‘Brands failing to align sales and marketing divisions’

Despite 80% of UK businesses recognising the benefits of a greater alignment between internal sales and marketing, almost half (40%) still have no systems in place to unify the respective divisions according to new research from specialist recruiter Ranstad Sales, Marketing and Retail.

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.”

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