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DemandMetric-Marketing-Asset-Effectiveness-Perceptions-July20143 in 4 marketers believe that marketing assets are somewhat (67%) or very (9%) effective, but only 46% of salespeople concur, finds a new study [download page] released by Demand Metric. The survey – fielded mostly among B2B respondents – focuses on the causes and impacts of “bad” sales interactions, finding numerous instances of disagreement between sales and marketing teams, with each seeing problems with the other.

Part of the problem on the assets front relates to collaboration, per salespeople, as only one-quarter of sales respondents feel that their collaboration with marketing around asset development occurs very (8%) or somewhat (16%) well. Presumably, if they felt better about that collaboration they’d be less likely to find the assets ineffective…

It’s not the first time that sales teams have complained of being left out of the content development process: a survey released late last year by Brainshark found 7 in 10 B2B sales reps indicating that they get sales materials from marketing, but 42% of those saying that they “rarely” or “never” have a hand in the development process.

Overall, roughly half of sales respondents in the Demand Metrics study indicated that marketing’s support for sales is either far less (16%) or slightly less (33%) than adequate. As might be expected, marketers weren’t quite as quick to malign themselves: only 31% feel that marketing’s support is lacking, while close to half feel that it is more than adequate.

Marketers and salespeople responding to the survey were in relative agreement, though, that their communication in general is lacking. Asked to rank 8 reasons why marketing failures lead to bad sales meetings, both teams ranked lack of alignment with sales 3rd. Beyond that, though, there was little agreement, with sales ranking lack of customer understanding as the top reason for marketing’s failure and marketing teams blaming lack of time or resources. Of note, while salespeople ranked marketers’ lack of understanding of the sales process 2nd, that was 7th on the list for marketers.

As for the reasons why sales teams or representatives fail to close sales with qualified prospects? For sales respondents the top reason is a lack of marketing asset and support, harking back to their problems with collaboration on content assets. While marketers pointed the finger at sales’ lack of empowerment to negotiate, they ranked lack of sales skill or ability second of the 8 options.

Other Findings:

  • Respondents overall (including executive managers) were most likely to cite product or service price (60%) as the top reason why sales doesn’t close with qualified prospects.
  • Regarding the frequency of bad sales meetings, the majority of respondents see them as occurring either sometimes (48%) or rarely (29%).
  • Asked to choose between 5 results of a bad sales meetings, respondents were most likely to say it results in an immediate opportunity lost (59%), with only 4% saying all future opportunities are lost.
  • A majority 52% of respondents believe it takes a few months to recover from a bad meeting; only 30% see the recovery process as taking place more quickly.

For more on reaching and influencing B2B buyers and decision-makers, see the recent MarketingCharts Debrief on the topic.

About the Data: The Demand Metric Sales Interaction Quality Benchmark Study survey was administered online during the period of June 19, 2014 through July 9, 2014. During this period, 247 responses were collected, 182 of which were complete enough for inclusion in the analysis. The data was analyzed using SPSS to ensure the statistical validity of the findings.

51% of respondents come from companies with $10 million or less in annual revenues; one-quarter have more than $100 million in annual revenues. Two-thirds are mostly or entirely B2B and another 25% are a blend of B2B and B2C.

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