The CMO Council released research, "Driving the Bottom Line from the Front Line" (exec summary here and Marketing Charts summary here), that shows most companies still don't get it when it comes to Sales and Marketing effectiveness and go-to-market strategy. While the study covers multiple issues with companies' go-to-market capabilities, I was particularly interested/saddened to see that less than 20% say their sales and marketing organizations are extremely collaborative, and moreover less than half have taken any steps to integrate and align the two functions. That strikes me as a huge opportunity to improve effectiveness and hence competitiveness which ultimately translates into improved market share/revenue/profit/stock price.
Note the image of the Indy car team on the cover of the CMO Council report. Per my prior post on this subject (Marketing is a Pit Crew), the pit crew (Marketing) and the driver (Sales) must work seamlessly as one unit in order to get around the track faster than the other teams. Its a simple concept but takes a lot of planning and hard work to accomplish (otherwise there would be ties every week in NASCAR). It might be heresy to suggest, but in order to win the race for revenue Sales and Marketing need to be structured, measured and incented as one team, not two. This idea scares both sides (each fearing subservience to the other) which is probably why so few have taken any steps to formally integrate the functions.