Chapter 02

The Sales & Marketing Alliance

As the role of the CMO has grown, the boundary between sales and marketing is shrinking, and in some cases disappearing altogether. CMOs are seeing a growing demand for their department to impact the organisation’s bottom line, through increasing sales, revenue or profit margins.

In some ways, there is far less of a distinction between sales and marketing in 2020, says Ilgi Kim, business development director with DXC Technology. In the past, a sales person would do business development, in terms of originating and closing deals, but Ilgi thinks that this role is now increasingly shared with marketing. “Business development is so much harder now, because of the volume of market noise, that marketers are being used for business development, salespeople are closing deals and it’s all part of the same cycle,” he says.

In this environment, it makes sense for marketing and sales to work closely together, says Catherine Dutton, of Atos. “Marketing and sales should be working hand in hand and bringing together a long-term and short-term view to enable business growth. With increased competition in the market, CMOs must be braver, bolder and more savvy to differentiate their organisation! This is something I really welcome,” she says,

In this environment, it makes sense for marketing and sales to work closely together. Marketing and sales should be working hand in hand and bringing together a long-term and short-term view to enable business growth. With increased competition in the market, CMOs must be braver, bolder and more savvy to differentiate their organisation! This is something I really welcome.

Catherine Dutton, Global Vice President Marketing

Dutton has always been a passionate believer that marketing has a positive impact on business growth and for several years has tracked sales and revenue attributable to marketing deliverables. “Within Atos UK I introduced objectives and bonus targets aligned to our sales division, so that we could show those quantifiable achievements in addition to the qualitative ones,” she says. “This includes the value of new opportunities brought to sales, the percentage of those that went on to the qualified and ultimately closed, plus the value of the overall pipeline supported.”

Collaboration between sales and marketing brings additional visibility to the value of marketing spend, notes Ross. For example, he can now go to sales and demonstrate that $1 spent on webinars brings X number of dollars in revenue, rather than just hoping it’s working okay. That allows marketing spend to be allocated more intelligently, and helps Ross to understand where to build teams, where to put most effort.

Closer communication between marketing and sales can help bring greater visibility to the sales pipeline, based on marketing insights. This allows sales teams to be more responsive, and more efficient in their outreach. With the tools available to us today we can put these things together to help us support the sales team and say these are the data areas or these are the organisations that demand is going to come from, and predict that sales funnel to make their job more efficient.

Utkarsh Srivastav, Marketing & Communications Lead – Europe & DMS

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In addition, closer communication between marketing and sales can help bring greater visibility to the sales pipeline, based on marketing insights. This allows sales teams to be more responsive, and more efficient in their outreach, notes Utkarsh Srivastav, marketing & technology lead at L&T Technology Services. The company uses social listening and tracking to keep colleagues in sales informed on wider conversations and data points in the community, he says. “With the tools available to us today we can put these things together to help us support the sales team and say these are the data areas or these are the organisations that demand is going to come from, and predict that sales funnel to make their job more efficient,” he says.

This type of collaborative sales/marketing relationship can be formally defined, in some cases. At cloud services provider BlackLine, the CMO has a sales and marketing contract which is agreed annually between the sales and marketing departments. “We broker that contract, and every quarter, Sales and Marketing have to stand in front of the executive team and tell them how we’re doing versus the contract,” says Andres Botero, CMO at BlackLine.

While collaboration between sales and marketing is important, CMOs should not neglect the other side of their role, cautions Modulr’s Abl. “There has to be balance. Great demand generation can get you good results but if you really want to build a sustainable, high growth business you need to invest heavily in the brand and build brand equity.”

"In some ways, there is far less of a distinction between sales and marketing in 2020. In the past, a salesperson would do business development, in terms of originating and closing deals, but this role is now increasingly shared with marketing. Business development is so much harder now, because of the volume of market noise, that marketers are being used for business development, salespeople are closing deals and it’s all part of the same cycle.”

Ilgi Kim, Former Strategic Growth - Business Development, Sales Leadership and Commercial Management

Up next: Chapter 03 - Delivering Customer Delight: Tips and Strategies

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