Research Reveals Gaps in Customer Intelligence and Experience Delivery Limiting Opportunities to Grow Revenue and Empower the Customer-Centric Enterprise

SAN JOSE, CALIF. (Sept. 19, 2017)—Delivery of true, multi-channel customer experience has become the latest area where sales and marketing leaders are testing the boundaries of their relationship status—understanding and cooperating on what’s needed, but neither taking the lead (or risk) for ownership and operation of this emerging area of business value creation.

According to new research from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, SAP Hybris and SellingPower magazine, only 7 percent of sales leaders and 9 percent of chief marketing executives view themselves as the owner of the customer experience, leaving this vital revenue-directing opportunity area without oversight and collective direction. 

The report, entitled “Customer Experience Dynamics: Defining the Requirements for a Strong CX Ecosystem,” notes that 61 percent of sales executives and 57 percent of marketing leaders have aligned around the definition of customer experience. Both agree that the term embraces a comprehensive strategy for assessing how the enterprise engages, reacts and proactively relates with customers in their moment of need and in the channels that they expect. Old bitterness over perceived “marketing buzzwords” is gone as only 7 percent of sales leaders feel that “customer experience” is just jargon. 

Both functional leaders believe that their individual mandate centers around growth, with sales being directed to capture and acquire new customers and marketing having a mandate to accelerate revenue growth. However, only 14 percent of sales and 12 percent of marketing professionals believe their organization’s ability to deliver connected, personalized, contextual experiences is exceptional, regardless of channel and across the entire organization.

“Yes, sales and marketing are finally singing from the same customer experience song sheet, fully aligned on definitions and overarching mandates for revenue growth,” noted Liz Miller, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the CMO Council. “But a single song sheet is not enough to actually develop and execute a company-wide customer-focused strategy that reaches beyond the execution of a couple connected campaigns. What is needed is strong leadership and vision, bolstered with the insight and intelligence that can power each function’s goals for growth and customer value creation.“

Few sales or marketing executives believe they have the tools or technology in place to drive a strategy across the entire organization, feeling that they are better set up to execute limited sales or marketing campaigns rather than an organization-wide customer experience strategy. According to 35 percent of sales executives and 38 percent of marketing leaders, data and customer intelligence are limited to insights pulled from within sales or marketing silos. Fewer than one in four sales executives and only 39 percent of marketers believe they have total access to a comprehensive view of the customer.

“For too long, sales and marketing have quarreled over definitions, fighting for control of political leverage within the confines of the organization,” noted Gerhard Gschwandtner, Founder and CEO of SellingPower magazine. “This friction has only had one casualty: the customer. The question will no longer be why sales and marketing can’t work together, but what the cost of the conflict will be as the dynamic chips away at the ability to deliver experiences and meet mandates for revenue acceleration and growth.”

The report features an outline of a customer experience ecosystem, as defined by the 198 sales and 169 marketing executives taking part in the survey. The model places the customer at the center of business decisions and interaction, with the enterprise ecosystem defining where and how cross-functional teams lead, influence or contribute to the delivery of customer experience. 

  • The Leaders: The chief marketing officer, chief sales/revenue officer and chief executive officer are owners and core developers of the CX strategy.

  • The Influencers: The COO, eCommerce and marketing teams are tapped as key influencers to CX delivery.

  • The Intelligence Contributors: Finance and HR are seen as key contributors to the overall view of the customer.

  • The Front Line: In-store operations, supply chain and procurement stand alongside the sales teams and retail partners as the front line to CX delivery.

  • Key functions including field sales, customer service, support and supplier and vendor networks assume dual roles as key execution partners and key contributors to customer intelligence.

“To really capitalize on our customer’s desire and expectation for experiences, we must start with a corporate ecosystem that is purpose-built to deliver customer experiences…this isn’t a problem that a technology-only approach can somehow solve,” noted Marcus Reubsam, Senior Vice President for SAP Hybris. “This is about accepting that the customer is a living being, complete with thoughts that can change behaviors in a moment. This live customer must be engaged through a live business—one that can shift and adapt in context of each customer, strengthened by real-time insights and an empathetic understanding of each customer.”

To download the complimentary report, visit An infographic outlining the Customer Experience Ecosystem is available at The findings of the study will be discussed at Sales 3.0 in Las Vegas, Nev., on Sept. 19.

About the CMO Council

The Chief Marketing Officer (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 12,500-plus members control more than $500 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include more than 30,000 global executives in more than 110 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, India and Africa. The council's strategic interest groups include the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE), Mobile Relationship Marketing (MRM) Strategies,,, Marketing Supply Chain Institute, Customer Experience Board, Digital Marketing Performance Institute, GeoBranding Center and the Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience (FAME). For more information, visit

About SAP Hybris

SAP Hybris delivers state-of-the-art customer data management, context-driven marketing tools and unified commerce processes for all your channels. Our products deliver a consistent and relevant experience to customers across every channel and on every device. It transforms how a business engages with its customers, and that’s what keeps people coming back to them and why they come back to us. Everything we make is designed to simplify the experience for the customer and for business. And everything we make allows businesses to react quickly to change so they don’t get left behind. Learn more at

About SellingPower

SellingPower is a multi-channel media company serving the needs of sales leaders for designing, creating and running the most productive and successful sales organization. Every month, over 100,000 sales professionals visit SellingPower to learn the best practices for aligning people, process and technology. SellingPower magazine is the most trusted source for sales management, sales enablement and sales operations executives. SellingPower also creates a daily video interview featuring bestselling authors, business leaders, sales enablement and sales operations experts. SellingPower also runs three sales technology conferences a year, helping sales leaders master the challenges involved in digital transformation. Learn more at