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Enterprise Sales: Tips for Bridging the Sales and Marketing Divide

April 04, 2014

Enterprise Sales and Marketing: Can't We All Just Get Along?

We hear it all the time.

Sales complains that marketing doesn't deliver the right support.

Meanwhile, marketing complains that sales doesn't pay attention to--or use--the tools they provide.

While this reality varies greatly from company to company, there's usually a little bit of truth on both sides. 11799580_s

Companies are trying to bridge this divide by promoting more collaboration between sales and marketing and more stringent program measurement, so that the value that marketing delivers can be more easily quanitified.

At the same time, marketers are recognizing that quality trumps quantity. Better to provide fewer and more impactful tools than ask sales to sort through a bunch of noise to find the programs that deliver the most value.

Marketers are also experimenting with programs designed to "spoon feed" sales with very targeted  information and opportunities. Some of these initiatives include:

  • Audience analysis in advance of executive briefings or events: Marketing helps sales prep for important face-to-face meetings by providing customer dossiers with top careabouts, hobbies, alma maters and organizational affiliations, relationship maps, etc. 
  • Analysis of executive decision makers within a key account: Marketing supports the account planning process by mapping business initiatives to key executive decision makers, providing personal and biographical intel on key executives, company-to-company relationship mapping, a list of events the customer is attending, executive changes, etc. 
  • Analysis of common careabouts across a group of accounts: Marketing looks at executives across the top 50 enterprise accounts and identifies common careabouts to help guide communications and prioritize thought leadership topics and programs.

If your marketers provide this level of support, consider yourself lucky--and take advantage. We are seeing success with initiatives like the ones described above, in terms of moving the needle with strategic accounts.

If you do not get this kind of support, maybe its time to start a conversation with marketing. In our experience, marketers are eager for this kind of dialogue with sales and are actively looking for account teams who are open to piloting a new approach.

For an example of one man's approach to supporting sales, read our recent guest post, Secrets of a Top Enterprise Sales Strategist.

Happy selling,

Sharon Gillenwater, Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Boardroom Insiders

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About the Author

Sharon Gillenwater

Sharon Gillenwater is the founder and editor-in-chief of Boardroom Insiders, which maintains an extensive database of the most in-depth executive profiles on the market, from Fortune 500 companies to independent non-profits, to help sales and marketing professionals build deeper relationships and close more deals with clients. Gillenwater is a long-time marketing consultant with expertise in marketing strategy, account-based marketing, and CXO engagement programs.