I had the pleasure of launching the first-ever Sales and Marketing Alignment Summit right here in Chicago. Its goal was simply to help professionals learn how to make Sales and Marketing work together. Creating this type of business community has been a passion of mine for some time. Thus, it is exciting to see it actually coming together. I was compelled to create this type of event series because I was frustrated with Sales and Marketing not understanding how to leverage each other's skill set. They need each other to focus on the most important thing for any business - growing revenue. In today's consumer-driven economy, it is more important than ever that Sales and Marketing be able to work together effectively. [Tweet "Sales and Marketing can no longer survive without working together better. The buyer has changed."]
Gaining a better understand of the current research available is one of the key components that I will ensure each summit focuses on. It is critical as more research is conducted and we better understand how to make this alignment work that we share those findings with companies struggling to generate sustainable revenue growth. This will help avoid implementing short-term strategies that many times don't really benefit the business. Instead, companies can adopt sustainable strategies that will make lasting change in the organization. This is my personal goal for all those that choose to be a part of the unique community that I am building.
The knowledge shared from the expert panel
After I had a chance to reflect on the Summit, I was able to understand the invaluable amount of knowledge that the expert panel shared with the audience. Not only that, but because we had such an open forum and the audience was able to have a dialogue with the panel, we really got to explore some interesting topics. For those that were not able to attend the Summit, I hope you will join us in the future. Below are some of the key learnings that I came away with:
- Variable compensation tied to quality of leads could motivate marketers to a better partnership with Sales
- A shared dashboard makes accountability easier and can avoid finger pointing when goals are missed
- A unified dashboard should contain at least 4 metric types - % to Revenue, Lead Generation (Top of Funnel), Service Level (Middle of Funnel), and Revenue Generation (Bottom of Funnel)
- A new book has been written about this topic - "Aligned to Achieve: How to Unite Your Sales and Marketing Teams into a Single Force for Growth" by Tracy Eiler and Andrea Austin
- The perception that marketers are superior to salespeople still exist
- Lead scoring can be difficult and must be revisited often to ensure the parameters are still relevant for salespeople
- Organizations of all sizes can benefit from Sales and Marketing Alignment. The process becomes more complex the larger the organization.
- Alignment has become more of an issue because the consumer has significantly changed with the proliferation of digital information
- The CEO must be the catalyst for an organization to be able to move toward Sales and Marketing Alignment. Sales and Marketing leadership can only do so much if they don't have the support of their leader.
This event has been a great start to a conversation that has needed to happen for a long time. Sales and Marketing can no longer survive without working together with the economic pressures on most B2B companies today. I encourage you to join us in Chicago for the next Sales and Marketing Alignment Summit in March 2017. Let's continue to push the conversation forward to help achieve more.