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The Path to Alignment

October 08, 2015 | By Chris Parr

  • True alignment between sales and marketing organizations will only be achieved with effort, great perseverance and patience
  • We are often hampered by the past – the traditional difficulties of the sales and marketing relationship, in particular
  • Creating the right organizational alignment is not something that happens by chance

Like the path to enlightenment, true alignment between sales and marketing organisations will only be achieved with a lot of effort, great perseverance and patience.

Charles Darwin

We are often hampered by the past – the traditional difficulties of the sales and marketing relationship, in particular. Creating the right organisational alignment is not something that happens by chance. You have to be determined to achieve change.

Darwin talked about survival, specifically in terms of an organism’s ability to adapt to its surroundings. We at SiriusDecisions would go one step further, however. For our clients, it is about outperforming the competition to be the best they possibly can be.

In order to be responsive to change, we must first look at what we are doing today. The first step on the “path to alignment” is to conduct an assessment of the current state – in particular, conversion rates in the SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall®. SiriusDecisions Consulting guides clients through this analysis and provides best practices to make improvements and increase conversion rates.

A waterfall diagnosis puts the spotlight on areas where conversion rates are letting you down in the process of developing and nurturing customer and prospect enquiries all the way through to deals. We can compare existing conversion rates to industry best practices and build a profile for your waterfall, rather like a personality profile. When completed, this profile tells us which hand-offs in the Demand Waterfall are in good shape and which need work.

To analyse the broader lead generation process more deeply, clients often use the Demand Creation Services Benchmark to obtain a reference against a relevant peer group, which ensures an apples-to-apples comparison. At the end of the day, the prize is sustainable growth. Adopting best practices in lead qualification and management processes can lead to as much as twice the number of deals won per 1,000 enquiries. Happy sales and happy marketing!

Failure to embrace the change required to achieve alignment between sales and marketing can result in...well, I will leave you to ponder that one! 

Achieving better sales and marketing alignment can mean a fundamental change in culture, which is hard, but this change can lead to a successful organisational strategy.

Want to learn more? Click here to explore the resources and tools B2B sales, marketing and product leaders are using to outperform the competition.

Chris Parr

Chris Parr is a Consulting Practice Director of EMEA at SiriusDecisions. Chris is an experienced international marketing leader with more than 25 years of experience in sales, business development and marketing management, spanning all areas of the product and marketing workflow. Throughout his career, Chris has focused his energy on connecting marketing directly to growth for several large enterprises with a recent focus on implementing digital marketing strategy.

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