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Is it time to replace the term sales and marketing alignment?

finding a new term for sales and marketing alignmentAs a marketing professional who works closely with a sales team, selling to sales executives… having a sales and marketing alignment process is easy. What is challenging is coming up with a name for this process. There are names for every other sales and marketing function, why can't we agree on a better term for 'sales and marketing alignment?

Who drives the alignment?

Does marketing drive the alignment with sales or visa versa? It probably depends on your organization's culture and leadership experience. For instance, some companies have a Chief Marketing Officer responsible for the sales and marketing process, while other companies have a Chief Revenue Officer. If the organization has both titles, who drives the alignment? In this case, it's probably the CEO. Why don't we just create a new C-Level title like CMSAO (Chief Marketing and Sales Alignment Officer)

Shouldn't there be a number associated with the process?

We already have Web 2.0 and Sales 2.0. So should this be Sales V2.1.1.1 or just Sales and Marketing 3.0?

The new flavors of sales and marketing terminology

I’ll try not to date myself, but before the internet and sales/marketing automation, things were simpler. Advertising managers managed ads. Direct mail companies sent out direct mail. It was simple and the title described the job. Today, there are a thousand different titles for people doing essentially the same thing.

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I think I heard this conversation recently around the virtual water cooler.

"Can your demand generation manager talk with my digital marketing director and coordinate with our sales operations, sales engagement, sales acceleration and demand creation team?

(side note: My SEO manager is having a breakdown trying to figure out what focus keyword to use for this article.)

Up until recently I didn’t even realize there was a difference between lead generation and demand generation. I had to look it up on Wikipedia.

Then there’s the term “smarketing”. To me it just doesn’t see seem very smart.

Even the analyst firms can’t agree on what terms to use.

Sirius Decisions has a Demand Creation program. Forrester lumps everything under B2B Marketing. Aberdeen uses the term Marketing Effectiveness and Sales Effectiveness.

OMG - perhaps we should just use an acronym

Perhaps we should just use internet acronyms like SAMA, MASE, RGP, BEP, or CAUIA  (see below for definitions)

Suggestions for new sales and marketing alignment terms

Since we all need to get along, and I’m running long on my word count, my suggestion is that marketing executives need to admit that their job is part of the revenue generation process. So my recommendation is to use the term Revenue Generation Process (RGP). There is also a school of thought that we should keep our processes should be focused on the buyer so how about Buyer Engagement Process (BEP). These terms are simple, descriptive, and accurate. After all, don't we all need to get along and generate the revenue?

Acronym Glossary:

SAMA: Sales and Marketing Alignment

MASE: Marketing and Sales Effectiveness

RGP: Revenue Generation Process

BEP: Buyer Engagement Process

CAUIA: Crazy and Useless Internet Acronyms

Let me know what you think. Do you have a suggestion to replace sales and marketing alignment? I would like to hear from you. Reply to this blog, leave a comment on the ConnectLeader LinkedIn page, visit @ConnectLeader on Twitter, or tweet your suggestion to #ReplaceSAMA.

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About the ConnectLeader B2B Sales Blog

The ConnectLeader B2B Sales blog is written to share productivity tips, tools, news, and other information relevant to managers and senior executives interested in B2B sales productivity, demand gen, inside sales, sales operations, and business development issues.

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