Over the past several months, I’ve been fortunate enough to split much of my consulting time between acting as a fractional CMO and a fractional CRO. And it’s been interesting to note how these two roles interplay to drive business goals. Let’s look at 3 reasons why both roles are needed and must be executed exceptionally to drive topline results.
The Timeline Shuffle
Time horizons should be different for planning for sales versus marketing. Sales need to think quarterly, monthly, or even weekly. While Marketing should be planning quarterly, yearly, and beyond. Collaborating with the CMO and their team’s inbound efforts can help you forecast revenue and reduce your sales cycle. Outbound sales methods (e.g. cold calling lead lists) tend to have a longer sales cycle length because the customer doesn’t have much purchase intent at the point of engagement compared to inbound leads via a website. Collecting Marketing Qualified Leads (and understanding when in the marketing timeline your leads will hit this status) not only makes the sales team’s job easier but shortens the overall sales cycle.
Sales must become predictable to scale revenue – this is where creating a strategic plan that involves marketing can make all the difference. To bring scalability to your sales strategy, combine your outbound sales technique with your marketing team’s SEO and content marketing strategy.
Since the leads generated through these strategies are already motivated with a strong buy intent, prospects are significantly more receptive to the efforts your sales reps put in and the responses received are far more favorable. Predictable lead generation leads to predictable revenue.
Integration and Alignment
Marketing is all about helping sales sell and driving revenue for your company. When Sales and Marketing are aligned, clear boundaries between the two exist, but they’re flexible. A recent survey found that the six biggest obstacles to sales and marketing alignment were:
- Lack of accurate/shared data on target accounts and prospects (43%)
- Communication (43%)
- Use of different metrics (41%)
- Broken/flawed processes (37%)
- Lack of accountability on both sides (25%)
- Reporting challenges (21%)
Marketers are deeply embedded in the management of key accounts, while the sales team is focused on hitting closing goals laid out by the group. When the two departments develop/implement shared metrics and objectives, it becomes much easier to reach a business’ revenue targets.