Sales and marketing alignment: A legitimate debate or more lip motion?

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Is the debate between sales and marketing alignment the b2b industry’s version of Waiting for Godot? If you think about it, the debate is rather Beckett-esque. Two folks wandering through the desert, waiting expectantly for someone named Godot to arrive. Vladimir (sales) and Estragon (marketing) sing, dance and tell stories as they patiently await the arrival of Godot. But even from the get-go we’re reminded of the duo’s utter futility when, after struggling to remove his boot from his foot, Estragon eventually gives up, muttering, "Nothing to be done." It reminds us of what, for some b2b precincts, has been the interminable debate about sales and marketing alignment. It begs the question: Is the current rage about sales and marketing alignment different because of the proliferation of marketing automation programs and the squeeze on budgets? Or is the technology just a half-baked remedy if sales and marketing execs refuse to communicate on human terms? So, if you were suddenly given power of the purse and made King Bee,  what would you do? Ben Bradley, one of our contributing writers and  managing director of Macon Raine, a management consulting, marketing and lead generation company, is working on an article about  aligning marketing compensation with sales, which is being made possible by CRM and marketing automation. With all the accountability provided by CRM and marketing automation – and with budgets for sales and marketing shrinking – we’d love to get your opinion what you would do if you suddenly decided to pay your marketing people the same way you compensate sales reps?
  • How would you quantify marketing's contribution to sales?
  • How would you redefine your compensation plans so that marketing was paid based on "marketing's contribution" to the sales pipeline?
  • What are the dangers of pay for performance marketing compensation?
  • What could go wrong with this kind of alignment? What risks do you see?
  • What kind of formula would you use to define your compensation?
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ZoomInfo has been a B2B data front-runner for more than a decade. We're constantly engineering technologies to make our business information second to none. ZoomInfo creates just-verified, detailed profiles of 95 million businesspeople and seven million businesses. We make our data available to you through powerful tools for lead generation, prospecting and recruiting.

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