In a bylined article today in Digital Enterprise, Conversica CMO Rashmi Vittal shares some results from a recent survey we commissioned. The research results from this survey on Sales and Marketing alignment indicate that alignment between these teams is lacking. However, in her article, Vittal offers tips for how Sales and Marketing organizations can bring these disciplines together to meet shared goals.

Collaboration is Key

People are one of the most important business assets, but no one is an island. Organizations must enable collaboration between their people and among their teams. Only by enabling collaboration can these organizations facilitate the exceptional teamwork that is found at the best companies.

Cross-functional collaboration in particular is important. Different people and groups come to the table with complementary skills, and when organizations bring together those talents to create effective strategies and processes, everybody wins.

Tight Sales and Marketing Alignment Brings Increased Performance

When considering the relationship between Sales and Marketing, when tight alignment is found between these two groups, businesses excel in performance. Fortunately, both Sales and Marketing teams at many businesses have a deep desire to be aligned. Conversica’s recent survey results illustrate this. A fair share of respondents view their Sales or Marketing counterparts as partners.

  • 54% recognize their need for people and teams in the other discipline.
  • 50% know Sales and Marketing are working toward the same company goals.
  • 38% in Marketing said there’s perfect synergy between Marketing and Sales.
  • But only 27% of the Sales folks see things that way.

The Challenge with Aligning Sales and Marketing

While the above numbers indicate some Sales and Marketing team members are very optimistic about cross-function alignment, the numbers also state that many others are clearly not.

  • 68% of Sales said relationships with Marketing are good but could be better.

The results of this Conversica commissioned survey indicate that the main source of the tension between Sales and Marketing involves timing. Many view Marketing as more strategic and focused on the future, while Sales people are sometimes described as lacking an adequate attention span. The survey suggests that Sales people care more about the here and now than do their Marketing peers.

These stats behind points are further broken down below:

  • 58% of Sales respondents said the top cross-function tension is timing
  • 33% of Marketing staff members agreed
  • 25% of Marketing people said Marketers are more strategic

The Solution

What can executives do to help their teams work together to achieve company goals? The answer starts with building trust and opening channels of communication to foster greater collaboration and transparency. Failure to meet targets is a shared responsibility, and team members from both sales and marketing – or any other departments, for that matter – must understand that.

When businesses establish processes and tools to build trusted relationships among Sales and Marketing, they enable such understanding. That can translate into building better relationships and experiences for prospects and customers. In fact, we’ve seen that solutions based on AI, like Conversica Conversational AI Assistants can help Sales and Marketing teams align cohesively.

  • 93% of Sales people and 87% of Marketers felt AI can help improve relationships between these teams.
  • 57% of Marketing pros said AI already has made working with Sales better.

AI Assistants can help improve Sales and Marketing relationships in the following ways:

  • Relieve the tension between Marketing and Sales because 100% of leads are followed-up in a two-way, personalized, human-like conversation.
  • Identify Marketing funnel “hand-raisers” faster and those at risk of abandoning before it’s too late.
  • Take on a significant portion of the routine, but important, repetitive tasks that come with lead follow-up, freeing Marketing to focus on delivering excellent experiences and freeing Sales to focus on building trusted, high-value relationships with prospects.
  • Make both Sales and Marketing departments more efficient and effective.
  • Improve morale on both Sales and Marketing teams.

Read Conversica CMO Rashmi Vittal’s full byline article in Digital Enterprise.