3 Things Sales Leaders Actually Want from Marketing in 2024

By Ryan Heinig, Chief Revenue Officer, 2X

As marketing leaders divulge their 2024 predictions — discussing everything from AI and video to more emotionally driven content — there’s not as much talk about how sales and marketing can better align. However, ensuring harmonious cooperation between the two is as important to successful marketing and increased revenue as any new, shiny tool or innovative new year strategy.

The sad truth is, that 90% of sales and marketing professionals report misalignment of strategy, process, culture, and content in their organizations, and more than half of sales professionals say the biggest impact of this asymmetry is lost sales and revenue. In fact, it can cost businesses more than $1 trillion each year.

So, let’s make 2024 the year of alignment; let’s tap into what sales leaders actually want from marketing and, meanwhile, make marketing the most impactful and valuable department within the entire business.

Here are three focus areas that can help marketing teams better support sales leaders and create alignment in the new year.

1. We need to shift the meaning of “nurture” and ensure marketing is playing a proactive role in guiding prospects back into sales cycles once they leave the dark funnel.

Right now, marketing is engaged in many thought processes around guiding people through a dark funnel, but the real focus needs to be on drawing those who fall back in. So many potential customers come into a dark funnel and leave, and we never pull them back in — and because the sales team never saw them, they can’t hunt these potential leads down. Poof, gone, vanished forever!

Marketing can help sales fill this gap by tracking when someone becomes inactive, and then employing strategies to win them back. With more information, strategic content, personalization initiatives, and thoughtful experiences, marketing can nurture those who fell out of the funnel back in, ultimately producing leads that will get further along in the sales cycles. At one point, each prospect who has left the dark funnel had some interest in your solution; if marketing can help drive even a small percentage of these leads back into a sales cycle, it’s a huge lift for sales.

Read More: SalesTechStar Interview with Brian Paterson, Global Vice President of North America Sales, 8×8

2. More leads don’t equal more closed won; let’s focus on leads that get further along in sales cycles with personalized marketing and intent-driven campaigns.

Many 2024 marketing forecasts predict that as the use of GenAI grows, good personalized marketing will become more crucial than ever as simple vertical veneers and irrelevant offers saturate buyers.

However, personalized marketing won’t be effective if it’s not highly focused. When deployed well — consider a partner like 6sense — ABM-based approaches deliver a higher ROI than other marketing efforts.

In 2024, the metric of success cannot be simply producing a lead that results in a meeting; success is producing leads that get to a proof point (e.g., a POC or POV). Most senior sales leaders know their win rates (e.g., 39%, 42%, 46%) very clearly once they get to a POC or POV, so if marketing can drive meetings that are more likely to get to this proof point through ABM and intent-driven campaigns, sales leaders can truly drive a more predictable business, eliminating the wild quarter-over-quarter swings in revenue we saw all throughout 2023.

Yes, sales is responsible for closing the deal, but what marketing hands over — and when — can have a huge impact on revenue.

3. As acquiring new customers becomes more difficult, it’s not just finding the right partners, but also how you ensure and maintain the mindshare in this partner community.

More than half of salespeople say selling got harder in 2023, and the marketing resource paradox is more real than ever for both sales and marketing.

That’s where partnerships can drive value. In fact, McKinsey & Company estimates that at least a dozen sectors are reinventing themselves as vast ecosystems that could drive a $60 trillion economy by 2025. In short, it has been proven time and again that partner-sourced deals close at a higher win percentage and shorter sales cycles. When a partner is involved, deals are 53% more likely to close, and they close 46% faster. Who doesn’t want that?

Marketing to our partners (and prospects’ partners) — whether large system integrators such as Accenture and Wipro or smaller, more boutique partners — is critical.

Very often, new partner relationships are formed at the executive level with sales, but the mindshare of the individual contributors with the partner community is never captured. Marketing can play a huge role through nurture campaigns, and the impact is significant! After all, the ICs within the partner communities are the ones speaking with customers. When this mindshare is captured, this is when partner-sourced revenue flourishes.

In 2024, we have to think differently about marketing successes and think transformationally about how we align to sales. As closing deals gets more difficult, budgets get smaller, resources shrink, and technology rapidly expands, sales and marketing teams need to work together. This alignment is more important than ever if we want to create lift, deliver real value, drive revenue, and create sustainable impact.

Also catch, Episode 183 Of The SalesStar Podcast: B2B Technology Sales Dynamics with Jason Smith, Senior Sales Engineer at CallTrackingMetrics


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