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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. 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.
When prospects decide to become customers, what are they buying, your company and service or you?  Who are your Advisor Alliance partners promoting, the company or service or you? 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. 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. SWOT Analysis is a time-tested analytical tool that encourages you to focus your planning efforts around analyzing the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing your enterprise. Get help with SWOT Analysis or share your expertise and experiences!GO TO:•What Is Positioning? SWOT Analysis: The BasicsAn often overlooked aspect of SWOT Analysis is that it is always based around achieving a definitive objective. SWOT Analysis: Key QuestionsWhat are the fundamental points of differentiation that define each category for your specific situation? Generally speaking, your strengths allow you to capitalize on opportunities in order to fulfill objectives.
The "You" Sales and Marketing approach to SWOT Analysis seeks to boil each set of questions down to crucial questions of customers and value. Do you have insights, advice or a story about strategic marketing to share with other readers?
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. 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. 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.
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.
The first two are seen as being Internal to your organization while the latter two are External environmental or market conditions.A lot has been said and written around SWOT Analysis and the basics of this technique are easy to master.
For each SWOT category you should have a handful a€“ ideally not more than 3-5 a€“ of essential questions that uniquely shape that category for you. On the other hand, weaknesses make you vulnerable to threats which in turn detract from objectives.SWOT Analysis brings to light the ongoing and dynamic effort that is necessary to achieve success in any enterprise. Looking back at basic definition, your business revolves around creating value then creating customers for this value. Perhaps you have implemented a different marketing analysis approach that has worked really well or have insights into implementing strategic marketing for different kinds of businesses! Your representation of SWOT Analysis Synergies is pretty profound in a way and I have to say that I have not …Click here to write your own. 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.
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.
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.
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.
In order to add value to this discussion, I will present the basics of SWOT in new ways as well as provide overview guidance on making the most of this analytic tool.
On the other hand, your Weaknesses expose you to Threats that hinder you from your objective.Strategic Planning around SWOT is built on answering the following questions: How can you best maximize and utilize strengths? These Key Questions for each category will depend on what you are using SWOT Analysis for, e.g.
Internal strengths and weaknesses must be continually assessed in order to build on opportunities while safeguarding against threats.A final element brought to light in this representation of SWOT is that the organization seeks to expand and fulfill its objectives through the market. 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. 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. 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.

As much as you can focus on the customer and market conditions, you will be able to meet your organizational goals. Opportunities are areas to add value to your offerings and a threat is anything that can cause you to lose customers."You" Sales and Marketing SWOT Analysis should be applied in conjunction with the more traditional SWOT approaches discussed here.
This overlap makes it difficult to narrow down responsibilities in prospecting, lead generation and identify which team is not doing their part. 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. For the purposes of our discussion, however, I will examine it from a purely sales and marketing perspective. In asking what our unique strengths are, the inverse of that question asks what our unique weaknesses are. On the other hand, threats and weaknesses bring the focus back home where diligent housekeeping is needed to keep you competitive and able to take advantage of all the market has to offer.
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. In the same way, because Opportunities and Threats are opposites that relate to the external environment, they can be explored similarly.Generally speaking, the Key Questions for any given exercise will always be the same.
The tools and methods I have provide here are meant to give you a solid understanding of SWOT Analysis which you should then tailor to meet your specific needs. I will explore additional synergies between Strengths and Opportunities and between Weaknesses and Threats later in this section.In understanding and applying SWOT Analysis to your own planning it is useful to consider the Key Questions and Pertinent Factors I have outlined below for each SWOT category (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).
