Sales, Marketing and Operational Alignment

November 17, 2015 at 10:20 pm | Blog

How misaligned is your organization and what is it costing you?

According to Forbes Insights, “leading companies excel at providing consistent sales messages”; and “three fourths of top-performing organizations have strong alignment between sales and marketing; poorly performing companies notably do not.” Where are you?

 

I have asked hundreds of CEO’s to name what they personally think is their company’s competitive advantage. I then ask them to examine their marketing content to see if that differentiator is described in a meaningful way in their content. Only a handful can confirm it is adequately conveyed. And then that same group will admit it is very likely that it is not consistently delivered by their salespeople.

 

Of all the companies we have worked with, large and small, less than 2% had meaningful operational alignment with their own sales/marketing message.

 

Prior to our working with them, one company’s senior management team was sure their big differentiator was the depth and breadth of their inventory. Yet only a handful of sales people touted it in their message, and it was not described in their marketing material or on their website.

 

And of the few companies who had alignment, it was frequently aligned on the wrong thing. For example, one company touted on their website their awards and Fortune 100 clients. But sales people had to tell a much different story around technical knowledge of staff and response time to close sales.

 

Finally, if your message is consistent, is it based on your internal view of what matters, or on the view of your customer? Less than 5% of SMB’s invest in solid customer research. Large companies invest in it but often are not successful in connecting the dots to their operations and messaging.