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Integrating Sales & Marketing for the Digital Age

TRANSFORMATION A Case Study by Adobe

SERIES 2018 Team Name - Intruders

1. Chirag Dixit
2. Piyush Kedar
CASE STUDY 3. Shubham Kumar
College - Indian Institute of
Management, Kashipur

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Question 1: How will Adobe and Microsoft collaboration work in the field in India? What are some of
the challenges for this GTM to take off?

Merging the sales force team of Adobe and Microsoft should result in an increase of
shareholder’s value (apart from an increase in the revenue). In a report published by McKinsey,
integrating the skills and capabilities of the sales team should have the highest priority during a merger.

Preliminary analysis for cross selling by field sales team during the merger:

A merger leads to an increase in the size of sales team and products offering. The newly formed
sales team of Adobe and Microsoft would take 18 months to get completely comfortable in cross selling
On an average, it takes 6 to 9 months for a new sales representative to become 100% effective in
reaching quotas, hence measures to ensure synergy among the merged sales team is necessary as this
merger is actually pushing the productivity back by 6 to 9 months for existing sales representatives.

For collaboration, following are the compounding issues to be worked upon for succeeding in a
merged sales environment:

1. Culture: A revision of documented sales procedures, Statement of Proposes, changes in

leadership structure and sales methodology following the vision of the newly merged Adobe and
Microsoft team would replace the existing ones.
2. Unified training program: With Adobe and Microsoft sales teams expected to become experts
on new product lines, both teams should be provided with the same training material, portal
and platforms for their own products as well as for those with the other brand.
A sales force merger will affect both the stakeholder as well as employees. Downsizing is
anticipated due to the increased talent pool of combined companies.

Below are the key challenges anticipated for the GTM to take off:

1. The tendency to downsize too much in the hope of increasing efficiency and reducing sales cost
2. A ‘Conquer’ mentality for sales manager which leads to setting unrealistic goals for the sales
3. Friction in information sharing across leaders and departments of the newly merged sales team
which leads to slow down the communication
4. Adverse impact on existing customer relationships of Adobe and Microsoft clients due to key
people leaving for other companies

According to Keenan’s 2014 article in Forbes, there are 4 key areas for sales leaders to focus on
to increase revenue:
1. Strategy
2. Structure
3. People
4. Process

On applying the same concept on Adobe and Microsoft sales team merger, the strategy, structure
and processes of the merged team would be exhaustively planned but the breakdown occurs with the
individual representatives. Hence, a transition team would be formed comprising the best sales
managers from Adobe and Microsoft to help them “Put feet into the street”. The team would follow the
steps depicted in the diagram to create a merged sales force team. The steps are ordered sequentially in
terms of the timing of their implementation.
Question 2: Can you quantify the impact of this collaboration in India? What is the potential revenue
opportunity for Adobe and for Microsoft in India due to the Microsoft Dynamics & Adobe Experience

Enterprise content management is growing exponentially in India with a CAGR of 18.3% and
expected to reach revenues of US $2.5 billion by 2023.

Chart – Worldwide CAGR

Enterprise CRM has developed itself as a niche industry opportunity with declining search rates
of wordpress, Joomla and Drupal open source content management system.
Adobe experience manager has an average market share of 5% in India, with a growth rate
higher than the industry average CAGR of 18.3%. Upon merger with Microsoft dynamic CRM, an
integrated on field sales force team is expected to bring a 2X increase in annual growth rate in term of

Question 3: Do you think this is a good strategy? Why or why not?

In today’s world, the companies are becoming more and more aware that alignment is key when
it comes to marketing with sales functions. Introducing the Integrated Adobe Campaign Manager and
Microsoft Dynamic CRM software in such encouraging market can be seen as a very well though and a
good strategy.

The benefits of integrating sales and marketing can be directly seen in the increase in sales
volume and also in the increase in the top and the bottom line of the company.

“Companies with ‘dynamic, adaptable sales and marketing processes’ report an average
of 10% more sales people on-quota compared to other companies.” – CSO Insights

Thoughtful alignment of sales and marketing is critical to the bottom line. According to a 2011
report by Aberdeen Research, companies that are best-in-class at aligning marketing and sales
experienced an average of 32% growth in annual revenue, compared to a 7% decline among
their less aligned competitors.

