Alignment has proven even more complex for organizations that operate in the channel, however, as they struggle with a greater level of complexity and reporting across an extensive reseller network.
In fact, the process becomes more complicated largely because reporting from resellers and partners is less efficient and consistent versus insights derived from in-house sales forces, according to Dan McDade, CEO of PointClear.
Benchmark research has consistently reaffirmed that organizations across the channel think of sales and marketing processes in a disjointed way, only focusing on their own internal opportunities and obligations, sometimes leading to channel conflict. Research from Aberdeen Group’s The Extended Sales Enterprise: Channeling Better Results, indicated that 31% of organizations find reseller overlap or channel conflict hurts their ability to grow revenue.
But with the increasing transparency and buyer empowerment that comes with social media, search and other web-based tools, it is imperative that everyone is on the same page, Culbert added. Resellers and distributors allow vendors and manufacturers to better connect with customers and prospects on a more local level, further optimizing the effectiveness of sales and marketing initiatives. However, organizations must follow a set of best practices to ensure that sales and marketing teams across the channel are aligned and communication effectively.
For some organizations, such as Kaspersky Lab, sales and marketing alignment is ingrained in business processes, and evolves from the ground up. To boost marketing capabilities and overall success throughout its channel, Kaspersky offers a variety of sales and technical tools. Keeping partner satisfaction and participation at its peak, Kaspersky also focuses on collecting feedback from resellers.
Kaspersky partners, such as Productive Corporation, are reaping the benefits of this uniform approach for sales and marketing. As organizations continue to grow, and partner networks become more intricate, featuring VARs, distributors and even ISVs, it is a daunting challenge to manually qualify, nurture and distribute leads without technology in place. Regardless of processes utilized, successful alignment features quantifiable results, including ROI data, link clicks and cost-per-lead, Flynn explained. Channel Marketer Report (CMR) is a targeted e-media publication covering the latest solutions, trends and strategies to help companies optimize their marketing, both to and through their partner networks.
Think about it -- the core of inbound marketing is making marketing that people love, or marketing to people the way they want to be marketed to. What's why we worked with Salesforce on the following infographic to explain how these pieces fit together to enhance a business' sales and marketing machine.
For many sales organizations, lead generation is the place where sales and marketing combine and too often, collide. If your organization is trying to get more mileage out of your B2B lead generation efforts, it might help to take a fresh look at where your “marketing” activities stop, and where your “sales” activities begin. According to a recent survey by MarketingSherpa, many companies are missing opportunities to better qualify their B2B sales leads, better understand the unique pain and problems that their prospects are facing, and create better-qualified appointment setting opportunities. Unless your organization is clarifying the expectations for both your marketing and sales teams, it is possible that no one is taking responsibility for these essential aspects of lead generation.
As we’ve seen hundreds of times working for clients over the years, if your company is simply pouring more sales leads into the funnel, but without any proven process for filtering out the sales leads, you’re wasting resources, wasting time and missing out on big sales opportunities. Here are three worrisome signs that your company is “dropping the baton” during the lead generation hand-off between marketing and sales. Contact Strategic Sales & Marketing for a free quick quote or a free, no obligation Test Drive of our lead generation services.
The benefits of creating a strong and mutually beneficial alignment between your sales and marketing teams are irrefutable.
While the role of the marketing team can vary between organizations, the ultimate (and most measurable goal) should be to capture leads. Despite old-fashioned models that deem that sales should be generating leads, research shows that sales teams are most effective when they focus solely on closing the leads that are passed down from marketing.
Once sales and marketing move out of contention and into a Smarketing team, companies typically discover that the sales process is simplified significantly.
As you start to answer these questions, keep in mind that every company’s sales & marketing teams are different. A CV is a marketing tool that conveys your personal details in a way that presents you in the best possible light. Your sales process management determines the steps you follow as you guide prospects from initial contact to purchase.
