Is Sales and Marketing Alignment Your Biggest Priority for 2018?

Alignment between sales and marketing organizations has been popping up everywhere as a trend to watch. The American Marketing Association recently covered Ascend2’s marketing survey that identified sales and marketing alignment as the top account-based marketing (ABM) strategy for 2018. Forbes Magazine also covered this issue earlier this year.

Unfortunately, all too often these disciplines are not aligned. Marketing automation company Marketo published the results of their 2018 marketing survey, which highlights sales and marketing alignment (or the lack thereof). Marketers were asked to identify an activity that would have the biggest impact on their business in 2018. The top two answers by a large margin were the improved ability to track ROI (28%) and better sales and marketing alignment (24%).

Lastly, at the beginning of 2018, software company InsideView published an infographic with their top five predictions for sales and marketing alignment. There are some good ideas in here that acknowledge the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), demographic shifts in the working population of the U.S., and a more unified, data-centric approach to sales and marketing. InsideView’s predictions include:

  1. Sellers will become less transactional and more consultative. They will go from purely selling to being able to “enlighten” their customers. Salespeople of the future will have more expertise on a variety of topics and be more data-savvy.
  2. Organizations will focus on their ideal customers. Leading organizations will invest in “good revenue” – the types of customers that renew at a high rate and spend more. The entire organization will align on selling to these ideal customer segments.
  3. By 2020, 30% of all B2B companies will employ AI to augment at least one of their primary sales processes.
  4. By 2025, millennials will represent nearly half of the U.S. workforce and will usher in a new era of client vendor relationships. Millennials use of email and social media – and their reliance on personal referrals and recommendations — will cause leading organizations to adapt their sales and marketing strategies toward a digital, social and mobile-first approach.
  5. Marketing and sales operations will merge into one revenue operations team. This consolidation could result in more useful customer data presented in a single dashboard, and a single team that shares unified and common priorities.

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