Best Alignment of Marketing & Sales

Can Marketing and Sales really achieve true alignment? It takes more than words. This award honors companies that have translated words into action through tighter organizational alignment, shared goals and reporting, new communications strategies or innovative approaches to compensation.

ADP® Best Alignment of Marketing and Sales (2013)

In a complex, large enterprise organization with thousands of Sales Associates, successfully moving from an “old school” legacy process into a “new school” modern marketing and sales lead management operation is a monumental challenge.  ADP® took this challenge head on by establishing true alignment between marketing and sales that required defining leads and lead waterfall stages, coordinating several moving parts, appeasing multi-level stakeholders and influencing a deeply embedded company culture.

With significant results in lead response and turnaround times, greater sales engagement and influenced revenue dollars, ADP has driven sales and marketing alignment through the formation of a centralized Lead Development Team and qualification process, implementing lead nurturing and lead scoring models and launching system lead standardization across all of ADP’s Business Units to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of how leads are managed across the buyer’s journey.  By adopting these modern best practices, ADP has created tighter organizational alignment through shared goals and responsibilities – while increasing accountability on both sides with the ultimate goals of driving increased revenue and a better client experience.

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Cvent Best Alignment of Marketing and Sales (2013)

As recently as three years ago, Cvent prided itself as a marketing organization that filled the top of the sales funnel with as many qualified leads as possible. But as the company grew, the process began to show inefficiencies. The top of the sales funnel only grew bigger and bigger, and moving leads through the sales cycle started to bog down and become ineffective. Fixing this problem became a priority, but because the sales and marketing organizations continued to work separately, both groups saw duplications of effort, suffered from miscommunication, and developed misaligned objectives.

Through an effort to automate the marketing process and align the sales and marketing teams, Cvent improved average response times, increased the number of hot leads, and profiled leads more quickly and accurately, which in turn improved the customer experience and streamlined the overall sales process.

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Intel Best Alignment of Marketing and Sales (2013)

Intel began using Eloqua in 2012. The APAC region was first to adopt the platform and initially this was for pilot purposes. There was a global directive to evaluate various Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs) by allowing different regions to document the success of using those platforms. Prior to this evaluation regional channel managers were communicating directly with Intel’s audience (partner resellers) via numerous decentralised communication platforms. This meant that Intel had a llimited understanding of interests or the personas of their partners other than volume of numbers.

The outcome of the pilot was to consolidate Intel’s fragmented marketing processes onto one system. This would allow the global teams to drive Intel’s brand and communication strategies through a centralised system and in return receive consistent results.

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K2 Best Alignment of Marketing and Sales (2013)

K2 software had been experiencing solid growth, but needed to improve process, establish attributable ROI metrics, and align itself better with sales to fuel even stronger growth expectations.  Further, demand gen at the time was primarily event driven, where field sales cherry-picked leads in their region, were not tracked in Eloqua, and only added to Salesforce when an opportunity was created, typically without attribution to the appropriate campaign.  All other leads were called by a single inside sales rep without any further prioritization.  In short, we needed to move from the stereotype of “tossed leads over the wall” to that of coordination and collaboration against common goals (three C’s). Now, sales and marketing are allies with common goals – aligned towards increased opportunities, deals and revenue.

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Arrow S3 Marketing and Sales BFF (2012)

Our company went through a complete transformation from summer 2011 to summer 2012 as we were formerly Cross Telecom, we were bought and merged with a competitor to become Arrow S3. It has been a struggle integrating the two companies, but in the fall of 2011 we integrated Eloqua with our CRM – Salesforce. The marketing department immediately began to ingrain in our sales culture the positive impact we can have on our company with the Eloqua Sales Enablement Tools and continuous marketing of our new brand. Our company is still aligning operations and systems, but the one consistent guiding strength is marketing and Eloqua was a catalyst for that.

