In Marketing

Sales and marketing teams working in silos could destroy an SME. Here’s why collaboration is key, but is it possible? Diego Lunardi explores.

The silo effect – where groups or teams within a company become isolated from each other and work too independently – is often portrayed exclusively as a large company phenomenon. But nothing could be further from the truth. Many ambitious SME owners will be only too familiar with the difficulty of ensuring that everyone is ‘on the same page’ and collaborating to keep the company’s interests at heart.

This is a common source of frustration when it comes to the sales team and their dynamic with marketing. HubSpot’s latest “State of Inbound” global report reveals that only a quarter (26%) of over 6000 respondents say their sales and marketing teams are “tightly aligned”. In some respects it’s not surprising – sales people are naturally target-orientated, and we incentivise them to be so, which can engender a culture of short-termism where they forge ahead without sufficient consideration for brand values, solution-based selling or relationship development. Equally, marketing bears a responsibility to engage closely with those at the coalface of customer and prospect outreach.

At worst, this disconnect can derail company performance. I noticed an article in the Harvard Business Review recently that described the case of a Fortune 250 company that had analysed the reasons for a product failure and pinpointed “misaligned goals between marketing and sales” as the chief culprit. Not the product itself, nor the sales team’s performance. If this is the consequence for a large enterprise, the impact at SME level will be felt far more acutely.

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