Can They Ever Get Aligned?

Demand Creation ‌• September 9, 2009

My colleagues and I were having a spirited debate today about who is more culpable for today’s growing sales ineffectiveness, the head of marketing or the head of sales.  Frankly, my belief is that most CEO’s should bear the majority of the blame for today’s persistent decline in sales effectiveness.  Why, you ask?  Because, asking either the head of sales or the head of marketing to re-engineer the revenue cycle without also changing their respective expectations and budgets is irresponsible.

Opportunity Creation 1.0 was when Marketing generated leads and threw them over the wall for sales to follow up on and qualify.  Through numerous failed attempts at trying to find real qualified sales prospects within the marketing leads, sales chided marketing to deliver more leads.  This in turn has driven marketing to generate even more unqualified leads and the death spiral goes on and on.

Opportunity Creation 2.0 is when Marketing creates demand, works collaboratively with sales to nurture and create qualified selling opportunities, and then turns over to sales those prospects who are genuinely  interested in learning whether their pain can be alleviated or their insatiable appetite for gain can be satisfied.

The thing of it is, in order for OC2.0 to happen, marketing must give up its old habits, tactics, and associated budget allocations and sales must give up their non-producing resources to share in the middle ground of nurturing/developing qualified selling opportunities. This organizational, process, and budget “dynasty” transformation will only  take place when the CEO personally forces these two capable organizations to realign around a common revenue generation cycle.

Once the CEO takes on that leadership agenda, sales effectiveness will start increasing and the cost of sales and marketing per revenue dollar will start declining.

Of course that is just one person’s opinion.  What do you think?

Sam McCue
Inbound Marketing guru, avid fisherman, and all-around backcountry enthusiast.

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