How Agility Helps Overcome Sales and Marketing Challenges

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The right platforms and processing provide the needed agility to empower sales and marketing teams with vital data-driven decision-making skills.

Digital transformation is fundamentally changing the way that business owners, sellers, and marketers engage with the marketplace. With Covid-19 accelerating these changes over the past 18 months, there has been a seismic shift in how all businesses operate. This has prompted a need for enterprises to embrace agility to adapt and modify their strategies as they strive to increase their utilization of analytics and accelerate the adoption of digital strategies. Data-centric and insight-driven strategies have quickly replaced legacy concepts and traditional decision-making, empowering businesses to better guide their future and increase their ability to grow.

This is especially true for sales and marketing teams, which serve on the frontlines of revenue generation and must be equipped to efficiently identify market trends and evolving customer needs. Sellers and marketers will need more data and tech solutions to tap into this digital transformation and, most of all, determine, embrace, and engage their target markets. According to a report by McKinsey, organizations that are successful in their agile transformation deliver 30% gains in efficiency, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and operational performance, among other benefits.

Our survey of more than 1,000 senior marketing and sales decision-makers revealed that a lack of processes, tools, technology, and cross-functional alignment hinders operational agility. There are several challenges these teams face, yet there are strategies high-performance organizations can employ to overcome obstacles to achieve the level of organizational agility and resiliency that’s needed to compete in today’s marketplace.

The Book of AI Fabrics: Identify and prioritize areas where AI  can help optimize your business [Download Now]

See also: Business Agility Requires Open APIs and Low-code/No-code

Misaligned sales and marketing teams lead to avoidable struggles

More often than not, sales and marketing teams do not operate as one cohesive, goal-oriented unit. Instead of communicating and collaborating frequently, they typically set goals and create processes in silos that lead to mismatched beliefs and less effective strategies that miss the mark in maximizing business results.

For example, sales teams often fail to understand the value of marketing to augment sales acceleration and revenue generation. Marketing teams, on the other hand, are faced with the need to champion a product, brand, and message in addition to lead generation metrics. Accurate information is vital to both teams, but they remain misaligned in their assessment of how many leads will convert to actual sales. 

There remains a significant gap in the perception of lead quality. Marketers believe that nearly three-quarters (69%) of leads have the potential to convert. Sales leaders are much less optimistic, estimating that less than half (40%) of leads will yield success. Similarly, marketers believe they collect the correct contact info for leads the vast majority (81%) of the time, but sales reps say the info is only correct 60% of the time.

With sales and marketing so fragmented, there are consequences to this misalignment. These issues are impacting the bottom line, with just 3% of sales reps saying that they hit sales goals 90% of the time, converting 6% of leads on average. 

See also: Leveraging Modern Services to Drive Business Agility, Elasticity, and Mobility

Inaccuracies and an unwillingness to embrace new technology remain an obstacle

Sales leaders admit that they waste an average of 60 minutes per day failing to connect with viable prospects because of inaccurate information. That’s five hours per week or 260 hours per year, and that time may be underestimated – as sales leaders say, they work with correct contact info just 71% of the time. And while 80% of sales leaders leverage lead scoring and ranking, only 57% believe in the accuracy, despite the fact that higher-performing teams are 24% more likely to find success with lead scoring to prioritize lead follow-up.

Some organizations also fail to take advantage of artificial intelligence (AI), but interestingly this is not due to a lack of understanding. In fact, 71% of sales leaders recognize that smart technologies do more for ROI than scaling headcount. A recent Salesforce survey found similar results, with 85% of salespeople reporting that they are much more effective at doing their job when using smart technology, and yet AI hasn’t been universally adopted by sales and marketing organizations, and many haven’t fully embraced the power and potential of automation.

Strive to become more agile and resilient

With so many factors preventing organizations from becoming more agile and resilient, businesses need to reevaluate their strategies and focus on overcoming any and all obstacles. Data and science-based decision-making are needed over guesswork and gut feelings. Sales and marketing teams need to come together and work collaboratively to achieve common goals. They need to take the time to work cross-functionally and pinpoint value props for complex deals, and continue coaching, training, and educating talent to ensure that sales and marketing reps are encouraged to grow. Most significantly, sales and marketing leaders should leverage the power of buyer behavior data to identify new sales opportunities.

The Book of AI Fabrics: Identify and prioritize areas where AI  can help optimize your business [Download Now]

By making these few changes – and by empowering sales and marketing teams with vital data-driven decision-making skills, as well as the right processes and platforms – organizations can become more agile and resilient.

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About Peter Cannone

Peter Cannone is the Chief Executive Officer at DemandScience.

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