Misalignment between B2B marketing and sales teams can have an adverse impact on the customer experience, and has long proven an obstacle in organizations. As B2B marketers set alignment as a top priority this year, what complaints from their sales counterparts will they need to overcome? A new study [download page] from Ascend2 and SharpSpring investigates.
The report surveyed 150 marketing professionals and 179 sales professionals operating in the B2B space to assess the state of sales and marketing alignment. The results indicate that the top complaint from sales about the marketing team is targeting the wrong leads (43%).
This is interesting in light of separate results from the survey, in which sales said that their biggest concern as it pertains to marketing efforts in the year ahead was improving lead quality. By contrast, marketers’ biggest concern was generating more leads. That brings to mind recent survey results in which B2B marketers pointed to lead quality challenges while also admitting a need for more quantity.
Returning to this latest study, the second-most cited complaint from sales about the marketing team was underperforming tools or systems creating extra tasks. Notably, three-quarters of survey respondents overall believe that their tools cause misalignment between marketing and sales, suggesting that this is an area in need of improvement.
Other complaints from sales about the marketing team included an inability to effectively educate leads, insufficient or inaccurate data, and lack of willingness to collaborate.
From marketers’ perspective, the biggest complaint about the sales team relates to data – with 4 in 10 citing insufficient or inaccurate data. In fact, marketers have shown high levels of concern about data quality in other research, making it a priority for improving revenue growth and also seeing it as a key benefit of alignment.
Beyond data, frequent complaints from marketers about the sales team include not following up on leads, underperforming tools creating complexity and workarounds, and lack of willingness to collaborate.
- A plurality of both marketing and sales professionals feel that the point of the buyer experience most negatively impacted by misalignment is educating to sales readiness.
- The primary consequence of a failure to align marketing and sales is considered to be leads that don’t convert to sales.
- The top perceived challenge to effective collaboration between sales and marketing is lack of communication.
- Both sales and marketing said that project management tools are the best to enable alignment between teams.