Four Things That Cause Marketing & Sales Misalignment and How to Fix Them

Four Things That Cause Marketing & Sales Misalignment and How to Fix Them
Savvy Guest - Mon Feb 07, 2011 @ 07:00AM
Comments: 30

We're thrilled to present this guest post by Carlos Hidalgo of The Annuitas Group. Read on for his prescription of how to fix the ails plaguing sales and marketing.

Marketing and sales alignment continues to be a major challenge for B2B organizations. Just last week, Forrester released a report showing that only 8% of organizations claim tight alignment between marketing and sales. Considering the volumes of content that Dartboard-CHidalgo.jpghave been written about this topic, one would think that the issue would have been solved by now. But it isn’t. And for many companies, the “alignment gap” seems to be growing. Perhaps the reason is that marketing and sales misalignment is not the core issue, but only a symptom of deeper problems. So maybe the question isn’t “How can we align marketing and sales?” Instead, we should be asking “What are the problems that are causing the lack of alignment?”

To answer this question, below are four issues causing marketing and sales misalignment and steps you can take to fix them.

1.  A Lack of Focus

Most conflict situations are the result of clashing points of view. Conflict continues when each side tries to convince the other that their view is right. The disconnect between marketing and sales is no different. Both sides spend an inordinate amount of energy stating their case, trying to get the other to see the world from their perspective. Unfortunately, the casualty of this internal tug-of-war is the buyers. They are the ones that often get overlooked and ignored.

Buyers don’t care about the internal frustrations within your organization. They want to have a dialogue with a vendor that can assure them they will get full value from their investment. They want a partner that helps them improve their business.  When marketing and sales organizations begin the finger-pointing, the buyers are the ones who get left out. Eventually, they’ll go somewhere else.

Getting both marketing and sales to focus on the customer is a major step in closing the internal gap. Here are two ideas to help shift the focus:

  • Have marketing attend sales reviews. Let them actively participate by asking questions so they can further understand the buying process. This will help them readjust their perception of the customer and enable better engagement with customers.

  • Conduct joint customer visits. This can also be extended to sales calls.  Marketing and sales should make a habit of visiting buyers and customers together. Asking the customer about their process, pain and vision for what’s next will allow both sides to see the world from their customer’s eyes.

2.  Pursuing the Wrong Goals

I hate to say it, but this one falls almost entirely on marketing.

Historically marketers rate poorly when it comes to establishing goals. Many marketers measure success on metrics such as the number of opens, bounces, click-rates, and downloads. While these measurements can help determine the relevance of content and campaigns, they are only a means to the end. More importantly, metrics such as the number of sales accepted leads, marketing contribution to pipeline and marketing contribution to revenue tell the true story of how marketing is doing.

Marketers are playing a more vital role in B2B organizations than ever before. It is imperative that they start measuring and tracking how their efforts impact revenue. After all, this is the language of CEOs. When they ask, “How are things going in marketing?”, they don’t want to know about opens and clicks. They want to know what has been done to “make the cash register ring”.

3.  Poor Compensation Models

The life of a salesperson is a 90-day roller coaster ride. Most companies develop their sales quota based on the 90-day quarter. This, of course, (for public companies) accommodates shareholder expectations and earnings reports. However even many privately held organizations live on a 90-day quota system. The problem with a 90-day system is that it rarely aligns with the buying cycle. In fact, many high-tech companies are engaged in a buying cycle that far surpasses 90 days, yet sales is still held to a quarterly quota. 

At the same time, marketing is tasked with delivering high-quality leads to sales. However most marketing people aren’t compensated based on how well they do in identifying or delivering those leads. If the goal of marketing is to deliver high-quality leads to sales, doesn’t it make sense to base a portion of their compensation on this metric?

