David DorlingWhen David Dorling, head of global marketing and portfolio management at Swiss Post Solutions AG, settled in to his new post about two years ago, he was surprised to learn that marketing was not measured. In no way was marketing held accountable for their work nor their contribution to the sales process.

“We had no performance management system in place for marketing. So we could not be held accountable. And I wanted to change that. I wanted people to recognise that marketing, and its contribution to the company should be measured. I think the wish for marketing to be held accountable drove the change, and the later acceptance.”

Aligning sales and marketing

Dorling set off to align sales and marketing to ensure a better performing company. But as easy as it sounds, the actual process was lot harder. First of all, to change this he needed backing from the board and top management.

“We approached it as a sales process. To persuade the board we did an extensive analysis. What were sales’ goals? How were we measuring up to them? How had marketing helped to achieve the goals set for sales? Then we managed to persuade the board that marketing needed a new way of working. It took us a good six to nine months to convince everyone in the board and top management to accept that marketing needed to change.”

Change management

Of course this was no easy process. “This meant change for a lot of people, processes and habits. It already took 15 months to get to where we are now, and we still have quite a long way to go. You are altering the way you go to market. You have to be clearer on what you want, offer and need. That goes for the product you offer but also for the people you hire. We needed to think like our customers and that is what we are focussing on now. “

Since the change started, sales has implemented a CRM system and marketing has been working with a Marketing Automation Platform. Both the departments efforts and accomplishments can now easily and accurately be managed and worked with.

David Dorling will be presenting at the B2B Marketing Forum where he will be going in to the way sales and marketing have become better aligned and how he persuaded the board to take on this massive change in the way they work.