A common issue for companies today is the misalignment of their sales team with their marketing team, often resulting in two different sets of goals, budgets and success metrics. But customers do not see these two processes as separate and they expect sales and marketing to know what the other is doing. My prediction is that any organization that does not better align their sales and marketing teams will be phased out of the market in the next three to five years.
Thanks to technology, marketing and sales connectivity is more achievable than ever. The following communication drivers make this alignment second-nature to both teams.
Using CRM and Marketing Automation as One Team
Most companies use a customer relationship management tool (CRM), which focuses on managing and analyzing customer interactions and data throughout a current or potential customers’ time with a company. CRMs are viewed primarily as a sales tool and empower the sales staff to track communications with customers.
Marketing automation, once seen as a trend, has evolved into a standard marketing practice. Marketing automation uses data to deepen relationships and automates repetive tasks such as social media, emails and other communication actions.
By integrating these tools, companies can unify sales and marketing efforts, and make cross-team communication much simpler.
A good marketing automation tool can tell both teams when prospects visit the site, the pages they viewed and the content they downloaded. Marketers can then determine the types of content that drive engagement, while the sales team can use the data to better understand customer needs and follow up in a way that is more likely to lead to a conversion.
CRMs can help marketers better segment audiences, understand the frequency of contact from the sales team and even better personalize content based on the customer details stored within the platform.
These tools allow both teams to target and cater communications, which strengthen customer interactions and ultimately improve relationships. Integrated CRM and marketing automation platforms allow teams to pass and manage leads, align campaign executions, share lead scoring and provide data insights seamlessly and intuitively.
In fact, the DemandGen Benchmark Study reported that among organizations that integrate a marketing automation platform and a CRM system, 74 percent reported efficient alignment between the sales and marketing team.
Sharing Success Through Metrics and Insights
Sales and marketing teams rely on the same customer pipeline. That’s why attribution (accurately tracking/reporting the effectiveness of a marketing strategy) and closed loop reporting (when sales tells marketing what from the campaign actually worked) are extremely vital to uniting sales and marketing.
By using these tactics, both teams can share responsibility and credit toward revenue metrics and overall success.
Achieving a Balanced Partnership
It’s up to marketing to identify and understand the digital body language a consumer is showing. Then work with sales to align with what they are hearing on the phone.
Integrating sales and marketing efforts allows companies to share understanding of the customer; align metrics and goals; and collect and analyze data in order to optimize. Whether by sharing tools or encouraging more cross-team communication, companies can achieve the sales and marketing alignment needed to maintain their competitive edge.