This poorly aligned compensation model is another core issue that causes the rift between marketing and sales. The fix here is rather simple: align sales quota to buying cycles. If the buying cycle is 30 days, then develop a 30-day quota cycle. If it’s 120 days, then have a 120-day cycle. The marketing compensation model should include a performance-based component with the number of sales accepted leads as a metric. This will motivate marketing to deliver the quality leads that sales needs, leads that will align to the buying cycle and close more rapidly.

Adjusting compensation models to mirror the buying process gets marketing and sales “rowing together”.

4.  No Process

One of the biggest reasons marketing and sales fail to gel is that there is no defined process for managing leads. Without this process, sales and marketing fall into a vicious cycle, with sales rejecting marketing-generated leads, and marketing being frustrated with the lack of sales acceptance.

To alleviate this, implement a defined lead management process that focuses on:

  • Data (Includes customer and prospect data)
  • Lead Planning
  • Lead Routing
  • Lead Qualification
  • Lead Nurturing
  • Metrics (A good place to start is working with sales to establish a common set of KPIs that can be measured.  Ensure one of these is marketing’s impact on revenue and pipeline)

Developing this process should be a joint effort between marketing and sales. When both sides put aside their talking points and focus on developing a process for managing leads, a transformation takes place. Collaboration takes root, resulting in alignment. 

Establishing this process will also create a unified understanding of how leads are to be handled, which leads should be sent to sales, and which leads will be held back for further nurturing. An effective lead management process will enable both sides to do their jobs more effectively, and will improve the overall return on marketing and sales investments.

Marketing and sales will never view the world exactly the same way. But maybe by coming together to address these core issues, they can overcome the challenge of misalignment.

About the author: Carlos Hidalgo is CEO of The Annuitas Group, the leading provider of lead management process development.  In his role, Hidalgo and his team have helped their clients identify over $500 million of potential revenue by developing and implementing internal lead management processes.

Comments: 30


1. Aldrich   |   Sat Nov 30, 2013 @ 07:41AM

If you can't think of two illustrations the <a href="">my essay writing service</a> confirm you have that top quality then move on to the next one.

2. anusha   |   Sun Aug 24, 2014 @ 10:04AM

Great Information site,I have never saw.. Great work, Nice Blog. keep regular updates. i like it so much. My Blogs and

3. Gibran   |   Mon Sep 08, 2014 @ 10:24PM

Thanks a lot for sharing the detailed list of Senate names of farm bill Conferees. Most of the members are new to me. This subject has interested me for quite some time. I have just started researching it on the Internet and found your post to be informative and

4. sparxxrx   |   Fri Oct 17, 2014 @ 02:04AM

Whatever your needs, whatever your fantasy, our products will give you and your partner a night to remember over and over again, What are you waiting for?

5. Randy112   |   Mon Jan 26, 2015 @ 04:45PM

I sale things on my site too, using a completely different method, as you can see here: but there are still a number of things for me to take away from this article, I think.

6.  |  my website   |   Wed Jun 10, 2015 @ 05:29AM
7. amine   |   Mon Jun 15, 2015 @ 11:11AM

Won wonderful blog, It s so great work, keep regular updates. i like it so much. My Blogs

8. franklin   |   Thu Jun 25, 2015 @ 02:09AM

ning this blog site for a while and also have a matter probably you'll be able to support its how can i include your feed to my rss reader as i need to observe you Thanks

9. theessayservice  |  my website   |   Fri Sep 11, 2015 @ 07:04AM

Marketing and sales position continues to be a main face for B2B organization. Forrester released a statement presentation that only 8% of organization says tight position flanked by marketing and sales.

10. good   |   Sun Sep 27, 2015 @ 11:48PM
11. Ishika   |   Sat Dec 12, 2015 @ 01:37AM

Lead planning is the most important part of marketing and it could be done easily if your are connected on popular marketing forums like which already have million of follower globally.

12. Ishika  |  my website   |   Thu Jan 07, 2016 @ 11:13AM

Lead planning is the most important part of marketing and it could be done easily if your are connected on popular marketing forums like.

