Thursday 28 October 2010

Is there a Sales and Marketing Alignment Problem?

What do your colleagues feel about the how well your Sales and Marketing teams work together?

Want a rough defintion of Sales and Marketing Alignment?

How about:

“A state of agreement or cooperation among Sales and Marketing, with a common cause or viewpoint.”

So is there coperation with a common cause, something like Revenue or not?

Tim Reisterer and Diane Emo wrote in "Customer Message Managment" a little section on "Is there a Problem". Tim and Diane suggest that you ask the following:

Is there a Sales and Marketing Alignment Problem?

My Role is:

I think that we have a Sales and Marketing Alignment problem because:

The challenges that could prevent us from correcting this problem are:

The company goals or projects that will suffer most if we don’t correct the problem are:

Could you answer those questions?

More importantly, could they be answered acrosss your company?

Would there be some agreement between Sales and Marketing on the answers?

Hey, you don't need any consultants to do this.

Why not give it a go?

If you want a nice Word Document or pdf with these questions , just drop me a line Rod Sloane.

Is there a Sales and Marketing Alignment Problem?

Friday 1 October 2010

Interview with John Watton CMO of ShipServ

My interview with John Watton

John has 20 years’ marketing leadership experience in the IT and telecommunications industry, spanning software, managed services and outsourcing. Before joining ShipServ, John was Director of Global Marketing for telecoms software pioneer Cramer Systems, where he was responsible for marketing communications and demand generation worldwide. In 2006 Cramer was acquired by Amdocs in one of the biggest ever deals involving a European software business.

Previously, John held marketing management positions at Microsoft, Ariba, SAP and Oracle.

John has received many awards in recognition of his marketing leadership and in 2009 was named Marketer of the Year by B2B Marketing Magazine. He has a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Manchester.

Wednesday 29 September 2010

Grey is the enemy of successful Sales and Marketing Alignment.

You won’t achieve long lasting Sales and Marketing Alignment by fudging it, by compromising or by being fluffy!

Look at the CMO’s who have achieved successful new working practises such as Christine Crandell. You have to take a straightforward black and white approach. Know what you want, Know what you cab achieve and just do that.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you take outlandish risks or bet the farm on this. Your responsibility is not to change the world; it’s just to get a few sales and marketing people working closer together.

Why not start with those who are open to your ideas of collaboration and cooperation?

Remember don’t shoot the collaborators, instead praise them.

Keep it simple

Keep it black and white.

Ditch the grey!

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Are you going to the 2010 Marketing and Sales Alignment Executive Forum?

I am, it looks an excellent event that Corporate Visions have put together with some good speakers.
Particularly looking forward to the Case Study presentations.

If you are going, please say hello to this Englishman.

I've never been to Lake Tahoe or even Nevada before.

I bet that weather at Lake Tahoe is warmer than London, in October.
Now that is something you can bet on!

Monday 13 September 2010


Does your company have a formal statement of it's culture?

Is it public?

Can I read it on your website?

If not, why not?

This statement is often referred to as your Core Values. If you think this is somewhat namby-pamby for my No-Bull style, can I just suggest that businesses such as IBM, Accenture and Tesco all publish their Core Values.
That’s good enough for me.

Do your Core Values document how staff are expected to behave to each other?

How are staff told about this & how is it maintained?

Does your culture effect hiring and firing?

Would you hire a "star performer" who could help the biz but who probably doesn't fit your culture?

Does your staff know it and believe it?

How are staff expected to include culture into their normal work practice?

Does this all come from top down?

Are you driven by the personality, focus & goals of your current CEO?

Do sales and marketing follow it?

If you have all this, then why do you have a Sales and Marketing Alignment problem?

Tuesday 24 August 2010

Alignment on the SNCF

I must have been a pretty horrible 16 year old.

Arrogant, spotty and sullen.

Correction….I was a pretty horrible 16 year old.

How did my parents decide to deal with this Rebel-without-a-Cause?

In the summer holidays they packed me off, on my own, to a family they knew in France. That was some selling job my father did.

So there I am with my Scout rucksack, sitting in a packed, 8 seat, old fashioned, compartment on the SNCF from Gare du Lyon to Dijon, surrounded by Gauloises smoking, Pernod drinking, L’Equipe reading locals. I was out of my comfort zone and to make matters worse I had an incorrect ticket and le chemin de fer inspecteur had just entered our compartment.

