Sales-Marketing Split Hurts Growth At Most Firms: Study

A startling 54% of sales leads generated by marketing are seen as poorly qualified or underqualified. And 58% of firms agree it is difficult to quantify marketing’s contribution to revenue, according to the 2022 CRM Impact Report, a study released Monday by SugarCRM, conducted by Arlington Research.  

Moreover, 27% of sales leads are never followed up because of lack of confidence in their quality or a lack of understanding of who has ownership.  

At the same time, 55% of brands cannot identify customers at risk of leaving and 57% struggle to track customer churn rates. And 63% say misalignment between sales and marketing hurts growth. They cite:

  • Incompatible KPIs or incentivized by different goals — 72%
  • Systems not integrated or different technology platforms — 61%
  • Poor communication between teams — 45% 



All that said, 86% of sales teams use AI to augment one or more business processes. And 91% expect to use AI over the next 24 months, with 49% saying they expect to use it a lot and 42% saying they will use it to some degree.

AI solutions typically are used for the following: 

  • Automated emails — 44%
  • Account intelligence — 40%
  • Conversational AI — 36%
  • Lead conversion — 33% 
  • Opportunity close prediction — 33%

Meanwhile, U.S. respondents cite these factors affecting their businesses:

  • Using AI to augment existing processes to increase in the next 24 months — 88%
  • Sales leads deemed to be either underqualified, poorly qualified, or not followed up on — 87%
  • Customers leave because of a lack of communication/personalized relevant messaging — 79%
  • Need to implement customer feedback to improve our customer experience — 71%
  • Need to do more to increase trust in our business — 66%
  • Misalignment between sales and marketing has an impact on organizational growth — 60% 
  • Struggle to quantify and track churn rate — 53%
  • CRM system is costing us time and money — 50%
  • CRM system cannot be customized to meet our specific needs — 46%
  • Missing data that would improve our marketing campaigns and sales conversions — 45%
  • Plan to change our current CRM platform in the next 12 months — 45% 

“Companies face a daunting scenario — struggling to fill the top of the funnel with qualified leads while losing customers at the bottom of the funnel,” says Craig Charlton, CEO of SugarCRM. “A key contributor to losses on each side of this equation is a lack of data.”

Arlington Research surveyed 1,600 sales and marketing decision makers in the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Australia.  


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