Lisa Leitch, president of Teneo Inc., a marketing and sales consulting and training company specializing in helping organizations integrate their marketing and sales teams, conducted more than twenty interviews with Canadian business leaders in several industries to identify their top marketing and sales issues and determine how the integration, or lack of integration, between their marketing and sales departments impact these issues.
The Top three issues occupying the minds of the leaders interviewed were; Attracting Top Talent, Staying Ahead of Technology Trends and Tracking Return on Investment of Marketing and Sales Spend.
Issue One – Talent: “This business is all about creating and selling ideas, yet the biggest challenge is finding the people to drive the results”, says Rico DiGiovanni, CEO of Spider Marketing. Lisa says the challenge to senior marketing and sales executives comes in finding and attracting the right people for the right roles, retaining the best and motivating all team members to drive superior results. She suggests that top leaders need to share the company vision with their people. If employees are involved in the development of a strategy, they are much more likely to embrace it and want to implement it.
Issue Two – Technology: Canada Bread’s Rory Lesperance says, “Staying in front of technology and process change…is a huge challenge and most sales forces are not equipped to deal with what it will take to deliver added value and sustain a competitive advantage.” The incredible advancements of our digital world promised to make lives and business functions easier, according to Lisa’s research, that’s currently far from the case. She suggests that in order for organizations and leaders to stay on top of emerging technology trends they need to surround themselves with new technology, embrace it and dare to explore it!
Issue Three – Tracking Return on Investment: Terry Polyak of Milestone Advertising says, “Even though agencies approach clients with sales revenue and accountability measures as part of the plan, sometimes the demands and deadlines from the clients prevent the agency from being able to ‘coach’ their clients through the business planning process… so plans to track and measure ROI fall by the wayside.” CEOs, CFOs and others charged with evaluating and approving marketing budgets are putting increased pressure on the role of the marketer to demonstrate proven results of their marketing investment. Lisa suggests that in order to determine if ROI is being achieved, you first have to define what you are measuring. Put the metrics in place, keep it simple, measurable and focused and most importantly, take the time to evaluate.
As the white paper suggests, the solutions to these issues comes down to -as they often do – leadership, strategy, people, execution and metrics. Leitch suggests that the key to success is to hire the right people for the right positions, then invest in training this talent to recognize the importance of effective inter-department communication and working together towards improved results. Integrating the objectives of both your marketing and sales teams will develop stronger, more strategic plans that are tightly focused on customer needs and generating profitable sales. When the strategies, objectives and tactics of both teams are closely aligned, it will equal results.