Note: You can access guided, interactive templates for creating your sales process flowcharts in our marketing planning and management app. You have a well-designed sales process that measures the number of prospects you have at each stage, how long they stay in each stage, and the revenue that your entire pipeline represents. You deliver the right amount of information prospects need at each step, which helps them make decisions quickly and move to the next stage. You use your process to create more successful marketing campaigns because you can predict how many leads will become customers and what those leads will be worth to your company.


You generally follow the same steps to create a customer, but there’s a big variance in the amount of time it takes to close each one. Your forecasts are probably all manual and generally accurate, but you wish you had a reliable snapshot to show exactly how many accounts are at a certain stage and what you need to do to close.
You don’t use any sales process management, or you use one that doesn’t match how prospects want to buy.
You deliver all of the information about your product but then seem to lose control of the prospect.
It’s a constant battle to figure out how many real prospects you have and what they’re worth. Create a free account in our marketing planning and management web app for step-by-step guidance. If you have multiple distribution channels, you might find that you have a different sales process for each.
List the steps you think prospects logically take from the time they recognize a problem to the time they purchase a solution. When you have a sales process with conversion rates, you can quickly generate solid pipeline and revenue reports. The Marketing MO planning app is your behind-the-scenes Chief Marketing Officer, a comprehensive resource that will improve your overall business, whether it’s a consulting practice, start up, or mid-size company.
With the hope of creating better collaboration and shared intelligence between Sales and Marketing teams, many organizations have deployed new tools and tactics to build a shared approach to revenue generation.
To achieve sales and marketing alignment, however, vendors and their partners must take a more unified, global approach.
As a result, vendors and their partner networks will be able to keep tabs on marketing campaigns, sales progress and deal registration, among other vital areas of a successful channel.
Since the its inception in 2005, Kaspersky’s North American branch has developed dedicated teams for both consumer and corporate marketing tactics. For example the company offers everything from campaign templates and content, to live training in-office and in the field, video- and web-based training, as well materials and assets throughout the sales journey, according to Steve Orenberg, President of Kaspersky Lab North America.
In fact, the company has “formed a very cohesive relationship with Kaspersky on many levels,” according to Peter Greco their VP of Sales and Technology for Productive Corporation. Once sales and marketing standards are in place — and fully adopted across the channel — a deep integration of marketing automation and CRM technology can take place, according to Flynn. Working closely with industry analysts and experts, Alicia reports on the latest news, technologies, case studies and trends coming to forefront in the channel marketing world. Social enterprises, or companies leveraging social, mobile, and open cloud technologies to revolutionize their relationships with their customers, build customer profiles to better understand their customers' interests and needs.
For a better look at this horizontally aligned infographic, click on the image to enlarge to learn more about why your business should build a sales and marketing machine of the future by practicing inbound marketing, creating customer profiles, building better employee collaboration, and driving social ROI.
You are using an outdated browser, we recommend you upgrade your browser for a better and safer experience. Dividing responsibilities between the “marketing” and “sales” teams can often be a cause for confusion, especially when the marketing team is taking on additional lead generation responsibilities that used to belong to the sales team. To maximize your lead generation opportunities, it helps to make sure that no one is dropping the baton during the handoff between the marketing and sales teams. You’re not identifying a sales funnel: Perhaps this sounds like an extreme example, but it happens.
You’re not nurturing your existing business leads: What happens to your B2B sales leads once they’re in the pipeline, but not immediately ready to buy? Talk to Strategic Sales & Marketing for comprehensive lead management services to help you through the B2B lead generation process. In 2010, companies who did just that saw a revenue increase of 20%, while those who did not reported a decrease of 4%.
While many organizations do this differently with advertisements, press releases, newsletters or inbound efforts, the most measurable metric translating directly to results is the number of leads obtained through the marketing team’s efforts. Armed with in-depth intelligence of their leads (assuming your company is using a measurement tool), your sales force should be more prepared than ever to close their sales. With the help of a marketing software and a CRM tool, data can be passed through from sales and marketing and back again to assess which leads are most qualified and work backwards in understanding the most effective marketing tactics that drive sales. Team up with the head of your Marketing Director to redefine your sales funnel and seamlessly integrate sales and marketing efforts.