You know what was going through my mind?

‘These Frenchies are just pretending that they cannot speak English. In a minute they are all going to start helping me and speaking the Queen’s English.’

And guess what…they didn’t.

Quelle domage.

To the amusement of my fellow travellers, I had to muddle through with my dodgy O Level French. And I did, somehow. That inspecteur must have been a patient man.

Fast forward three weeks, and I am travelling back to Blighty on the ferry from Calais to Dover and I accidentally bump into a middle aged man. He apologised to me in English and I apologised to him in French. In French! I had even begun to think in French.

Had I achieved this by studying the systems, process and technology in France?


What I had begun to do was understand, appreciate and like the culture, language and people of France.

Culture, Language and People.

So, if you want your sales and marketing teams to start respecting, trusting and working together, rather than the current mistrust, then you need to get them understanding, apreciaiting and even liking their respective culture language and people.

The good news is that you don’t have to be stuck in a railway compartment to start your journey.


A bientot!

Friday 13 August 2010

Melting the Cold War between Sales and Marketing.

I’m a child of the Cold War. Remember all that stuff? Spying, B52 Bombers and David Hasselhoff singing on top of the Berlin Wall, (sorry about that last image!) The only good thing to come out of that conflict was “Dr. Strangelove”.

But is it really over? Over in your business?

Are sale and marketing good buddies inside your business. Or are they just comrades?

What was the real cost or the real Cold War? Lots of budget spent on expensive hardware and systems that were never used. Thank God. Sound familiar?

So what resolved the real Cold War?

Was it computers and technology? No

Was it systems and processes? Uh?

Was it from breakthroughs thanks to consultants and trainers? You cannot be serious! Are you?

It was good old fashion economics, the allocation of scarce resources that caused one side to change. Thankfully they did.

And it’s only going to be economic and market forces that will cause the Cold War in your organisation to melt. You aren’t going to fix this with a blow torch or an ice axe.

That drive for change has started in most businesses and markets. Just remember technology cannot help you much, talking and dialogue can go a lot further.

When did you last have a Sales and Marketing Alignment workshop in your company?

I better the answer is never.

OK. Don’t worry I just made that term up. But what is stopping you?

Yes, I know your CRM will not allow you to schedule it, and it might ensure that you don’t hit your KPIs or it might negatively impact your value proposition.

Or maybe, just maybe it’s just time to get started on the real work, real d├ętente, real discussion.

Please don’t stick your head into the ice, it maybe a cool way to prospect, but don’t expect to succeed for long.

Get Aligned Comrade!

Friday 16 July 2010

What is the real benefit of working on Sales and Marketing Alignment in your business?

Let’s be straight about this, Sales and Marketing Alignment isn’t easy.

If it was every business would have achieved it, wouldn’t they?

When you work on Sales and Marketing Alignment in your business you will
come across all types of responses from indifference to outright hostility.

So why bother?

Working on your Sales and Marketing Alignment is only worth the effort if you want to:

•Retain existing customers

•Acquire new customers

•Improve forecast accuracy

•Have more salespeople hitting quota

•Get more qualified opportunities/leads

If they are important to you, then get started, today..

You could do worse than pick up a copy of my latest book
“Alignment – The Secret to Getting your Sales and Marketing Teams Working Together!”

What ever you do…

Get Started …


Monday 12 July 2010

All I am saying is give Sales and Marketing Alignment a chance

Everybody’s talking about Sales2.0, Web 2.0 and Social Media
All I am saying is give Sales and Marketing Alignment a chance

Everybody’s talking about B2B, B2C, NBC and BBC
All I am saying is give Sales and Marketing Alignment a chance

Everybody’s talking systems, processes and technology
All I am saying is give Sales and Marketing Alignment a chance

Everybody’s talking about world-class effective customer conversations, differentiated marketing messages and buying process-aligned tools.
All I am saying is give Sales and Marketing Alignment a chance

Repeat for as long as you want

Apologies to Dr Winston O Boogie

Friday 18 June 2010

Sales and Marketing Alignment Myth #1...Solve it with Technology

Have you received the email?

