Why Marketing should report to Sales

 

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Marketing needs to report to Sales.

I’ll get to that blasphemy in a minute. If you have listened to some of my recent blogs, you know that 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 6 looks who should report to whom, and what effect we have on closure rates, revenue contributions, and customer churn in each of four possible reporting options.

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

Let’s get back to that blasphemy – that Marketing should report to Sales. Let me explain.

We’re going to look at four reporting structures – one at a time.

When Sales reports to Marketing, Sales diligently follows up on Marketing’s leads, but Marketing doesn’t generate much revenue suggesting that volumes are way too low.

But if you flip that around, MQL acceptance rockets, churn is lowest, and Marketing’s contribution to revenue triples. It seems we just work harder.

And if they both report to a divisional head, or to a head of Sales and Marketing, we flat line. I’d argue that a ‘Head of Sales and Marketing’ – however you frame it, is someone with a conflicted and unclear role. Head of Sales is an A personality who gets things done, and if Marketing can help, then bring it on. A head who has both reporting to both, is perhaps more of an HR manager than a ‘dude’.

Marketing’s job is to create conditions and demand for Sales to succeed. So give me the theory one more time. But the data suggests we have to suck it up and work for Sales. Or does it?

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:

I’m going to answer that question – should Marketing report to Sales? I’m going to invite you to receive more blogs like this.

Let’s get to the conclusion first. The answer is: not necessarily. The final format we looked at was each of Sales and Marketing reporting to the CEO / COO. This turned out to be the best configuration of all. Why?

Whilst I’m OK with Marketing reporting to Sales, that’s Marketing being an honest servant. Enlightened businesses ask Marketing to be a strong revenue driver, not an aid to Sales. So whilst having both report to an interim manager is not a great configuration, both reporting to the CEO / COO is. The difference is one of importance. If the business asks Marketing to support Sales, it can / will, and good things flow. But if the business asks Marketing to drive revenue, then that’s what will happen.

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.

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OK, so here’s how to get a copy of the alignment report:

https://align.me/sales-and-marketing-alignment/

We’ll show you there how you can access the 2014 report, or a webinar I did with the key conclusions or both.

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 web site.

I’ll show you why holding Marketing’s feet to the fire is a great idea on another day. But for now, may your funnel be full, and always flowing.

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