As I dig deeper into understanding how to achieve Sales and Marketing Alignment, I find the need to remind myself that all is not lost and we should focus on what can be. I, like everyone else, has experienced setbacks, disappointments and downright failures - getting the dream job that turned out to be a nightmare, moving to a new city full of hope and excitement about a new chapter only to find it was completely different than what I expected, having a manager that was neurotically insecure and treated everyone in their path terribly, questioning my professional value...the list goes on.
What helped me move on was training my mind to focus on what I learned during those experiences and get excited about the opportunity for what was next - for me. I took that time of discouragement to learn how successful people did it with material like the YouTube video series created by Evan Carmichael. I became of student of success.
I say all this to offer that CEOs and executives focus on the "opportunity of alignment" to help employees understand the vision of why things must and should change between Sales and Marketing. Yes, focusing on negative things is sticky and gets people's attention. It even gets people to act in the short term. Misalignment, however, is not a technology, product or process issue. It's a people issue. And, if you want to change hearts and minds, you need to "sell" what can be.
- ...sales followed up on the majority of leads from marketing because they trusted they were high quality, worth their time and most likely would lead to new business.
- ...sales and marketing could go into large key accounts together, wow the team and close business.
- ...marketing really understood the type of collateral support Sales needed and could focus their extra time on innovative marketing strategies that took the customer experience to the next level.
- ...as a part of on-boarding each team learned how to leverage the other to be able to do their jobs even better.
- ...sales and marketing received awards for working together to create significant business wins.
As leaders we must focus on painting a picture of what the B2B business world could look like if/when we get this thing moving in the right direction. I want to work in a world of possibility not dwindling options. Let's give people a vision to strive for instead of the fear of what is inevitable if we do nothing.
Utilize the power of - "What if?"