B2B Sales and Marketing Integration

Join #B2BChat on Twitter every Thursday at 8:00 PM EasternLast week Danny Hanssel (@dannyhanssel) us as the guest moderator and leader for #B2Bchat. Danny lined up a great set of provocative questions for the group on aligning B2B sales and marketing.

As always, the #B2Bchat participants shared a range of perspectives from both sales and marketing experiences. The variety of responses and the disagreements among participants on reporting structures, aligning goals and the best approach to training is its own additional insight into each of the questions. Clearly, sales and marketing have a long way to go in order to be fully aligned if marketers can’t even agree on the best approach!

Read on below for a brief recap of the discussion, and join #B2Bchat every Thursday at 8:00 PM Eastern time on Twitter. Follow @B2B_chat for announcements of the topic each week.


Integrating Sales & Marketing – #B2Bchat Recap

#B2Bchat on Thursday, April 19, 2012. Moderated and led by Danny Hanssel.

Storified by Eric Wittlake · Mon, Apr 23 2012 01:19:51

Framing and background for #B2Bchat discussion:
Social Business Blog | Dan HansselI started in B2B Sales right out of college, selling IT services to the SMB and local/state government segments. I worked for small compa…
Should Sales and Marketing report to the same executive?
A1: An exec and a leadership team should have a common goal of integrating sales and marketing efforts #b2bchatScott Lum
A1. It depends on the exec’s role and focus. Marketing is about awareness, sales is about revenue. #b2bchatJeremy Tarrier
@JeremyTarrier If marketing isn’t about revenue, somebody is gonna get fired eventually #b2bchatJames Lauffer
@jameslauffer Revenue should be within everyone’s realm. Whether it is their primary or secondary focus is a different matter. #b2bchatJeremy Tarrier
A1: Hmm, that’s tough… I want to say yes, but hesitate…Unless they report directly to CEO #B2BchatBrandie McCallum
@lttlewys Sales and marketing should report to same c-level exec #B2BchatJames Lauffer
@lttlewys I didn’t say ‘sales’ In biz, marketing has to be about revenue eventually or there will be no biz #B2BchatJames Lauffer
A1. Ultimately, we all report to the CEO and care about the same thing – primarily revenue generation. #b2bchatKimbra Fox
re Q1: Should that exec in charge of sales and marketing integration be higher than the CMO? #b2bchatScott Lum
@scottlum Higher?? we need to get rid of the C-suite and job titles/ needs to be open silos and more trust, less fear! #B2BchatBrandie McCallum
Do Sales and Marketing share common agendas at your company?
A2. One way to help get Marketing & Sales alignment is to tie everyone’s compensation to the same goals. #b2bchatKimbra Fox
In your experience, what happens when Sales and Marketing don’t have shared goals?
@dannyhanssel Q3: People saying, "Well I thought…" #b2bchatYolonda Sheree’
A3 that is often the norm in corporate. As a result, less is accomplished. #B2bchatHania S. Whitfield
A3: Sales get dumped leads that are not useful, sales people not in sync with brand message, no synergy of $$ spent #b2bchatScott Lum
Q3. When there’s not alignment, goals are missed & sometimes there’s a Celebrity Apprentice Boardroom moment. #b2bchatKimbra Fox
@dannyhanssel Yes. Shared goals. But Marketing needs 2 lead. If Mktg doesn’t, U get a @KimbraFox ‘Apprentice boardroom moment’ #B2BchatJames Lauffer
@jameslauffer Isn’t the relationship ideally a partnership of equals? #B2BchatDanny Hanssel
@dannyhanssel Not in my opinion. Viable partnerships can have a leader. #B2BchatJames Lauffer
@jameslauffer James I’ve been in Marketing a long time…IMO there is no higher duty than making Sales succeed #B2BchatDanny Hanssel
IMHO – Marketing has a higher duty. Marketing depts. should recognize sales depts. as an audience they need to reach. #B2BchatJames Lauffer
Should Sales Manager’s and Marketing Manager’s raises and bonuses be tied to common objectives, and why?
@dannyhanssel Q4 Some common objectives, yes, but Marketing needs some longer term objectives for future. #b2bchatSteve Cassady
A4. It’s amazing what aligning objectives between sales & marketing will do. Everyone rows in the same direction. #b2bchatKimbra Fox
@jameslauffer I think traditional philosophy that marketing is strategic and sales tactical is part of the problem #B2BchatDanny Hanssel
Who should train the Sales team on products: Marketing or HR department trainers?
A5. Combo. Product Managers need to help with training, but expert Trainers can make the training come alive. #b2bchatKimbra Fox
A5. Product & Marketing Teams needs to stay very connected with Sales & Clients to get feedback too. #b2bchatKimbra Fox
@KimbraFox So true on A5! Marketing needs Sales and Sales needs Marketing. And…They need to be aligned! #b2bchatJames Lauffer
Does your sales team formally provide field insights on competitors, pricing, etc to Marketing?
A6: Yes, communication of competitive insights should flow both ways #b2bchatScott Lum
A6. Communication between Sales and Marketing is an all too common weakness in many companies. Formal and otherwise. #B2BchatJames Lauffer
@jameslauffer Why do you think that is? How do you improve communication? #b2bchatKimbra Fox
Poor communication between sales and marketing puts marketing further from the customer. #B2BchatJames Lauffer
What’s your pet peeve about interactions between Sales and Marketing?
A7. Impossible to answer in 140 characters or less! BTW, I dual report to Marketing & Sales. :) #b2bchatKimbra Fox
A7 My pet peeve about interactions between Sales and Marketing is: Interaction doesn’t occur enough. #B2BchatJames Lauffer
A7 Biggest pet peeve between marketing and sales is lack of follow through. Distractions cause inefficiencies. #b2bchatSteve Gershik

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About Eric Wittlake

I am a digital and B2B marketer with a background in online media and analytics. I work with B2B clients on media and integrated marketing programs at Babcock & Jenkins. You can connect with me on Twitter at @wittlake or in the comments here on my B2B Digital Marketing blog.