So, an overall business planning SWOT exercise will always revolve around the same key questions in each category. Business analysis is a vast subject of discussion encompassing countless definitions, models and theorization that extend beyond the scope of this brief summary. In developing the right mindset for making the most out of such analytical tools you should be able to develop you own key questions as best suit your specific purpose and circumstances.Let us examine Key Questions for each SWOT category for the purpose of general business planning. In the customer-centric view of the world I talk about with "You" Sales and Marketing your strengths should translate into unique customer benefits. As you embark on your venture, preparation and due diligence is vital to your success.Be SpecificIn analyzing the various factors affecting your business decisions and outcomes it is important to break things down in order to arrive at the most simplistic descriptions possible. Similarly, weaknesses are where you ultimately fall short in serving customers.Operational or de facto strengths or weaknesses are based on your resources and abilities as a company.
For example, instead of listing "marketing problems" as a weakness, specify the who, what, where, why and how of the problem.Be ConsistentSWOT Analysis is not a one-time exercise but should be applied on an ongoing basis when and as appropriate. The ultimate goal should be creating a mindset around business planning that you use everyday and at every milestone in achieving your objectives.Be FlexibleThings change, the market changes and your business changes.
Alternatively, comparative strengths and weaknesses are based on your knowledge of the competition can also be analyzed. As such, your planning should change as you continue to develop new strengths, investigate new opportunities, assess weaknesses and stave off new threats.PrioritizeAs with all planning, it is important to develop a order of priority in dealing with the various findings your SWOT Analysis uncovers. These shape your unique positioning strategy.Understanding how the market views you a€“ that is, customers, competition and analysts a€“ equips you to gear sales and marketing efforts around emphasizing perceived strengths while educating around real ones. As well as measuring the importance versus urgency of issues, you can also apply a system of ranking and prioritizing various factors in terms of their organizational importance.QuantifyBuilding on the need for specificity in all your planning it is importance to incorporate as much data as possible into your SWOT exercises. In the same way you must address real weaknesses while educating around perceived ones.The question of reality versus perception is crucial to all of sales and marketing. If you are looking at a problem with retaining new customers, are there specific conversion metrics you can gather?
It is no good having the best product in the world if nobody knows about it and the same can be said of your unique strengths and competitive advantages. What other measurements and standards can you effect in order to shore up your study?SpecializeAs the size of your organization grows and more and more people are involved in your business enterprise, you can begin to tap into different pools of expertise in lending credibility to a SWOT Analysis. As well as internal teams consisting of members from various departments, you can also lean on customer, partners and other industry sources for crucial insights.Strategy, TacticsAny kind of business planning can always be high level or low level going from strategic to tactical. Pertinent Factors can be categorized as Internal Factors and External Factors for the purposes of SWOT planning.Internal FactorsThese factors are those that affect your Strengths and Weaknesses and are within or a part of your enterprise.
SWOT planning can similarly be applied to long term objectives as well as shorter term goals and overall corporate strategy as well as day-to-day tactics.
As you can see, SWOT Analysis brings up the more basic question of how to define the internal and external factors that shape business. Any methodology used to define your business and business environment can then provide points of analysis for a SWOT exercise.External FactorsThese factors within a SWOT Analysis are those that affect Opportunities and Threats and are external to your organization. The factors listed above are merely definitions to get your started and are not endpoints that are graded from 1-10 to establish Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Each should be elaborated on as appropriate for your situation.What other ways can you find to categorize the various factors that play into your own SWOT Analysis?
Almost any model for analysis internal and external business conditions can be used to define specific factors that will come into play in a SWOT exercise. Whichever model you are comfortable with and use should also be applied to SWOT planning.There is no end to how you can categorize the various factors that affect your decisions in obtaining your objective. Each set of factors is based on a specific perspective of looking at businesses and so you may find some overlap and interchange when looking at and analyzing the factors pertaining to your specific enterprise in various ways.Thinking about factors is a great way to expand your analysis of any one Strength, Weakness, Opportunity or Threat to ensure that you cover the full range of variables affecting your planning. For example, if a specific organizational process is deemed "time intensive" and this is seen as a weakness, then what about other process delays?
As well, the synergies between Strengths and Opportunities as well as Weaknesses and Threats are highlighted here.

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