I'll bet that most of you have a best friend, spouse or assistant who can finish your sentences, or whose sentences you can finish. This happens most often through familiarity bred from shared understanding and perspectives. Given this, I'm also going to bet that the answer to the title question is most often a resounding No.
B2B companies need to get that answer to be an emphatic YES!
Buyers are pushing sales conversations to the late stages of the purchasing process. On average, it's likely that marketing spends a longer period of time with your leads than sales does. (If you're not requesting sales pursuit until they are sales ready, that is.)
If marketing has a content strategy that's enabled them to tell a consistent problem-to-solution story over time and then a sales rep shows up with an unexpected agenda - the lead has to re-start, instead of simply taking the next step in the path they've been following.
If marketing has consistently shared valuable insights, ideas and information that your prospects have come to rely on and then the salesperson shows up to take an order without adding the normal dose of value, there's a disconnect. Your prospect starts to wonder if they were mistaken in their evaluation of what your company will be like as a partner they can rely upon.
McKinsey & Company conducted a study of 1,200 IT purchasing decision makers across the US and Western Europe and found that 55% of them said salespeople were derailing themselves with two factors:
- 35% said salespeople contacted them too much (email, phone, in person)
- 20% said salespeople lacked knowledge about their products or those of their competitors.
The first one indicates to me that those contact attempts were more about the salesperson than the prospect. They were likely void of recognizable value for the prospect or trying to push them faster than they were ready to move. Otherwise the perception would be different.
The second one should be corrected, quickly. It did surprise me that, additionally, only 9% said that salespeople lacked business or industry knowledge about the usefulness of their product to the prospect's business. Forrester's research a year or so ago showed response to that situation about 3X higher.
The gist of it is that sales needs to competently finish what marketing starts. In order for that to work well, the two departments should collaborate in order to coordinate the story based on prospects and their specific situations. This way marketing can work toward building to a sales conversation that is a natural extension and seamless transition from the prospect's perspective.