Some 6 in 10 B2B SMB sales professionals think their team cooperates well with marketing – a view shared by significantly fewer of their marketing counterparts. And, when it comes to specific shared goals and initiatives, some companies are falling short while others appear to be thriving. So finds a recent report [download page] from Copper and Outfunnel on how sales and marketing alignment can boost revenue growth.
Distinguishing the companies of the little more than 300 respondents into those reporting revenue increases and those reporting revenue decreases, the report found that attempted alignment between sales and marketing appears to be more likely a trait of the former. Some 75% of SMBs reporting revenue increases said their company engages in regular joint meetings including sales and marketing, while 60% of those reporting revenue decreases said the same.
Likewise, more respondents from companies reporting revenue increases said their sales and marketing teams had shared KPIs (40%) than companies reporting revenue decreases (30%). Fortunately, some of these alignment activities are engaged in by both groups of B2B SMB respondents, including regular input from sales into marketing materials (revenue increases: 64%; revenue decreases: 66%) and integration among tools that share real-time intent data on leads (both 43%).
The State of Alignment
Overall, how companies rate the alignment of goals between sales and marketing varies by the size of SMB. Medium-sized SMBs with 51-100 employees reported feeling the least aligned, with the majority (54%) rating their alignment as poor, fair or good, while the majority of smaller SMBs with 10-50 employees (57%) and larger ones with 101-150 employees (67%) said their alignment was very good or excellent.
Interestingly, it was respondents from sales teams who indicated a more positive view of sales and marketing alignment, 58% strongly agreeing that their marketing and sales teams cooperate effectively, compared to 43% of marketing respondents who agreed.
When it comes to the tools used by sales and marketing, while earlier research found that a marketing automation integration strategy would help achieve alignment between sales and marketing, this current survey shows that a fair share of respondents (36%) do not find sales tech or martech tools useful for aligning the two teams. But, respondents have some ideas of what could make them more useful. Those include easier integrated (47%), more affordability (40%) and training for teams on how to use them (35%).
The report also offers some insight into what companies have experienced in terms of revenue changes over the past two years.
Between 2018 and 2019, one-quarter (26%) of B2B SMB surveyed enjoyed revenue increases of 10-19%. Only slightly fewer (23%) experienced increases of 2-9%, while 14% gained more than 20%.
However, changes between 2019 and 2020 were somewhat different. In this period, some 4 in 10 companies saw their revenue decrease by at least 2%, while 17% maintained their revenue levels. Fewer respondents benefited from revenue increases than in the year prior, not surprisingly.
Looking toward success in this changed revenue environment, what do respondents think are the most important metrics for business success? Choosing up to three, the majority (58%) cited quality of leads to be one of the most important metrics, though outbound marketing effectiveness (39%), contract/deal value (35%) and marketing persona focus (30%) also showed up as important.
The report can be found here.
About the Data: Results are based on a December 2020 survey of 302 senior-level sales leaders (151) and B2B marketers (151). Respondents worked at companies with 10-150 employees and both sales and marketing functions.