 50-80 percent of the sales forecast pipeline.
Even in our own research with customers, gyro and Loyalty Research Center found that better alignment between sales and marketing resulted in lower costs per sale, improved marketing and sales quality leads and better customer retention.
To learn more about improving alignment between marketing and sales to increase revenue and sales results, please join gyro on Tuesday, June 9 at 2 p.m. EST for the “CMO Imperatives: Sales and Marketing Unite to Drive Sales Results” webinar.
Carolyn Ladd – Vice President of Account Planning, gyro Cincinnati
As an account planner, Carolyn is responsible conducting research projects, developing strategic insights, facilitating ideation sessions and workshops related to process improvement, new product development, campaign strategy, defining analytics and metrics for clients, and working with agency teams to develop campaign strategies and tactics that resonate with customers.
Carolyn’s first foray in business was with Thoughtware Inc., a pioneer in interactive learning and integrated support systems. The job at Thoughtware led Carolyn to realize that she thrives as a strategic planner and consultant. Her strong sense of curiosity, superb listening skills, solid facilitation acumen and the innate ability to distill complex ideas into simple messages were crucial to her role. As she says, “I’m always at my best when working with the unknown. I enjoy taking all the pieces of the puzzle and putting it together.”
Carolyn has been working with the world’s top brands for over 20 years. She has conducted complex research that drives brand messaging and tactical planning. She has developed segmentation programs for B-to-B companies that rely on brokers, deals and/or distributors to sell their products and solutions. Carolyn is passionate about leveraging digital strategy and tactics to drive results. At gyro, she is one of the leaders in digital marketing communications.