You know, the one that tells you that you can solve all your sales and marketing alignment issues, develop more opportunities, make more revenue, date Beyonce if you just buy and install the new wiz bang software. It might be called CRM, ERP, Sales 2.0, Marketing 2.0, Buying 2.0 or by it's real name Bull 2.0

You have probably been invited to THE Conference or...

Sat through that all promising, lipsmacking, motavatin', acetalkin' webinar.

Buy the software, plug it in, buy some consulting too, and you're off to see the Wizard!

Well sorry , I have to disagree.

I'm no Luddite, yes technology is important but it's the icing on the cake, NOT the cake.

You have plenty of work ahead internally before you have to install some new software.

You need to focus on your Culture, your Language and your People.

Maybe, I should hire a programmer from Elance and write CLP 2.0

Monday 26 April 2010

Do you need to change the way you market and sell your services in 2010?

"Given the current economic climate do you think that companies need to review and change the way they market and sell their products and services?"

This was a question I was recently asked...

Yes, let’s face it prospects are now better informed than ever before, they can go and speak to your existing and past customers relatively easily. They have often formed an opinion about what you offer way before you enter into dialogue with them. What can you do?

Engage, engage, engage before you sell, sell, sell

We all need to market smarter, more often .

A good place to start is with your marketing plan, you do have a marketing plan don’t you?

Wednesday 14 April 2010

April Webinar: How to Align your Sales and Marketing for More Revenue

Please join me for my April 2010 Webinar: "How to Align your Sales and Marketing for More Revenue"

Date: Tuesday April 20th
Start: 2pm GST, 9am EDT
Duration: 30 Minutes

Register here

Hope you can make on the 20th.

Friday 9 April 2010

Jeremy Nicholas interviews me about "Alignment"

BBC Broadcaster, Jeremy Nicholas, recently interviewed me about my new book "Alignment"

Here is a link to the recording.

Hope you enjoy

Thursday 25 March 2010

What exactly is Sales and Marketing Alignment?

There is a lot of buzz at the moment about Sales and Marketing Alignment.

A lack of sales and marketing alignment, has been given as the reason why so many sales guys never got anywhere near quota in 2009.

But what exactly is Sales and Marketing Alignment?

Is it simply sophisticated lead generation, an excuse for a larger technology investment or a new way of banging sales and marketing heads together?

Any ideas?

Thursday 4 February 2010

"Even Usain Bolt can't run your Sales and Marketing Alignment for you!"

Listen, the stats do vary. Now, if you're in marketing you'll say to me show me that stats. But the trends in North America may be different in Europe? If you're in sales, you might respond by saying let's not argue over the maths, interpret them for me and tell me what it means and what I can do about it.

So, here goes......

Sales Cycles are too long, way too long, aren't they?

The Cost on New Client Acquisition is too high, isn't it?

Most of the marketing material is incomprehensible, not relevant to my market, plain useless

The Leads that Marketing passes to Sales are a bunch of crap

And Sales is just too damn lazy to do anything with the great leads they receive from marketing

Something is rotten in the state of sales and marketing working together.

But luckily the Calvary is at hand, all we need to do is to install the latest technology, grab a dashboard and embrace Sales2.0 then we can all reach the new Promised Land of Sales and Marketing Alignment, all reach our targets and go party in Vegas or Blackpool (Blackpool is the UK's version of Vegas, honest!).

Technology can save the day for us, can't it?


Sales and Marketing Alignment is NOT all about the technology you employ. It's about your people, your language and your culture.

Now, don't get me wrong I'm not some sort of Luddite that belittles technology, but it's the icing on the cake not the basic cake mix itself. Let's bake a decent cake first with all those simple ingredients. You do know how to bake a cake don't you? No, neither do I.

Now' here's a bigger problem than cake making, this all takes time, people, language, culture and finally adding technology.

Even Usain Bolt couldn't get you to the Promised Land in less than 24 months.

So, if you are serious about improving the long term sales efficiency and results in your company in the next twelve months. Then, you need to start working on your Sales and Marketing Alignment, this quarter, this month, this frigging week, dude!

It take time, if you wait till 2011, to start your Sales and Marketing Alignment, then you are not only in danger of getting run over by your competition, but you and your team's earnings well drop and some may even lose their jobs.

Start on Sales and Marketing Alignment today!

Start Now!