It’s not uncommon to hear about the woes between marketing & sales, but it’s more worrying when there’s no problems between the two. Sales usually have a short term vision, compared to the traditionally mid-long term marketing focus on branding, positioning & lead generation. So if there’s no problems between the two, either the sales team is accustom to working on long lead time clients, or marketing is just acting as a lead generation extension of sales.
If terms like brand value, thought leadership, and added value are important to your company, then marketing shouldn’t just be about lead gen and sales. It’ll be tough to develop brand value without a mid-long term vision (and investment) into the verticals that don’t directly result in leads/sales. Those are usually verticals that have no real effect on your brand value. It’s not made any easier when you have to report (defend) against ROI orientated metrics – and what metrics shouldn’t be ROI orientated? There’s a strong incentive to keep pushing for the short term gains.
Which is why it’s so refreshing to see a Marketing Dashboard that has branding as a component of the key metrics. This is a sample Marketing Dashboard that I’ve compiled based on a few that I’ve used – it includes short term lead-gen goals as well as longer term elements, and is designed to be modified to suit your needs:
(There are a few more guides available on the Marketing Resources page)
If your marketing department is functioning as an extended sales arm, be prepared for a long internal change management process. It’s not about changing a spreadsheet, rather than it is about changing the management perspective on what marketing can do for the company. As well as getting some distance from the sales team, which is going to be hard given their enormous vested interested in having the extra hands (and leads).
The questions to ask are, why does the market leader in your industry command a premium? What can we do to achieve that market position? What can we do to justify charging a similar premium? The metrics are important, but conveying them in a meaningful manner to your stakeholders, so they understand the value you’re bringing to the team is more important. Without regular effective communication, your marketing budget will be no more than a slush fund for sales activities & your marketing team will just be an extension of sales.