Rob Skinner MD at Skout PR

Only one in four B2B marketing strategies are aligned with sales

A disconnect between marketing and sales continues to hold back the effectiveness of B2B marketing budgets according to a new study by Skout.

Only 40% of the 100 senior B2B marketing professionals surveyed, have managed to align their marketing plans with the company’s sales strategy and targets. And even less, 27%, claim to have done so successfully.

What’s more, content marketing strategies often fail to excite sales teams. 56% of marketers surveyed believe that sales don’t value the content they create at all, suggesting this content is often not used to help nurture and close deals.

Despite this view some teams are better aligned. At 54% over half of the marketers surveyed believe that they have a good relationship with the sales team and 28% claim that sales wants them to produce even more content. However, 27% admitted that they don’t think sales fully understands the impact of marketing.

The research commissioned by Skout, a B2B communications agency, examines the main challenges facing senior marketing decision makers in the UK.

Commenting on the survey findings, Rob Skinner, managing director at Skout said: “Marketing and sales own two sides of the same process – attracting and generating new business – so its imperative that they work effectively together to this common goal. It’s great to see that over half of sales and marketing teams now have healthy working relationships but it’s disappointing that almost three quarters still believe that their attempts at aligning the plans with sales strategies aren’t working.”

In addition to supporting the needs of the sales team, the survey also showed a couple of other planning and strategy challenges that marketers are currently grappling with. For 37%, it’s understanding which digital advertising channels they should use, while for 35% their key challenge is delivering a plan on a limited budget.

Skinner continues: “In today’s competitive marketplace, the onus is on marketing to work with sales to better understand customer challenges and purchasing decision making behaviours. The growing trend of Account Based Marketing (ABM), where B2B marketing activity is focused specifically on the needs and behaviours of individual target customers, makes this relationship even more critical.

“Buyers are hungry for content that helps them make informed decisions about whether a product or solution is right for their business. Prospects begin their research into the products or services they want to purchase early in buying cycle. It is therefore essential that marketing content, whether digital or physical, is an integral part of that sales journey.

“When marketing and sales align their plans we see a significant improvement in lead generation and marketing able to prove RIO.”

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