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Aligning Sales and Marketing for Technology Companies

14/11/18 Natalie Tyler Sales & Marketing Manager

The relationship between Sales and Marketing is often a shaky one. Marketing captures the leads and nurtures them before handing them to the sales team to close the deal, but all too frequently there is a lack of communication and understanding between the two departments which can create a division.

However, that’s not how it should work in technical sales today. Why? Because the buyer has changed more in the past 10 years than in the past 100. The buyer is in control. The modern buyer is digitally driven, socially connected, mobile, and empowered, with nearly unlimited access to information and people.

Creating a solid, long-lasting partnership between sales and marketing should be an essential goal for any technology and engineering business in order to maximise the return on investment from their marketing efforts. The competitive, ever-changing nature of the industry puts a lot of pressure on sales and marketing to communicate more effectively, or else they run the risk of losing out on valuable customers.

We spoke with Natalie Tyler, Redline’s Sales and Marketing Manager on strategically aligning sales and marketing in the technology, engineering and manufacturing sector: “The new reality is that sales and marketing are continuously and increasingly integrated. Marketing needs to know more about sales and sales needs to know more about marketing,” says Natalie.

“In a recent LinkedIn report of 3,516 sales professionals, including Business Development jobs, Field Sales and Sales Engineers jobs and 3,627 marketers, including Digital Marketing Executives and Product Marketing Managers - the majority said lack of alignment and collaboration between sales and marketing leads to weaker financial performance, poorer customer experience, and reduced customer retention. Businesses that closely align sales and marketing have 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales win rates.

According to McKinsey’s report on ‘Reallocating Marketing Budgets’, marketing spend must be directly related to increased sales, otherwise, marketers cannot prove their value. In reaction to this, digital marketing and marketing automation systems now provide marketers with data, analytics and increasingly granular insights into which content will be most effective at motivating prospects to actually buy, not just create content that generates buzz.

On the other hand, sales measure success via winning business and, for leadership, in metrics like average contract size, average sales cycle and the time it takes to train new sales representatives. Marketing is ideally positioned to help sales reach these goals, but unfortunately, many marketers lack the data required to generate insights about the effectiveness of their content once sales are engaged with a customer. As a result, marketing spends large amounts of money with no way to measure a return on that investment or to gain insights into what is most effective during the sales process.

Each department measures success by different metrics, so a communication breakdown is inevitable even when collaboration intentions are good. Sales see marketing content as too abstract or not relevant, while marketing feels sales underutilises content intended to help them broaden their message with sales prospects.”

Collaboration between sale and marketing teams 

“Sales teams are out in the field while marketing is often back at the office generating new ideas. If marketers don’t have the technology to make instant updates or improvements to sales collateral, it can take a long time for those changes to reach sales representatives and prospects.

Sales should understand that marketing will be more effective with better data thus developing improved marketing initiatives. With good marketing insights to the sales organisation, sales will find themselves more empowered. Often, when there is a disconnection between the two departments, there is no clear transparency around the KPIs for each function. Sometimes this is because IT systems and processes are siloed and teams are holding data too close.

Today’s potential customers are already smart and knowledgeable about a company and its product portfolio, and they are hungry for more information. To meet their expectations, companies cannot rely on sales alone to close deals: it needs to be a true collaborative effort between multiple parties all working towards shared goals. By empowering individual employees to collaborate, connecting  sales, marketing, and service teams’ data, and establishing similar metrics for success, the whole company can execute an efficient collaborative selling model that puts customers at the centre of a business.”

Recruiting the strongest technical sales candidates and modern marketing experts are essential in order to future-proof an engineering and technology business. The increased focus on social sales and digital marketing channels has significantly impacted sales and marketing jobs in recent years.

By using our knowledge-led approach, Redline’s Sales and Marketing team all have first-hand recruitment experience in a variety of business sectors, Electronics, Components, Instrumentation, Aerospace, Automotive, Defence, and Telecoms across the UK and mainland Europe.

To find out more about Sales and Marketing jobs, please contact Natalie Tyler on 01582 878808 or email NTyler@RedlineGroup.com.