Sales and Marketing Can't Get Along; Clickback Points Out Why

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Conflicts between sales and marketing have existed since the beginning of commerce. In today’s lightning-paced speed of business, companies can no longer afford to engage in petty wars but must cooperatively move forward.

Mitch Fanning, VP of Marketing at Clickback, discusses the tension between sales and marketing and why it exists.

It's crucial that there be accord between sales and marketing regarding leads.

In companies it has been common for many years for sales and marketing to be in conflict over budget, pricing, and seemingly endless other issues1. Probably the most common bone of contention—and one which most markedly affects company survival and revenue—is lead quality. But as pointed out by Clickback, a Software as a Service (SaaS) B2B lead generation company, in today's frantic pace of commerce and the need for a common, team-oriented approach from companies, it is vital that sales and marketing be brought into accord2.

The battle over lead quality often boils down to the definition of a lead. Marketing may define a lead as "anyone interested in our product." Sales, on the other hand, doesn't want to waste time on leads other than the very hot ones ready to buy right now. Unfortunately, these conflicting definitions often leave viable leads falling into a "black hole" between sales and marketing.

"It's crucial that there be accord between sales and marketing regarding leads," said Mitch Fanning, Vice President of Marketing at Clickback. "It's the only way that valuable leads don't end up being wasted, and that company budget and efforts are aligned and optimized."

Part of lead optimization is a balance between inbound and outbound leads. Carefully calculated inbound efforts, such as SEO and social media strategies, should be balanced with outbound strategies. Any company seeking to grow revenue by 30% or more in the coming year will need to learn how to expertly weave inbound and outbound lead strategies.

Clickback offers an outbound solution which is highly effective in capturing the 98% of web visitors that would otherwise be lost simply because they don’t fill out a web form. Companies can qualify these leads and reach out to them with methods such as email offers or cold-calling. Such a solution, being a valuable addition to lead strategy, can go a long way to assisting a sales-marketing cooperative relationship.

Other sources of conflict between sales and marketing include economic issues such as price. Marketing sets pricing in accord with profitability and value, while sales often uses reduced pricing as a buying incentive. Another economic issue is budget--Marketing wants a budget for strategy, materials and media buying, whereas sales thinks this is a waste of money and would rather have the budget for additional salespeople.

Part of a "mending of fences" between sales and marketing is an understanding and acknowledgement, on both sides, of the fact that each has a different vital function they bring to the company2. They are different disciplines and have different mindsets and training.

In a well-defined sales-marketing relationship, there are processes and rules put in place to prevent disputes. Each group is keenly aware of the other's function, and for the most part they stick to their own tasks, consulting each other as needed. Such a relationship usually begins with a cooperative definition of "lead." Instead of being combative, meetings become productive with subjects such as how can resources best be utilized advantageously for both sides?

There are many reasons for sales and marketing to be in full cooperation. And yes…we can all get along.

About Clickback:

Founded in 1996, Clickback is a software as a service (SaaS) lead generation company that helps thousands of marketing professionals solve their companies’ lead growth problems using Cloud-based B2B lead generation software products uniquely designed to accelerate lead growth. Clickback is one of the world’s first SaaS companies to offer email lead generation software to its customers that provides a safe and proven method of securing profitable B2B leads to mid-market and enterprise companies. Clickback has been able to identify over 300,000 leads for their users, in part by implementing Clickback WEB, a software designed to identify unknown visitors to a company’s website and utilize them as leads. In 2016, Clickback became one of the first email service providers to be 100% IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) compliant to maximize deliverability for customers. IPv6 allows for 340 undecillion IP addresses, ensuring there will be no shortage and that devices will be able to remain communicating with one another – imperative for compliant B2B marketers today. For more information on Clickback visit http://www.clickback.com/.

1. Krishnaswamy, Philip KotlerNeil RackhamSuj. "Ending the War Between Sales and Marketing." Harvard Business Review. N.p., 16 July 2015. Web. 13 May 2017.

2. "Marketing & Sales: Frienemies Forever!" THE HARTFORD. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2017.

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Karla Jo Helms
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