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January 17, 2022

How Functional Silos Can Undermine Marketing Team Performance

By Scott Dame, Content Specialist

Although their methodologies differ, marketing and sales teams share a fundamental objective: to increase revenue.

It’s logical, then, that those teams would share information and align themselves strategically toward their common goals. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

From the marketing perspective, it’s easy to become isolated when focusing on tasks like ad campaigns, content creation, SEO, social media, analytics, and graphic design. This siloing can occur within and among departments, but either way, communication and collaboration between sales and marketing are necessities for growth, especially in the B2B world.

This blog post spotlights the imperative to obliterate the silos that separate sales and marketing and examines methods for incorporating these improvements.

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Highly collaborative marketing teams are more successful

Several surveys confirm this statement. Here is a sample of the data: 

  • 93% of marketers agree that collaboration across marketing and analytics teams is essential to driving results
  • 86% of executives identify ineffective collaboration and communication as a major cause of failure in business 
  • 3 in 4 employers rate teamwork and collaboration as “very important” 
  • 33% of employees said a lack of open, honest communication has the most negative impact on employee morale 
  • Sales and marketing alignment makes organizations 67% more effective at closing deals 
  • Companies with aligned sales and marketing teams have 36% higher customer retention 

Understanding that it’s best practice for teams to collaborate is just the first step. B2B leaders must also implement practical processes to eliminate functional silos. 

Agile marketing uses teamwork to boost efficiency

Marketing teams that move quickly, work iteratively, and use data to inform their decisions have the most success.

Agile marketing is an adaptive methodology allowing team members to respond to change, deal with small failures, and quickly adjust their strategy to drive growth. Agile marketers are usually more focused on incremental accomplishments that consistently move a project forward and less concerned with set-in-stone policies and procedures. 

Agile marketing techniques embrace flexibility, responding to customer needs, and utilizing real-time data. While traditional marketing involves developing a product, service, or content initiative and incorporating a full-scale campaign launch, agile marketing is intelligent, fast, and flexible. 

Agile marketing teams break down the silos and hierarchies of a traditional team and use collaboration to their advantage. They have regular meetings, and every member contributes to each project using their unique skills. 

This level of cooperation goes hand-in-hand with agility; instead of focusing on individual long-term projects, team members are all working together to achieve the goals they set together at the beginning of each sprint. Collaboration also allows team members to adjust their plans and strategies based on what has been successful in other projects. 

ABM automation makes lead generation more efficient

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a B2B marketing strategy that concentrates sales and marketing efforts onto a defined audience. Businesses use customer relationship management (CRM) platforms such as HubSpot to streamline ABM processes. 

HubSpot helps marketing and sales teams cohesively manage leads. For example, HubSpot allows you to build “workflows,” or automation sequences, to manage leads at different stages of the buyer's journey. HubSpot's tools identify, sort, and create action steps for leads in your database, which can lead to increased: 

  • Cooperation between marketing and sales
  • Efficiency of your ABM processes 
  • Closed-deal percentages

Ultimately, marketing should learn from sales what helps convert leads to customers, and sales should learn from marketing the types of content leads find most engaging. Since salespeople commonly have the most direct access to decision-makers, they can re-examine buyer motivations and better speak to varying roles in B2B decision-making processes. This learning environment is part of the collaborative mechanism that allows sales and marketing teams to excel and is created by removing functional silos. 

Sources:

Think With Google, Better together: Why integrating data strategy, teams, and technology leads to marketing success, June, 2017 

Salesforce Canada, How Soft Skills Are Crucial to Your Business, August 20, 2014 

Queens University, Communicating in the Modern Workplace 

Recruiter, Survey: Poor Communication Largest Factor in Morale Problems 

Marketo, Top 10 Findings from the Sales and Marketing Alignment Study, 2013 

InsiderView, Top 10 Findings from the Sales and Marketing Alignment Study 

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