Over recent years brands have attempted to unify their sales and marketing. Last year, alcoholic spirits producer Diageo notably aligned the two in a bid to “more efficiently” tie together the customer journey.
However, according to the report, Diageo’s move isn’t quite the norm, as 33% of UK companies have no current plans to implement any formal programmes to unify their marketing and sales teams. And only 8% are planning to integrate the two in the future.
This is despite similarities in thinking between the two departments. Of the sales professionals polled, 47% agreed that their colleagues in marketing are just as concerned when it comes to generating a profit.
“British businesses continue to suffer from a seemingly unbridgeable divide between their marketing and sales teams – a gap that undermines the efforts of the crucial corporate functions necessary to generate demand, capture revenue and gain a competitive advantage,” says Ruth Jacobs, managing director of Ranstad Sales, Marketing and Retail.
The biggest barriers to integrating a strategy to bring marketers and sales people closer together included perceived rigid organisational structures (cited by 34% of respondents) and corporate culture-biases towards sales and marketing roles (26%).
There also appears to be distrust among each group about the other’s ability to leverage customer data, with 37% of salespeople claiming that their company’s marketing department was failing to effectively use customer data.
Only one in four (39%) of marketers, meanwhile, believe the sales function within their company is effectively leveraging data.
Jacobs concludes: “Sales can add tangible valuable to marketing messaging and marketing can optimise sales by fielding campaigns that generate and nurture leads and opportunities. It’s a natural fit, but it’s not happening, and there’s clearly a cultural hurdle that needs to be addressed.”