Beside these, other advantages of integration are as follows

1. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction and CLV

Integration of sales and marketing functions help enterprises to understand

consumer demand and respond to it in real time. Integration helps in trimming down
the overall cost and optimizing the productivity. This helps the enterprise to deliver
increased value to the customers while also decreasing the time of delivery. It gives a
deeper understanding of the customer demands, needs and priorities because there is a
continuous give and take of information between marketing and sales. This, in turn,
enhances Customer Satisfaction and CLV.

Customer satisfaction is an important driver of a firm’s profitability. There is a

positive influence of customer satisfaction on financial performance indicators of an
organization, such as return on investment (ROI) and return on assets (ROA) (Pankaj M.

2. Understanding the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing strategy

Firms with effective sales and marketing integration are more likely to know
how well channel partners participated in promotions schemes and how consumers
responded to it. The marketing team gets real time feedback form the sales thus,
knowing if marketing strategy met its criteria and other objectives or not. (Pankaj M.
Madhani, 2015).

3. Improvement in the revenues and profits

Effective sales and marketing integration has strong impact on productivity and
profitability of firms. It helps firms in creating the business value they seek. The primary
forces for driving this are cost reduction and revenue generation achieved by superior
performance of various cross-functional drivers of sales and marketing. (Pankaj M.
Madhani, 2015).

Integrating Adobe Campaign Manager and Microsoft Dynamic CRM will give enterprises a
personalized, ready-made and reliable solution which will help them in the process of integration. There
are many hurdles that enterprises face while integrating the marketing and sales functions which can be
eased away by the integrated product.

Some of the hurdles faced while integrating marketing as sales

1. Sales and marketing functions are more often than not are structured and managed differently.
2. They are also located away from each other (sometimes even geographically).
3. Many organizations do not have a clear idea how sales and marketing should interact and
4. The Goals of Sales and Marketing are different.
5. There is a lack of proper communication flow. Sales often complain about the lack of data form
the marketing side while the marketing side complains of that sales is not utilizing the data
provided. (Pankaj M. Madhani, 2015).
6. There is a conflict of time frame. Sales primarily focuses on relationships, tactical and short-
term objectives such as revenue targets while marketing are highly analytical, data oriented,
long-term focused and believe in building competitive advantage for the future and hence
mainly adopts a strategic, long-term perspective such as brand building. (Pankaj M. Madhani,

The Integrated Adobe Campaign Manager and Microsoft Dynamic CRM software will help in
integrating the processes and help remove the above mentioned hurdles. The cloud based solution will
also help big enterprises whose sales and marketing teams are located away from each other. Clear
objective setting and the integrated processes provided by the software will improve the
communication flow and help reduce the time frame conflict.

Question 4: Are there other areas of collaboration between Adobe and Microsoft beyond CRM &
Digital Experience Business GTM in India? What are these opportunities for Adobe and for Microsoft?

Adobe and Microsoft, both are at the peak in their areas of expertise. 7 out of 10 people who
are interacting with PDFs use Adobe PDF viewer to do so. This in itself is a proof of Adobe’s dominance
in this domain. Similarly, every Indian right since their school days is taught the first computer lessons on
the Windows operating system.

The fact that these two software giants are so successful can be leveraged by each other in the following
ways of collaboration:
1. Every Windows version that is distributed, should have an added bundle of all Adobe software
which would be useful for daily purposes. E.g: Adobe PDF viewer, Adobe Acrobat PDF editor,
2. Microsoft Partner network should lay a special emphasis on Adobe and its products. The line of
Adobe products can be made supplementary to Microsoft products and vice versa.
3. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates has time and again said that Microsoft is made by its partners and
hence this skill of increasing their sales and revenue through partners can be extended and
shared with Adobe.
4. Adobe can make software specific and compatible just to Windows operating systems. This
would increase the cross selling of the products.

The collaboration of Adobe Experience and Microsoft will increase customer value and revenue for the
company. With the help of a transit team, the field sales team would design training and workshops
programs which would help to merge the new sales team and gain significant market share.


1. Ajay Gupta, Tom Stephenson, & Andy West (2009). Mastering sales force integration in a merger.
McKinsey & Company. URL:
2. Merging Two Sales Teams – 3 Things to Watch Closely. URL:
3. Andris Zoltners (1998). How to make sales force mergers work. Financial Times : Mastering
Marketing Section. URL:
4. Pankaj M. Madhani (2015). Sales and Marketing: Integration. SCMS Journal of Indian Management,
April - June 2015 (page 17- 28)
5. Benefits of Integrating of Sales and Marketing (2016). URL:
6. Partners make more possible. URL:
7. Google trends. URL :,Joomla,Drupal