CMO Council Releases Best Practice Report on Ways to Bridge and Bind Global Sales and Marketing Teams

90-Page Report Based On Multi-National Engagement and Invention Sessions With 100 Senior Executives in New York, London, Paris, Sao Paulo, Sydney and Silicon Valley

PALO ALTO, Calif. (Aug. 12, 2008) — In a milestone qualitative research initiative, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council has released an in-depth global report on how corporate executives can bridge the yawning gap between marketing and sales teams and better align these two critical functions to drive business performance and revenue growth. The report was prepared with the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE), a CMO Council strategic interest community of 5,000 sales professionals worldwide.

The 90-page report, entitled “Scenarios and Solutions: Mapping the Traps and Sales Effectiveness Gaps” draws heavily from day-long strategic invention sessions with more than 100 global marketing and sales leaders who convened for interactive discussions in New York, London, Paris, Sao Paulo, Sydney and San Francisco earlier this year. Tasked with probing the roots of the marketing/sales “disconnect” and finding ways to resolve it, the workshops included peer-level debate, thought leadership presentations from 12 subject matter experts and creative visual documentation of consensus views and opinions.

The workshops explored a variety of critical marketing and sales issues that plague corporations across the globe and are common across most cultures and countries. The in-person gatherings expanded on quantitative research undertaken by CLOSE and the CMO Council in the first half of 2008, which surveyed hundreds of sales and marketing professionals around the world. This comprehensive survey report is also available as an extension of the best practice study from the CMO Council web site.

Among the disconnects was the view commonly shared by sales professionals who consider up to 90 percent of sales materials created by marketing as valueless. In contrast, the majority of marketers view most of the sales-created content as diluting the brand or inaccurately positioning the product. Compounding matters, marketing and sales typically operate on different time frames. Sales most typically works on a 30- to 90-day timeline and measures goals quarterly. Marketing, by contrast, works on a 12 to 24-month cycle and measures accomplishments annually. The two functions don’t even share the same vocabulary, workshop participants revealed. Sales, for example, typically views a lead as a prospect who has expressed interest in a particular product, while marketing often views a lead as a contact who has downloaded a white paper from a Web site. And while marketing and sales professionals criticize and blame each other, their customers – the ultimate target of their efforts – get lost in the shuffle.

The brainstorming sparked the underpinnings of consensus views, which are captured in the report in the form of 10 essential best practices. The overarching recommendation was that the corporate suite must proactively confront “gap” issues, establish marching orders and give marketing the authority to oversee the entire go-to-market process, including sales. Marketing was viewed as best positioned to put the customer at the epicenter of the business and to lead the critical customer data integration, profiling and analytics process to extract more actionable intelligence and insight. Marketing was also seen as owning the customer experience and ensuring all operational, organizational and cultural elements were centered on this.

“Marketing and sales should not be struggling for common ground and engaging in a struggle for power,” said Liz Miller, vice president of operations of the CMO Council, whose 3,500-members in 57 countries control more than $100 billion in annual marketing spend. “Instead,” Miller said, “the functions should be tightly coupled to drive business performance and improve lead quality and conversion rates. In fact, there is an urgent need for marketing and sales to align and embrace technologies, processes and programs that enable wider and deeper customer conversions.”

The Scenarios & Solutions thought leadership study was sponsored by Oracle and The Wall Street Journal as part of an underwriting grant for the Coalition To Leverage And Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE), a CMO Council strategic interest network with 5,000 members in 72 countries. CLOSE members are drawn from global companies like American Express, Motorola, Avon, Deloitte, Oracle, SAS, Siemens, Fujitsu, Kimberly Clark, AT&T, Alcatel-Lucent, Nortel, Expedia, Symantec, Novartis, Boston Consulting Group, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Ricoh/IBM, Avaya, CA, JP Morgan Chase, Xerox and George P. Johnson.

A free executive summary of the report or the full report, priced at $199, can be downloaded at

About The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council
The CMO Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide range of global industries. The CMO Council’s 3,500 members control more than $90 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and manage complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide, In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include more than 6,000 global executives across 57 countries in multiple industries, segments and markets.

About the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE)
The Coalition To Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE) is a CMO Council strategic interest network and online community channel that will help sales, marketing and channel professionals further their interactions, increase understanding of their allied functional areas, and provide the necessary tools, techniques and best practices for improved customer acquisition and value building. Founded by the CMO Council, in partnership with Oracle and The Wall Street Journal, the organization answers a need initially voiced by the senior marketing executive membership of the CMO Council – to have a community that would allow sales and marketing executives to connect with each other in order to work together to empower sales, maximize marketing efforts as a primary sales support function, and to provide a robust informational resource to develop best practices in sales. CLOSE has 5,000 members in 72 countries.

Steve Kaufman
Global Fluency
(650) 433-4145