Sales and marketing systems don’t deliver the benefits you’d expect

 

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Adding sales and marketing systems to a business previously struggling without either will not deliver the uplift in sales performance or marketing contribution you’d have expected.

So why would you bother investing in processes at all?

In 2005 we published the first of our landmark reports into alignment. What we learned then has shaped much of the debate on the topic of alignment ever since.

In 2014 we published the 2013 refresh of the landmark alignment research.

What we learned about training, process, automation, structure, tactics, demand generation, measurement and location is going to get the debate started all over again.

In this blog I am going to focus on just one chapter from that report. Chapter 2 looks at why the introduction of sales processes improves marketing outcomes, adding marketing processes improves sales outcomes, and building shared processes lifts the outcomes for both.

I’ll also show you how to get the whole report, for free, at the end of this video.

Like training, processes deliver benefits, but not where you’d expect them. Businesses which invest in creating robust sales processes see no improvement in their ability to close opportunities, whether tracked from late in the cycle (proposal on the table), or earlier (SQL or MQL). They do, however, see a 26% uptick in Sales’ willingness to accept leads from Marketing.

This sounds great, but having sales people more willing to accept leads which have no measureable improvement in the probability that they will close is a win for theory, but not the bottom line. It should come as no surprise to learn that despite this increased willingness by Sales, Marketing’s contribution to total revenue doesn’t twitch.

Investing in building a robust process for Marketing likewise fails to deliver an uptick where we might have expected it: MQL acceptance. So, this same ratio that Sales processes improves, isn’t improved by process improvements for Marketing.

But just like the twist we saw with sales processes, investing in marketing processes does deliver a benefit, but not where we expect it. Businesses which build robust marketing processes see a 15% improvement in the probability that late-stage opportunities will close. ‘Late-stage’ opportunities are those where a proposal is already on the table.

So, this same stage that sales processes fails to improve, is improved by good marketing processes. As with training, processes for Marketing can be tailored to give visibility to and prioritise campaigns which generate leads which close. This improvement in closure rate generated by marketing processes delivers a 59% kick to how much of the total revenue is generated by Marketing.

It all makes simple sense: If you build processes for one contributor to total new revenue, they might be mindful of the whole process, but unable to improve it.

So, you’d imagine that taking a third step and building a single, end-to-end process for Sales and Marketing will drive further improvements, and you’d be right.

This time, we see another 31% uptick in MQL acceptance. A final 27% improvement in MQL acceptance and 63% improvement in Marketing’s contribution can be achieved by the sort of ongoing refinement to this single, transparent process typical of Kaizen methodologies more-normally seen in manufacturing than sales and marketing.

We’ve seen that the sales and marketing systems, or processes, deliver outstanding improvements, but not the ones you’d expect.

In a moment or two I’ll show you how to get a full copy of the alignment report. First I’m going to do two things:

1.    I’m going to share the conclusion – what we train for?

2.    I’m going to invite you to receive more blogs like this.

Let’s get to the conclusion first. Stand back, just a little, and the journey begins to make sense, and to look attractive:

Build sales processes, and create a willingness for good leads (but lack of them). Build marketing processes, and create those good leads (ones that close) Bring the processes together, and increase Sales’ willingness to focus on those leads. Measure and refine that single process, and increase the flow through the funnel.

The net effect of progressively maturing the processes is a 108% lift in MQL acceptance, a 126% improvement in how much of the total revenue comes from Marketing’s leads, and 51% reduction in customer churn.

If you enjoyed this blog, make sure you are subscribed to get either our blog (Funnel Vision comes out twice a week), or our Funnel Vision monthly which is an editor’s grab of the best articles from the previous month. Go to align.me/blog and select one of those options now. You can also subscribe to the YouTube channel to get updates.

If you’d like to see if MM’s go-to-market planning workshops known as ‘Funnel Camp’ and ‘Funnel Mastery Workshop’ would help you to lift the performance of your Sales and Marketing systems, why not speak to your Funnel Coach today? Contact details on the website.

I’ll show you why planning quickly is important on another day. But for now, may your funnel be full, and always flowing.

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