The most valuable brands on the planet — Amazon, Apple, and Google — aren’t just rich in must-have products and services. What they have is, in short, priceless: data.
Data to the 21st century is what oil was to the 20th: the power to make the world go ‘round, and the potential for more.
At no point in history have we ever lived in a more consumer-driven economy. A fact that can understandably leave marketers sprinting to keep up with buyers’ expectations and market predictions. But at the very least, data reduces some of the guesswork, and at the very most, allows marketers to know consumers as well as they know themselves. And it’s the most secure currency to access our inner thoughts and predict our purchasing patterns.
In late 2019, with the release of Interbrand’s annual “Best Global Brands” survey, the company’s Global Chief Executive Office Charles Trevail claimed: “Twenty years on from our first report, customers today are more informed, more connected, and more demanding than ever before through a combination of wealth of choice, erosion of loyalty, and shifting frames of reference wanting immediacy, abundance and intimacy — all at the same time.”
How … overwhelming. On the other hand, these insights create clear challenges and opportunities for marketing and sales teams. Like the crucial need for close collaboration and sharing information, not a silo-ed approach so often reported between the departments. With sales “bringing first-hand knowledge of customers and their sales objections — much of which would be difficult, if not impossible, to gain any other way” and marketing’s “hard data that shows what sort of information, content, or language customers and potential customers respond to,” it’s clear that what they can achieve collectively far exceeds anything they can accomplish on their own.
Organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing enjoy 36% higher customer retention (MarketingProfs)
Aligning sales and marketing can help generate 209% more revenue (Marketo)
Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve a 20% annual growth rate (Aberdeen Research Group)
When sales and marketing are in sync, sales wins increase 38% (Marketing Profs)
See? Data? Here are a few more best practices that successful companies use to integrate their sales and marketing into (forgive us) “well-oiled, lead-generating machines.” – Zach, Head of Digital
Define the process
Sales can go rogue. Marketing can whip up materials and execute initiatives without consulting anyone else. And in short, both practices can lead to disaster. The two should function as one with a shared strategy and a common goal. It all starts with putting egos aside before defining and implementing a clear process that both sides can understand and align on.
Adopt an automated system
With plenty of modern tools and digital resources at your fingertips, it’s possible for your sales and marketing teams to create a process or system that does most of the heavy lifting. There are so many lead management and lead tracking automated systems out there that can be customized to virtually any kind of sales model. The beauty of an automated system is that leads are followed up on immediately and no customer has to slip through the cracks.
Share the data
Data and analytics should be guiding both departments, from lead generation, lead tracking, and prospect interest to customer behavior and pipeline management. With digital automation and clear processes in place, it’s now possible to define agreed upon metrics that identify the quality and progress of a lead, while also determining the most-effective marketing tactics to fill the sales funnel. With the right tools in place, sales and marketing can become seamless and efficient, and even shorten the sales cycle through strategic collaboration and alignment. The goal is for everyone to work smarter, in sync.
Nurture the lead
This is the essence of everything sales and marketing is designed to do: lead coordination and nurturing. So it’s the responsibility of both to work together to ensure that no matter where prospects enter the funnel, they’re being engaged with the right messages in the right way, whether that’s an automated reply or a personal call. Make sure to have your teams define their own lead nurturing process—both before and after the sale and at every point in between.
Did You Realize?
Aligned marketing and sales teams are nearly 70% more effective at converting customers. (Digital Marketing Institute)
Bottom Line: collaboration = sales success
When your company’s sales and marketing teams are in clear alignment—synchronizing strategies, aligning priorities, sharing information, and ultimately, joining forces—then your ability to attract, influence, and win-over new customers will help you achieve greater value for your bottom-line.
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