When there is a lack of communication between the sales and marketing departments of your company, it might lead to serious loss as a result. There are numerous examples in the real business world to prove just that. But how to identify and address the problem is sometimes not as easy as one might think.
The lack of communication occurs when the objectives for each department is set independently, and not in relation with the other. A situation that frequently occurs is that the pricing strategy and the compensation for the salespeople are often misaligned, which leads to an unmotivated sales force and might even cause them to find new ways to compensate for their work at the expense of the company.
Situations as above are not isolated, but when it comes to reviewing the sales and marketing departments, you might be at a loss to where to start. For your convenience, the results of research involving over 150 B2B (business to business) salespeople with an average of 15 years’ experience in the industry, have been compiled, and the three major dangers to avoid is mentioned below.
The Danger of Misaligned Goals That Dishearten
If the salespeople feel that they are unable to achieve the goals set out by the sales and marketing departments, due to the two goals not aligning, it will cause them to feel disheartened in their ability. This might lead to them becoming less productive and their overall commitment will waiver. Because the line between sales and marketing is becoming less and less defined, and it is because of this that the alignment becomes more important.
The Aberdeen Group stated that companies whose sales and marketing objectives align would ultimately improve their annual growth rate by 20%, while those with misaligned objectives will experience a revenue decline of 4%. Salespeople react very negatively when the goals are misaligned as they feel that they can’t deliver on them.
The Danger That Misaligned Goals Signal Unnecessary Hard Work
Should salespeople find that the goals set by the marketing and sales departments are more difficult (and sometimes opposing), since they misalign, they view it as a barrier to their success and performance. The challenge does not lie with the difficulty of the goals set out, but rather with the fact that it seems unnecessary and needlessly problematic.
This misalignment sometimes leads to the b2b salespeople not working as productive as they normally would as they believe that it is either not right, or they simply feel too overwhelmed. When this happens, it leads to lost sales and decreased sales and lowers the revenue of the company.
The Danger of B2B Salespeople Achieving the Goals at The Expense of The Company
As a way to make the increased price more appealing to customers, so that they would achieve their goal for compensation, salespeople might offer additional benefits to their sales, such as free delivery and training. Although it might be seen as the salesperson thinking on their feet, the cost of additional benefits will all add up and will lead to a lowered profit.
Misaligned goals can turn out to be expensive for the company, but it can be resolved. It might be a good idea to involve the sales people when the pricing objectives and marketing goals are discussed. It is important that the b2b sales management listen to the suggestions and complaints of the salespeople, within reason, of course, to avoid further misunderstanding and discontent.
The b2b sales management must understand the salespeople’s perspective and consider whether their pricing objectives are realistic within the given market. They might want to do some consumer research to determine whether customers will be willing to pay for the newly increased price and whether the salespeople will be able to sell the product if customers are discouraged. However, it is also important for the salespeople to understand the reason for increased pricing and be educated on why lower prices are not sustainable.
It is therefore evident, that the possibly conflicting views between management and sales staff needs to be resolved if one wants their business to be successful. For the sales staff, they need to understand the value of the product and the theoretical explanations of things, while the b2b sales management should think of how an increased price might be received by a customer, and not overestimate their ability to charge higher prices with continued sales.
The biggest problem seems to come from management underestimating the knowledge of salespeople. Companies may avoid the dangers of the objectives misaligning if the sales staff are involved in the initial discussions of the pricing and marketing strategies.
Motivated sales staff are vital for the success and continuation of the company as they are the people who drive the sales. If one can ensure that the aims and objectives of the marketing department are set up with the salespeople compensation and strategies in mind and that there are productive communications between them, companies will be better able to continue to compete in the competitive market of today.