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More than 70 Percent of Revenue Leaders Say Data Management is a High Priority

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InsideView Alignment Report 2020 Highlights the Essential Role of Data, Target Accounts, and Interpersonal Communication in Sales and Marketing Alignment

 InsideView, the leader in B2B data and intelligence, today announced the results of its third sales and marketing alignment report, “Unlocking Revenue Performance in the New Normal” based on a survey of sales, marketing, and operations leaders. This data builds on the original research that fueled the best-selling book, Aligned to Achieve .

The new report highlights what companies can do to align sales, marketing, and operations. It uncovers the top challenges to alignment, with findings that customer data and data management are now at the crux of the problem. In addition, companies that put customer data at the center of their sales and marketing alignment are more successful. According to the report, 71% of respondents rank CRM data quality as a very high priority, and show that companies with sales and marketing teams that agree on key accounts are 1.5 times more likely to exceed revenue goals than those that don’t.

For a discussion of the report results, join InsideView CMO Tracy Eiler and Mary Shea, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, in the upcoming webinar, “Unlocking Revenue Performance.” The webinar will provide practical advice on how to pivot revenue targets and align sales, marketing, and operations to focus on actions with the most impact.

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“Customer data is at the heart of alignment, as well as a number of high-priority business initiatives, including ABM, AI, and sales effectiveness,” said Tracy Eiler, CMO of InsideView and co-author of the book Aligned to Achieve. “Now, more than ever, the care and feeding of business data should be the highest priority. Businesses are shifting staff and priorities, and economic uncertainty can lead to opportunities. Revenue leaders instinctively know that the accuracy and health of customer and prospect data is crucial no matter which programs you’re building on top.”

The report surveyed sales, marketing and operations leaders worldwide. The top three challenges to sales and marketing alignment are:

  1. Lack of accurate/complete data on target accounts and prospects (50 percent)
  2. Communication (47 percent)
  3. Broken and flawed processes (44 percent)

The survey was conducted in the early months of 2020, as COVID-19 was spreading worldwide and the economic impact was coming to the fore. These findings are even more relevant as sales and marketing teams reimagine their new normal. Companies that need to refresh account strategies or pivot are relying on expanded insights to choose the right targets. The report points to the need for a customer data management strategy. Despite the high priority of CRM data quality, most companies don’t yet have a plan to address it. One-quarter (24 percent) of respondents said they don’t do anything to keep sales and marketing data clean. Another 41 percent said they only do manual maintenance based on data governance rules. This adds up to two-thirds of companies doing little to nothing to improve the quality of their sales and marketing data. This disparity between intent and action is notable.

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Communications was cited as the second biggest challenge to alignment across all revenue leaders, but sales leaders ranked it number one. The breakdown in communications isn’t surprising, considering that the report also points out that these teams don’t align on meaningful metrics or communicate regularly enough. According to the survey, 39 percent of sales and marketing teams meet quarterly or less frequently to discuss pipeline. Seventeen percent said they never meet. The report recommends increasing the lines of communication to agree on key accounts, metrics, and processes in order to ensure revenue performance. Process issues were the third highest ranked issue, ranging from things such as lead and opportunity definitions, lead-to-account mapping, and target account selection. These issues can all be addressed with a strong data management strategy.

“Unlocking Revenue Performance in the New Normal” surveyed more than 400 sales, marketing, and operations professionals worldwide in February and March 2020.

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