Faced with softer-than-expected earnings, a pullback in digital advertising, and the possibility of layoff, Google is betting that the best idea to right the ship is to look internally. The plan, titled “Simplicity Spirit” is to tap into their 174,000 employees for ideas on how to improve efficiency.

At an all-hands meeting, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai cast his vision to employees to help “create a culture that is more mission-focused, more focused on our products, more customer focused. We should think about how we can minimize distractions and raise the bar on both product excellence and productivity.”

Facebook also pounded the productivity drum, raising concerns with employees and issuing directives that are “turning up the heat” on managing staff performance.

Many items contribute to inefficiencies:

  • Lack of communication between employees and departments
  • Misaligned goals
  • Complex processes/workflows
  • Inadequate technology
  • Lack of planning
  • Poor scheduling
  • Ineffective leadership
  • And more.

Marketing and sales professionals experience inefficiency between departments regularly and the impact is real, especially when it comes to delivering a high-quality customer experience.

A new study, The State of Marketing and Sales Alignment, by the research firm Ascend2 and SharpSpring, found that only 18% of organizations would rate their customer experience as excellent. Yes, there is a lot of room for improved efficiencies.

Overall Customer Experience Chart

(Download the 24-page research report, The State of Marketing and Sales Alignment 2022.)

Sundar Pichai hit on a central goal for marketing and sales, to be more customer-focused. To be customer-focused, marketing and sales must be aligned. Without alignment, customers will have a disjointed customer experience.

What contributes to a disjointed customer experience?

Topping the list at 41% is differing or misaligned goals, followed by complex processes or workflows (36%) and frustration between departments (29%). Communication is at the heart of the problem. Each of the top three factors contributing to a disjointed customer experience point to core communication issues.

Organizational Factors

To be customer focused (and efficient), you must have a unified view of customer data that allows your organization to track the entire customer lifecycle, giving both sales and marketing teams a single source of truth to base decisions on as they carry out their strategies.

Also, focus on better collaboration between marketing and sales. Marketing and sales teams see eye-to-eye on what the most significant barriers are to effective collaboration between them. Communication is by far the most significant challenge according to both teams. We also see here the importance of measuring on the same playing field with varying definitions of success and disparate goals ranking among the top four options for each team.

Top Challenges

How can you improve marketing and sales alignment? Improve alignment by finding common ground, even if it is a complaint. Both marketing and sales are frustrated with insufficient or inaccurate data and underperforming tools or systems creating extra tasks. Both teams want to fix the data and technology problem. One strategy is to focus on fixing the data and technology problems as a team. Finding a common enemy can unify the two groups and improve the overall performance of the organization.

As Google, Facebook, and other companies look to improve efficiency, you can start by looking at marketing and sales alignment, a direct line to impacting revenue.

Download The State of Marketing and Sales Alignment 2022 to learn more about how marketing and sales alignment can improve efficiency in your organization and drive a better customer experience and impact revenue growth.

Rebecca Wentworth