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Cincom Systems Inc. Marketing and Sales BFF (2012)

Cincom Systems, Inc. sells business solutions that simplify complex business problems. Because complexity is so pervasive throughout these engagements, sales cycles can be very lengthy as we progress through the various stages of learning and discovery that are required to make and understand the business case. Previously there was a distinct wall between marketing and sales, where a lead would come in through marketing and be heaved over the wall to sales, and then the two would go their separate ways. Now the wall is gone. Marketing is involved throughout the sales cycle to ensure that the sales team has the materials and messaging that’s required at each touch point, and sales is involved in the creation of marketing materials to make sure it reflects what they hear during their conversations, and they will actually utilize it.

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Cvent Marketing and Sales BFF (2012)

Cvent has been a strong sales organization since the beginning; sales was Marketing’s primary customer, and Marketing always said “yes” to the customer, running campaigns at Sales’ request.  Marketing heaved “leads” over the fence for Sales to run with, hoping that Sales would gain traction.  It was through the implementation of Eloqua that Marketing began to realize the need for open communication and transparency in the funnel.  During implementation, both teams worked closely to refine processes, educate stakeholders and evolve the existing processes to build the foundation for alignment.  Today, Sales and Marketing share ownership of the new sales and marketing funnel and meet regularly on any and all strategic and tactical decisions. 

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Thomson Reuters Marketing and Sales BFF (2012)

One year ago, Sales distrusted leads from Marketing – leaving about one third unopened, and any that did not generate an immediate sales opportunity were abandoned without further nurturing by Marketing. We have now aligned Sales and Marketing, and re-engineered our entire lead management process, to drive towards Revenue Performance Management. This has driven a 20+% increase in the number of leads sent to Sales, a 72% reduction in the time it takes to convert these leads to opportunities – and a 175% increase in revenue.

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Citrix Online Marketing and Sales BFF (2011)

Citrix Online realized in early 2011 that they needed a tighter alignment between Marketing and Sales.  They asked SiriusDecisions to analyze internal survey data and benchmark both departments against those of their peers.  Using this analysis, they established a series of alignment projects and have met bi-weekly to report on project status and bring up any other concerns that affect revenue. Using this alignment they are driving several initiatives to increase revenue, including an in-depth analysis of their Marketing Qualified Lead criteria, and have hit aggressive revenue targets for the first two quarters of 2011.

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ECI Telecom Marketing and Sales BFF (2011)

Before Eloqua, ECI had a Sales and Marketing disconnect that is familiar to many marketers. Sales felt that Marketing did nothing but provide logo pens, while Marketing felt Sales did not use the resources available or take advantage of Marketing-generated leads. Communication was non-existent. Deploying Eloqua has completely transformed the Sales and Marketing relationship at ECI. This experience has been the catalyst for ECI to develop a global lead management process which aligns Sales and Marketing together with a shared understanding of the buyer’s journey. The results have been felt across the organization and beyond, benefiting not only Sales and Marketing, but the company’s bottom line and customers as well.

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J. D. Power and Associates Marketing and Sales BFF (2011)

In the past, the sales and marketing efforts at J.D. Power were somewhat disjointed and did not maximize the opportunities that were available by combining efforts. A cooperative effort between sales and marketing resulted in a renewed effort highlighted by “engagement campaigns” through Eloqua that combined marketing outreach with sales discovery. By combining these efforts, both teams are able to target messaging more easily and reduce disorganized, and often overlapping, outreach. The sales team enjoys more productive and efficient sales outreach as a result of improved information gleaned from these campaigns, and the marketing team is able to target their campaign messages more clearly based on knowledge gained from past campaign responses.  As a result, both teams are able to be more effective contributors to revenue generating efforts for the company.

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Kronos Incorporated Marketing and Sales BFF (2011)

Kronos has had quite a journey that our CMO refers to as “The Extreme Marketing Makeover”.  We spent two years updating and addressing all areas of the organization and still received a lukewarm reception from sales.   Although we had already invested in branding, database expansion, targeting, measurement, the introduction of Eloqua was the final piece of the puzzle and the response from Sales has been overwhelming.  Eloqua provides sales true visibility into marketing’s impact.

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