Bridging the Marketing and Sales Divide

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Bridging the Marketing and Sales Divide
Bridging the Marketing and Sales Divide

Just a month into her new job, Jacqueline DuMonte already has had enough of the bickering between her sales and marketing teams. The situation has become cliché. The marketing staff complains that salespeople don't follow up in a timely fashion, or at all, on leads it provides to sales. Salespeople complain that the leads aren't qualified to their satisfaction; they're the “wrong” people, or the timing is off, or they don't have purchase authority. In addition, the marketing team complains that when salespeople close a sale from a lead provided by the marketing team, they often omit marketing from the attribution fields in the CRM system.

As SVP of sales and marketing at Digital Manufacturing, DuMonte needs to find a way to correct the situation. Instead of spending time blaming each other for performance shortfalls, marketing staffers and salespeople should be focused on improving their results. She knows that change will start when communication improves. So she scheduled a meeting with marketing director Jose Beliz and sales manager Sheila Kim. Her objectives are to improve communications and to create alignment between marketing and sales so the two teams are working toward one set of common goals, even if they have two sets of differing function-specific goals that will get them there.

DuMonte is concerned about changing too much too quickly, thus demotivating or overwhelming the teams, so she wants to focus on the two or three most important first steps. What advice do you have for DuMonte on what she should propose in that meeting?

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