Inbound marketing is often a one-person operation, when it’s really a team sport. Imagine your team’s MVPs not only sitting on the sidelines, but not even aware of your game schedule. That happens all too often with inbound. A small, even one-person, marketing team is handling inbound and content marketing, possibly with the help of an inbound marketing agency, without true buy-in or contribution from anyone else in the organization, particularly sales, and even the CEO.
This happens all too often. In fact, recently, we witnessed the marketing director of a company meet the key sales team of the organization for the first time in a meeting. Our agency requested this meeting when in need of talking to subject matter experts with intimate knowledge of their sales process and certain products. The sales team had no idea who we were, what inbound marketing was, or that their company was trying to bring them more qualified leads. HOLD. THE. PHONE.
Okay. We were on a web conference, but you get my point.
The black hole between inbound marketing and sales
I could offer at least three or four other first-hand examples of the vast disconnect between marketing and sales in organizations, but I’m sure, if you’re reading this, you relate.
At HubSpot’s annual INBOUND conference, just two weeks ago, that was an overwhelmingly common topic. The abyss between inbound marketing and sales was spoken about from sessions run by fellow HubSpot agencies all the way up to the big stage, where HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan spoke passionately in his keynote, about the serious disconnect most companies have between sales and marketing. All of us 14,000 marketers listening felt his pain.
Renowned HubSpot and content marketing evangelist Marcus Sheridan, a.k.a. The Sales Lion, hit the nail on the head. The lack of inbound buy-in across organizations completely destroys inbound results.
The standing-room-only crowd in his session at INBOUND all nodded our heads in unison.
- The sales team doesn’t know what the marketing team is doing (isn’t all marketing about sales at the end of the day?)
- Only one person in the company knows about the content being produced.
- The sales team isn’t contributing to content topics (they’re only the one answering customers' and prospects’ questions).
- The sales team isn’t using or sharing the content assets being produced.
- The CEO, CMO, CFO can not truly “define” inbound marketing.
- The leads that come in are going to sales, and then what?
- The executive team doesn’t really understand how Google works (of course! Brilliant!)
- And on and on…
This is the struggle we’re working to overcome at our agency as well. Not everyone in our clients’ organizations truly “get” inbound and aren’t a part of the starting lineup. It’s something we’re working diligently to resolve.
What do you think? Do you have full inbound buy-in in your company or with your clients? Not sure? We can help bridge the gap.