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by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

Sales and Marketing is a mess and the buyer is all to blame.

Only 10 years ago, you could call up a company and they would send you a brochure and you were happy when it turned up 3 days later. Now the buyer can go on-line and seek a solution to his or her problems, they can read content, ask questions of their network and also talk to bloggers and influencers. Even the role of the corporate advisor has changed as anybody can be an expert.

  1. Your Customers have Changed.

CEB now Gartner research states that people are now 57% of the way through the buying process. They are 35% of the way through the buying process when they formulate an answer to their problem. This is all done in sales person avoidance mode. Where as, when I started in sales I had held all the cards and had 80% of the information, now it’s dropped to 20%.

Nobody gets up in the morning and says “I must talk with a salesperson today”. And we don’t have to as we can research it all online.

  1. You Will Leave Money on the Table

According to Forrester report (Q1 2017 International B2B Marketing Panel), 43% of B2B Marketing decision makers report they have lost sales as sales and marketing are not aligned.

In previous companies I have seen, little or no hand off between sales and marketing. Often the departments are silos, with people throwing stones via email at each other. Sales say the leads from Marketing are rubbish and Marketing say that Sales never follow up the leads they create. So the two departments are stuck in a “Mexican stand off”.

We often seen the departments organised differently, one by vertical market and one by geographical region for example. Or using different qualification criteria.

  1. Budget is Being Wasted

In a recent LinkedIn article I wrote about how “traditional marketing” wasn’t working. Nobody reads Ads, nobody cares about corporate marketing, GDPR means you have to careful about email marketing and nobody answers cold calls. The think that fascinated me was the comment I got that these were the Marketing basics and you have to do the basis. But if they don’t work, why do you insist that wasting money is part of the strategy?

If we look at the buying process, they buyer is reading content and watching videos, they also know that they need to engage with a salesperson. What if they were reading your salesperson’s content and they recognised your sales person as the answer to your problem. This means the your business would start getting inbound. This would need a 180 degree shift in your budget and maybe even a reduction in budget for a greater return.

  1. The CEO Cares

Forty-eight percent of CEOs say that poor alignment and collaboration will be a major marketing challenge over the next 12 months, according to Forrester. And those CEOs are looking hard at CMOs to lead the improvements.

There has been discussions over the last number of years that the CMO could end up with more IT systems than the CIO and CEOs will want to see a return for that spend. We were out for dinner with a Venture Capital (VC) company recently and they said the first thing they did was fire the Marketing department. There view was that without leadership from Marketing when they purchased the company, there would never be leadership so they fired everybody.

The internet has changed everything, the buyer is in control of the buying process and we sales and marketing companies have to react to that change. Our new book “Smarketing: How to Achieve Competitive Advantage through Blended Sales and Marketing” is available on all Amazon platforms click here https://amzn.to/2u8e94f will provide you with the leadership you need to change around your current sales and marketing organisation.

This book is not a why you should do it, this article is that, the book is a how to do it. Highly practical, it will enable you to run a change program that will put your business back on track and in fact be a challenger in the market today.

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