How to Fix the Sales and Marketing Alignment Problem

The Sales and Marketing Alignment Problem

Today I spent some time trolling through Marketing Director Job postings on in the Boston area. It’s one my new business development activities. It’s absolutely amazing what you can learn from these job postings.

Most of the job posts focus on brand building, creating collateral and attending trade shows. Many also talk about the requirement of having a dynamic and fun personality.

However, very few postings talk about the ability to pull reports from a CRM system like, marketing automation tools or being able to log into Google Analytics or Adwords and figure out what is going on under the hood.

God forbid a CEO asks a Marketing Director to install SPSS and start drilling into the CRM database.

In contrast, today’s VP of Sales needs to know the numbers cold. They need to know the sales pipeline, close rates of the sales team and more. Fortunately, if the company has or another decent CRM system in place, these numbers are at their figure tips. Most of VP of Sales postings today are asking sales managers to have skills. This lack of analytical capability in the role of the Marketing Director is a real problem today.

Today more and more companies are relying on the web for inbound marketing, marketing automation and ecommerce as a core revenue channel. The role has become highly technical. While many of the postings say the role must be analytical few specify any details. This lack of analytical capability also creates a serious accountability problem. It also puts the Marketing Director at a disadvantage with a CFO when having to justify expenditures.

The solution to this problem is for CEOs to demand these number crunching skills in this role. Marketing Directors need to get smart fast. They cannot use the “I’m right brained creative” excuse anymore. They need to spend the time learning about the new tools that will allow them to justify their existence to the CEO, CFO and the board. They need to be able to sit in a management team meeting and demonstrate the ROI of their marketing programs.

They need to crack open Google Analytics and understand which keywords deliver visitors to the company website. They should be comfortable driving around in Adwords to see if their agency is doing their job. The new marketing director role should be able to open up the CRM system and track all closed deals back to individual marketing campaigns. Once marketing transitions to a more metrics based approach to their role, the alignment of sales and marketing will finally begin.

Am I asking too much of this role?