The Idea: According to Forrester Research, only 8% of companies have strong alignment between their sales and marketing departments. And many organizations are not even aware that they are lacking in this area. When sales and marketing are not aligned, culture gets crushed, energy gets wasted and all types of internal problems get amplified. To be elite, you must be aligned. Additional research has shown that only 14 percent of employees understand their organization’s strategy and less than 10 percent of all organizations successfully execute it. So why does it matter?
- Organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing functions enjoy 36% higher customer retention rates. (Source: Marketing Profs)
- Aligning sales and marketing also leads to 38% higher sales-win rates. (Source: Marketing Profs)
- Tightly aligned sales and marketing operations achieve 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth. (Source: Sirius Decisions)
Archaic Sales Structures
Chobani was once a little dark horse trying to crack the immense yogurt category. They are now a $1.5 billion category catalyst. Chobani has been thinking differently since their inception, advancing their purpose, brand differentiation, and deep listening habits. Fusing these skills, their organizational structure now prioritizes new opportunities over old team formats. As Adage reports, “Sales, marketing, insights, product innovation and other areas, which were largely separate, are now housed in one demand department as Chobani aims to do even more with speed and agility.” Their previous organizational structure had departments separated by function, which, in their assessment, hindered alignment, speed, and growth. Now, functional leaders have access to the retailer, offering them deeper organic insights and an understanding of emerging competitive threats.
“Communications can now be more direct, leading to better response rates and growth. The marketing budget will now be a singular demand budget, but each grocery sales region will have its own marketing budget.”
Peter McGuinness, Chobani’s chief marketing and brand officer, doesn’t believe in a separate archaic sales department. “We recognize that from a channel perspective, we have to come up with different propositions, as they all have different shelf sets, different customers and they all define value differently. Feedback has to be hardwired into the innovation process.”
Listen to the Voice of Sales
Why is it that most brands are surprised when an upstart threatens their business? Because they are guilty of overestimating their brand equity and the value they create with their customer. They are blind to the hidden threats that lie all around them. The most self-aware organizations are in tune with the nuances in the competitive marketplace and are in a constant dialogue with other leaders who have knowledge of emerging trends and future risks (including their own sales organizations).
Chobani is hoping to mobilize internal dialogue and sales strategy with a more product and information-oriented structure. As McGuinness says, “If you think about it, a ‘sales department’ is legacy language. We’re all sellers (with product, packaging, advertising)… Sales shouldn’t be a department onto itself, it has to be integrated.”
You cannot afford to NOT be in sync with all parts of your team. Sales and Marketing must be ONE!