Since the birth of modern marketing, friction between
sales and marketing has been the norm.


Executive summary

For more than 100 years—likely since Henry Ford famously quipped that customers could own a car of any color as long as it was black—business halls have echoed with arguments along these lines:

All your leads are bad!”
“No they aren’t, you just don’t follow up with them!

The lucky companies that manage to harness this friction constructively have gained—and continue to gain—a competitive advantage. Those that cannot typically languish...and frequently fail.

Today, outdated evaluation and compensation models are forcing marketing teams to focus on priorities that might not be optimal for driving revenue success. Even the evolution of the marketing tech stack, which has improved marketing's effectiveness at many levels, has enticed too many to take their eyes off the revenue ball. Open rates, click-through rates, Net Promoter Score®, and even number of leads generated are all great metrics.

But metrics only matter so long as they culminate in one result: revenue.

Marketing’s Primary Customer Is Sales. Period.

According to the 2016 CSO Insights Sales Performance Optimization Study, the percentage of responding companies that had a dedicated sales enablement resource rose from 25.5% in 2015 to 32.7% in just one year. Why this dramatic increase in a new cost center?

Likely, companies recognize that to scale growth, they need to provide sales teams with practical sales tools and with the ability to onboard new reps quickly and effectively. Most sales enablement professionals are also being asked to facilitate communication between sales and other functional units, including marketing.

That last sentence has a lot of old-school marketing professionals (the writer of this introduction included) scratching their heads. When did effective communication with sales stop being a mandate for marketing?

At Refactored, we see a real need to facilitate direct teamwork between marketing and sales. According to SiriusDecisions, B2B organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing operations achieve 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth. Sales enablement is so important for the success of our clients that we’ve built an entire service offering around the concept.

To support the teamwork that drives success, we conducted our first Sales Enablement Benchmark Survey, gathering responses from marketing and sales professionals across the country and across industries. The responses provide a snapshot of where organizations like yours are in their efforts to enable better cooperation, and they provide insights about areas of opportunity for helping teams work together better.

We hope this report will help you recognize some of that growth potential in your organization.

Set the Benchmark

Of course, the first step in any project that involves change is to benchmark the starting point so that you can accurately measure progress. Our intention is to conduct this survey annually so that we can evaluate positive or negative trends in several critical areas of sales enablement. We hope you will consider participating again next year to show off your progress.

We would like to thank BMA Colorado, BMA Houston, and BMA Kansas City for their insight into the importance of this topic and their support in promoting participation in the survey.

~ Nick Bettis, Refactored

Rethinking Sales Enablement? 

Let us help you assess your situation.
Refactored has the broad experience to help you build a productive relationship with your partners in sales or marketing, develop and execute effective demand-generation programs, and produce sales tools to support your teams throughout the sales cycle. Learn more about our Sales Enablement services.


download the Sales Enablement Survey Report


We have some related content that you might find helpful:

  • Content Needs Assessment Worksheet – A Microsoft Excel template that will help you map out what content you currently have for each stage of the buyer’s journey and where you might have gaps to address.
  • Building Content for the Buyer's Journey – This eBook includes guidance for aligning marketing and sales on content needs and a simple template to help you define your buyer’s journey and create a map of the content types to apply to each phase of the journey.
  • Marketing Leader’s Guide to Sales Enablement – Our white paper on Sales Enablement helps you understand common challenges and provides practical suggestions for overcoming them.
Refactored is a nationally recognized leader in the deployment of effective B2B marketing.