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When are sales and marketing going to kiss and make up?

In many UK businesses brand owners are apparently failing to align sales and marketing divisions, a situation that must be leading to some pretty interesting underperformance.
Ranstad Sales Marketing and Retail, has given Mr B & Friends some food for thought with a survey they have just completed. It poses some tough questions not just for the sales and marketing function within companies but also for creative marketing agencies like us. 
Whilst 80% of UK businesses recognise the benefits of a greater alignment between internal sales and marketing, 40% have no systems in place to unify the divisions!   
Many brand owners have made attempts over the past  few years to unify their sales and marketing, in fact last year Diageo notably aligned both to “more efficiently” tie together the customer journey.  However, according to the research Diageo’s move isn’t that common, as only 33% of UK companies list any plans to implement programmes that will unify their marketing and sales teams and only 8% are planning to integrate the two in the future. 
British businesses continue to suffer from a seemingly unbridgeable divide between their marketing and sales teams – a gap that undermines the efforts of the crucial corporate functions necessary to generate demand, capture revenue and gain a competitive advantage.  It seems crazy as there are significant similarities in thinking between the two departments. Of the sales professionals polled, 47% agreed that their colleagues in marketing are just as concerned when it comes to generating a profit. 
The biggest barriers to integrating a strategy to bring marketers and sales people closer together include perceived rigid organisational structures (cited by 34% of respondents) and corporate culture-biases towards sales and marketing roles (26%). There also appears to be distrust among each group about the other’s ability to leverage customer data, with 37% of salespeople claiming that their company’s marketing department was failing to effectively use customer data. Only one in four (39%) of marketers, meanwhile, believe the sales function within their company is effectively leveraging data.


Ranstad Sales have summed up the conundrum: “Sales can add tangible value to marketing messaging and marketing can optimise sales by fielding campaigns that generate and nurture leads and opportunities. It’s a natural fit, but it’s not happening, and there’s clearly a cultural hurdle that needs to be addressed” 
Here at Mr B & Friends we can only agree, if your organisation is created around silos that don’t interact properly, distrust each other, or are pitted against one another thanks to some cultural rift, it will lead to disaster in the end. 
The work that we do for clients should be used effectively across an organisation, after all marketing collateral is a tool for a corporate whole not one department. 
If marketing departments are commissioning work in splendid isolation,  without referring to other parts of the organisation and without asking the people at the sharp end,  it won't be fit for purpose when it falls into the hands of the branch employees, the call centre, or the sales rep. 
To sell a product or a service you need sales tools,  and if the people at the customer interface don’t have the right web site, or the right brochure,  or the right sales environment,  thanks to poor branch design, then who is to blame?