LONDON: Sales and marketing teams need to work more closely together to better understand their audience and convert leads, but new research suggests that many UK brands have yet to make this adjustment.

Oracle, the cloud applications business, surveyed 800 CMOs, CSOs, senior marketers, and senior sales executives across France, the Netherlands, South Africa and the UK, evenly split between three industries (Manufacturing and High-Technology, Online Retail, and Telecommunications) for its 'From Metrics to Outcomes' report.

It found that 40% of brands believed that changes in customer behaviour – the classic purchase funnel is a thing of the past, as consumers take their own time and use their own preferred channels – have made alignment between sales and marketing teams more important.

Indeed, more than 40% agreed there is a trend towards greater collaboration between marketing and sales and that lead conversion is more successful when both departments are aligned.

But around one third of brands are still struggling to link their sales and marketing activities.

Some 34% admitted that sales, marketing and customer service teams worked completely independently of each other.

And 31% of sales teams said they struggled to meet key metrics while aligning with the needs of marketing, and vice versa.

Several obstacles stand in the way of achieving this, including existing systems and technologies (33%) and corporate culture (30%).

"Customers rely on a mix of online resources, marketing materials and third-party research to inform their purchases, so determining which tactics directly led them to buy takes a more nuanced assessment," noted Daryn Mason, Senior Director, CX Applications at Oracle.

"It's time for brands to align their teams internally and move them away from insular KPIs like impressions, and towards value-based metrics that reflect the way people engage with them through digital channels," he said.

Data sourced from Oracle; additional content by Warc staff