Learn how to set up, manage and improve your distribution channels with this detailed how-to guide from the experts at Marketing MO. Your sales team often spends valuable time creating manual reports instead of selling, which further hurts your marketing and sales performance. And, you could have a different process for each offering you provide within an existing channel, so it’s valuable to document the buying steps that your market prefers to take for each offering within each channel combination.


For example, if you have 50 prospects at the presentation stage, your process may show that 20% will become customers. For example, if a campaign should produce 100 qualified leads, you can estimate the number of meetings, presentations, and new customers the campaign will generate.
Add your process to your customer relationship management (CRM) software so that each account is assigned to a stage at all times. When tackling any new marketing task, have confidence that we have your back – with the structure and detail you need to get things done right. With a focus on emerging marketing strategies, including social, mobile and content for demand, Alicia hones in on new ways for organizations to market to and through their partner networks. When combined, the result is a powerful machine that thrives by getting to know your best leads and customers inside and out, and marketing and selling to them on their terms. And to learn more about how to create a more closely aligned sales and marketing machine, check out our joint webinar with Salesforce, "5 Steps to Establishing an Effective Sales & Marketing Methodology," now available on demand. This is a common mistake that companies make with their B2B lead generation efforts: they pull out all the stops to obtain new business leads, but then don’t put any time or resources into qualifying the sales leads. Too often, companies are leaving money on the table by neglecting to follow-up with existing sales leads.
Our industry-leading B2B sales consultants and appointment setters know how to cultivate, qualify and close on complex B2B sales leads in a variety of industries. Your sales team may be frustrated with their current prospects and closing rates and blame the issue on the lack of qualified leads generated from marketing efforts.
If this is not something that your company currently measures, then you may want to seriously reconsider your strategy. Without the added stress of cold calling and qualifying questions, your sales team will be able to devote their time to closing the leads that are most ready to buy.
Tracking process on both sides of the team means eliminating guessing games associated with who is in charge of the growth of our company.
While company processes may differ widely from company to company, it’s important to establish expectations and a team dynamic. Perhaps there are multiple people or departments involved in the decision, each with their own needs?
For example, if you’re delivering a luxury experience, don’t use pushy and aggressive sales tactics, and don’t use price discounts to convert prospects to customers.
Figure out what steps they take, what they need to know at each step and how you can deliver that information most effectively.
Through her work with G3 Communications, Alicia also acts as Associate Editor for Retail TouchPoints, a digital publishing network focused on the customer-facing area of the retail industry. Without a standard process for filtering, measuring, tracking, evaluating, sorting and prioritizing sales leads, your sales team is flying blind. This leads to wasted time and frustration as the sales team puts in many fruitless hours on the phone with prospects that aren’t ready to buy. Instead of assuming that a “not interested” response means that the prospect is “not interested” forever, your company needs to conduct ongoing lead nurturing to stay in contact with these prospects. We can help you find more sales leads, better qualify your sales leads, conduct more efficient appointment setting, and improve conversion rates to overcome your B2B lead generation challenges and turn B2B sales leads into bigger sales results.
The roles of both sales and marketing overlap in many areas during the marketing and sales process.
It is crucial that every dollar spent in your marketing budget be measured for success to hold your marketing team accountable for the types of leads that are coming in from their tactics. Without clear expectations of what each team is responsible for and how those roles will grow your revenue, your teams cannot integrate. Your process will also tell you when that should happen and how much revenue those prospect represent. 34% of the MarketingSherpa survey respondents said they contact their prospects once a month for lead nurturing follow-up, and 22% contact their business leads weekly. This overlap makes it difficult to narrow down responsibilities in prospecting, lead generation and identify which team is not doing their part.
In order to better understand how to align sales and marketing efforts, take a look at your teams individually, identify their roles and then identify opportunities for collaboration.



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