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Confrontation is Critical For Sales Success

Confrontation is defined as a discord or a clash of opinions and ideas, and it’s not surprising that most people avoid confrontations at all costs. But when it comes to making decisions about conflicted business and sales processes confrontation is necessary to keep your sales process dynamic. This is especially true regarding the interaction between sales and marketing teams.

For many years, sales and marketing organizations have had very specific roles and responsibilities, which often were out of alignment with the each other. Marketing has traditionally focused on branding, messaging, collateral, and program level lead generation.  Meanwhile, the sales team has focused almost exclusively on cold calling, working their Rolodex and managing opportunities.

If the ultimate goal is to increase company revenue why do many sales organizations resist accepting marketing generated leads?  The answer is that in many situations there is no definition of what a qualified lead looks like.

If you are a CEO, and your feel that your sales and marketing teams are misaligned, you must confront them both (nicely) and foster a collaboration effort now.  Citing some of the proof points from a recent Aberdeen Group report entitled “Sales and Marketing Alignment – The New Power Couple” is a good way to get the conversation started.  Here are just a few observations from the report.

Forecasted sales generated by marketing

  • Best in class companies                    40%
  • Industry average companies           22%
  • Laggard companies                           13%

Year over year annual revenue growth

  • Best in class companies                    + 31.6%
  • Industry average companies           + 18.2%
  • Laggard companies                           – 6.7%

Organizations are constantly striving to increase revenues in a challenging business climate with its associated resource constraints.  As it’s unlikely that this environment will change near term – sales and marketing must work more closely together to achieve growth at the lowest possible cost.  If your firm is under-performing on the lead generation front take the time to confront the problem head on and start improving both the quality and quantity of leads for your sales team.

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