Rackham also endorses -- perhaps in more kindly terms that I typically use -- the notion that marketing groups need to be refocused on generating qualified leads (which he calls "opportunities".) This is a great video that really contains a lot of basic sales wisdom.
Here's a quick summary of what Neil said:
How the disconnect happens:
- Organizations begin with sales but no marketing.
- Marketing starts as a sales support function.
- Marketing then becomes "atmospheric" and "strategic".
- Marketing loses the ability to communicate with sales.
- Sales says marketing gives us bad leads.
- Marketing says sales doesn't follow up on leads.
- There's no common definition of a good lead.
- There's no differentiation between a lead and an opportunity.
- Appoint a "Chief Revenue Officer" who owns both sales and marketing.
- Define an opportunity as a lead that will easily convert to a customer.
- Jointly define which leads are real opportunities.
- Refocus marketing on generating opportunities.
- Create a collaborative, gradual handover from marketing to sales.
- Create gates through which leads are eliminated as "non-opportunities."
Full Disclosure: I write for SellingPower magazine, the producers of this video,
which also has a distribution agreement with BNET for video content.