Bridging organizational silos

One of the greatest challenges organizations face today is to become much more internally cohesive and collaborative.

The disconnect between sales and marketing is getting worse, according to the Sales and Marketing Sentiment Study, published by CallidusCloud in September 2016. You would think that with all this new technology that organisations are becoming more aligned and productive. However, CallidusCloud found that in 2016 only 9% of organizations felt that their sales and marketing departments were fully aligned, down from 16% in 2015. Only 30% of respondents agreed that “Lead data is fully shared between sales and marketing”, down from 37% in 2015.

This, unfortunately, is nothing new. According to Andy Markowitz, from the Lead Performance Marketing Lab at GE:
•    80-90% of marketing collateral plays no useful role in the selling process
•    63% of companies think their sales and marketing teams are misaligned on what customers want and need
•    18-24% of leads are contributed by Marketing

“The US economy is 13 per cent lower today than economists forecast before the crisis,” Martin Sandbu wrote for the Financial Times in September 2016. “The bulk of the shortfall is accounted for by a decline in productivity growth.” All over the world productivity is struggling. Surely, it is one of the most basic promises of technology that it will make us more productive? Increased productivity is the underlying assumption that most organizations make when they purchase technology.

Could we be getting to a point where technology is actually making us less productive? Why is that? Part of the problem lies with the very things that is supposed to make technology attractive: automation and production. Technology has a fantastic ability to automate. Marketing is supposed to supply leads to sales. Traditionally, much of these leads were generated by attending trade shows, conferences, arranging talks and other promotions. Technology, on the other hand, allows you to suck up email addresses and produce constant streams of messages. The quantity of leads has often increased but the quality has not.

The Cult and Culture of Quantity strides the world. Most intranets and public websites could and should delete 90% of their content, and they would deliver on their objectives 100 times better. Quality is an alien concept to the human psyche. Given the choice between quantity and quality, most will go for quantity. And the results are disastrous.

Technology gives is a bigger digger to dig deeper holes and pile higher piles of dirt. We must change our organizational culture and use technology to focus on quality. Just as importantly, we must use technology to organize the organization into a cohesive, networked entity. If sales and marketing—two departments where the logic seems inescapable to work together—are drifting further apart, what about the other departments.

Technology is exposing and accentuating the dysfunction and malfunction of organizations because organizations are changing their technology but not changing their culture of quantity and silos.

Digital transformation is much more about cultural transformation than technological transformation.

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Where did all the productivity go? Martin Sandbu, Financial Times

Sales and Marketing Sentiment Study, published by CallidusCloud (requires sign up)