14. mantap   |   Sat Feb 27, 2016 @ 02:25AM

Kebutuhan perabot elektronik terus meningkat belakangan ini sehingga banyak orang yang mencari informasi mengenai harga perabot dan kami disini menyediakan informasi tersebut yang bisa anda baca pada <a href=''></a> yang berisi info lengkap mengeni harga perabot rumah tangga. Bahkan kami juga memiliki informasi lengkap lainnya pada artikel <a href=''>harga mesin absensi fingerspot</a> yang mungkin bermanfaat di kemudian hari. Selain itu kami juga memiliki artikel lainnya, baca saja pada <a href=''>harga mesin fotocopy semua mer</a> yang pastinya menambah pengetahuan anda dan yang tidak boleh ketinggalan masih banyak artikel lain seperti <a href=''>harga mesin fotocopy mini</a> yang sangat bermanfaat. Atau anda bisa membaca ulasan lengkap mengenai perabot pada link <a href=''>harga kulkas merk samsung</a> yang kami ulas secara lengkap dan yang tidak boleh terlewat kami juga memiliki artikel <a href=''>harga mesin fotocopy toshiba</a> yang pastinya menambah wawasan pembaca semua.

16. klester   |   Sun May 22, 2016 @ 04:25AM

would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.

Survival Life Deals
Survive the end days
Surviving the final bubble
Survival Md
Family Survival System

17. Leading article review sites  |  my website   |   Mon May 30, 2016 @ 04:22AM

I have to admit that marketing has its own challenges, and for sure finding a blog such as this one which sheds light on how to fix misalignment is very helpful to many. Many thanks for sharing.

18. TinaM   |   Tue Jun 07, 2016 @ 02:43PM

The best way to acquire your rapid final results is usually to research for the fast diet program or solution that would be ideal for you, matching with your lifestyle

19. Network Security Computer Network Project Help  |  my website   |   Sat Sep 03, 2016 @ 07:58AM

by visiting this site I found cool stuff here keep it up.

20. master kim   |   Wed Oct 05, 2016 @ 09:22PM

good woker nice.....However even many privately held organizations live on a 90-day quota system. The problem with a 90-day what means?

21. fatihin nurul  |  my website   |   Mon Oct 24, 2016 @ 06:18AM

memerlukan dua pertiga persetujuan mayoritas dari semua

22. ali   |   Thu Nov 17, 2016 @ 09:28AM
23. ali   |   Thu Nov 17, 2016 @ 09:30AM
25. master ken   |   Wed Jan 04, 2017 @ 05:51PM
26. Cigna Philippines  |  my website   |   Wed Apr 05, 2017 @ 01:38AM

Health Insurance Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia Cigna is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security.

27. Branded Bluetooth Speaker  |  my website   |   Thu Apr 13, 2017 @ 04:19AM

I read your site much of the time and I just thought I"d say keep up the stunning work!

28. making money with android  |  my website   |   Mon Apr 24, 2017 @ 06:50AM

I read that Post and got it fine and enlightening.

29. kit tattoo  |  my website   |   Wed Apr 26, 2017 @ 01:25AM

Much obliged to you for the upgrade, exceptionally pleasant site..

30. sdfs   |   Fri Sep 08, 2017 @ 10:18PM Beauty Tips Male Enhancement Supplements Weight Loss Supplements Skin Care Products Hair Care Products Detox and Clease Reviews Alpha Prime Elite Garcinia Pure Pro Pure Asian Garcinia Buy Garcinia Cambogia Skin Rejuvenator Hair Loss Treatment For Men Web Development Company Shopify Development Services Volusion Development Services Magento Development Services BigCommerce Development Services WordPress Development Services Urdu Columns Javed Chaudhry Columns Hassan Nisar Columns Orya Maqbool Jan Columns Rauf Klasra Columns Nazeer Naji Columns Ayaz Amir Columns Haroon Rasheed Columns Saadullah Jan Barq Columns

Post a Comment

powered by Doodlekit™ Free Website Builder