SalesVantage.com >> Article Archives >> Marketing Concepts >> Uncovering the Value Engine Part 6: Integrate Sales and Marketing to Execute Go-to-Market Strategy

Marketing Concepts
   
Uncovering the Value Engine Part 6: Integrate Sales and Marketing to Execute Go-to-Market Strategy
By Scott Santucci, CEO, BluePrint Marketing, LLC

This is the last in a six part series that defines the "value engine", which is the synthesis of over 10 years of research and interviews with hundreds of enterprise technology buyers and sellers.

This is the last in a six part series that defines the "value engine", which is the synthesis of over 10 years of research and interviews with hundreds of enterprise technology buyers and sellers.

In order to ensure integrated Sales and Marketing planning, the two organizations should first come together to jointly define a common market development strategy. This strategy should define how marketing will support the sales process, and the role of sales in delivering the brand message to the marketplace. The strategy should also address the differences and unique needs of customer acquisition (new business) and customer management (cross-sell and up-sell). Once this is understood, the groups can go off to develop their specific plans, as long as there are multiple points where the efforts are brought back together to ensure continued alignment. The sales plan should address the sales process and the stages of the sales cycle as well as the strategy for territory assignments, compensation structure, and goals at all levels. Some critical pieces that are often overlooked include the sales infrastructure (technology, process, and tools) required, and detailed plans for sales training.

The marketing plan will address plans for the full range of promotional activities (brochures/collateral, PR, advertising, trade shows, media placements, etc.) and should include the metrics which will be used to evaluate each program as well as the criteria for success. This is where marketing should map its activities to the stages in the sales cycle, and set goals for tangible contributions to revenue generation. Throughout the planning lifecycle, there should be multiple milestones for sales and marketing to compare plans and identify opportunities for better alignment.

Once the planning is done and both plans are aligned, the full complement of marketing resources (collateral, web site, campaigns, tools, etc.) must be developed for all target market segments. This includes both segment-specific and cross-segment resources. One critical resource that is part of this stage of the Value Engine is the development and on-going management and maintenance of the client / prospect database.

Common questions or related topics (links to answers):

How do I know if I have a sales and marketing effectiveness problem?
What are the root causes of sales and marketing inefficiency?
What are some specific reasons that cause sales and marketing inefficiency?
How do I examine the effectiveness of sales and marketing investments?
Why are our sales and marketing investments not yielding our intended returns?
What does sales and marketing excellence look like?

Common mistakes technology companies make:

1.Stove-piped sales and marketing planning (failure to align throughout planning process) - resulting in sub-optimal resource allocation.
2.Failure to delineate customer acquisition and customer management activities results in poor utilization of resources
3.Poorly designed sales enablement programs prepare sales teams to as "c-rate" consultants, rather than equip them to be "a-rate" problem solvers resulting in diminished executive access and continued inability to properly cross-sell.
4.Devising sales compensation plan which does not align with company objectives or which does not motivate desired behavior.
5.Failure to appropriately balance awareness, demand generation, lead qualification, fulfillment, sales tool development, brand-building activities, product training, forecasting, and internal training with the realities of the conversations sales people have with customers.
6.Failure to align sales process to customer buying process, which works against efforts to "get ahead" of the buying process and allow sales teams to set the client's buying vision.
7.Failure to make customer experience the central design point of all engagement activities (customer acquisition/management).
8.Failure to set objectives for market development programs and measure results.
9.Low marketing credibility with sales prevents participation in market development programs.
10.Poor database - "garbage in, garbage out"
  a.Not having the right companies in the database
  b.Not having the right stakeholders within target companies
  c.Failure to purge obsolete records
  d.Overly cumbersome interface - "more trouble than its worth"



Scott Santucci is a leading authority on reducing the business development friction caused by the divide between sales and marketing. His company, Blueprint Marketing ( www.blueprintmarketing.com ), helps companies realize the compounding returns on revenue generation investments that are achieved by harmonizing sales and marketing efforts. Scott can be contacted by e-mail scott.santucci@blueprintmarketing.com and phone (703) 723-5900.

More articles by Scott Santucci
More articles on Marketing Concepts