The other day, I was talking with the CEO of a local business, when she mentioned the number of new gray hairs she has noticed lately. Before I could change the subject, she went on to explain… “I think most of my gray hairs lately have been created by our sales and marketing teams.”

I politely encouraged her that I didn’t think she’s alone in that sentiment. CEOs understand the importance of sales and marketing—and how critical it is that both teams are working as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, that isn’t a reality for most businesses.

3 Reasons CEOs Get Frustrated with Sales & Marketing (and How to Avoid Them)

Because of my role, I get the opportunity to talk with a lot of CEOs about their challenges. Here are three of the most common frustrations I hear:

  1. Sales and marketing teams don’t work well together. CEOs know there will always be conflict and disagreements within an organization, but if there are two teams that need to work well together, it’s sales and marketing. They recognize that both teams need to work together in order for the company to put its weight behind the goal of winning customers. If sales and marketing teams don’t work well together, neither are working as effectively as they could be. The good news is that there are things the CEO can do to strengthen collaboration between sales and marketing teams. While, as a CEO, you may not be involved in the day-to-day activities, you set the tone for the collaboration.
  2. There aren’t enough of the right types of opportunities being created. Most CEOs have an understanding of the ideal customer or client that will help them achieve their goals. This can cause a lot of friction when sales teams spend time pursuing or cultivating the wrong types of clients. They also get frustrated when marketing teams waste time and resources on activities that aren’t creating meaningful leads with the right types of clients. Overcoming this challenge requires that everyone, including the CEO, is in alignment around you ideal buyer persona. Knowing who your ideal customer is, what their pain points are, and how you can uniquely help them is essential for creating an effective buyer’s journey through the sales and marketing process.
  3. Sales and marketing teams rely on subjective data to drive the strategy. In a world where data analysis and visualization is more accessible than ever, many CEOs realize the importance of using data to validate or challenge their business strategies. However, many sales and marketing teams still rely on subjective data or “gut instinct” to drive their strategies.

Sales and marketing teams should constantly be paying attention to what’s working and what’s not. This includes constantly informing the CEO about the marketing metrics they should know.