The benefits of Sales & Marketing alignment
The importance of Sales & Marketing alignment is often overlooked in favour of each department working on its own and for its own ends.
This modular thinking may help create a bit of competition between departments but, in the long run, it is not a successful model for running an organisation.
The key to modern business is ensuring that, throughout an organisation all departments are working towards a common objective, albeit through different means.
Nowhere is this truer than in the alignment of Marketing & Sales. They are the engine driving most organisations but other departments can also benefit from better inclusion, notably the customer support arm of your business.
The easiest way of ensuring better office connectivity is through the adoption of a CRM, which should help to draw your departments together.
- Transparent Pipeline
- Singular Data Source
- Remember Your Customers
- Score Leads
- Speed Up Processes
- Reduce Cost per Lead
A CRM gives you insight into the workings of all your staff. It gives every department access to what everyone else is doing and when they’re doing it. This overview gives management a great insight into all company processes, and gives them a better perspective when planning new business strategies.
A transparent pipeline ensures that every department can support each other when necessary.
Having a single customer database is a great advantage to your marketing department. Studies have suggested that nearly 30% of marketers feel that a disparate data source is the main reason they fail to glean useful information about their target audience.
Get all departments to work together through the CRM in order to boost the marketing department.
Access to the complete history of previous customers is a massive benefit that can increase company unity and profits. It is far cheaper – and not to mention far easier – to sell to existing customers than to new prospects. Even after a sale ensure that the customer continues to be nurtured.
Your customer support provides an excellent means of retaining customers. Nurturing should extend to Sales and Marketing, who can provide the possibility of up-selling.
Although this requires extra work to implement, an effective scoring matrix that combines the insight (and agreement) of Sales and Marketing to devise a lead scoring system is one of the most beneficial functions of a CRM. Most importantly, it offers an agreed understanding of what each department wants from its counterpart.
In non-lead scoring, non-lead nurturing organisations, as many as 79% of leads sent over from Marketing aren’t converted by Sales. Both lead nurturing and lead scoring can greatly reduce that percentage – and more converted sales equal more revenue.
Did you know?
46% of marketers with mature lead management processes have sales teams that follow up on more than 75% of marketing-generated leads?
The automated functions within a CRM blur the line between departments. If a lead has downloaded a piece of marketing content, alerts should go to both Marketing and Sales. Sales need to be quick off the mark when it comes to responding to these events, leads could lose interest or go to a competitor in the meantime.
All this work decreases the sales cycle, with more leads going through the sales funnel quicker, more revenue can be made.
Not only do more qualified leads equate to more revenue coming in, it also reduces the cost per lead. Working towards higher quality leads with the help of a CRM and content that helps to nurture those leads, means that the leads passed over from Marketing are more likely to be converted by Sales.
This increases Marketing’s ROI by decreasing the cost of each lead, quite simply because they’re being more efficient with their time due to the CRM.
CRM: Bridging the Gap between Sales & Marketing
So how can you align the departments to ensure that they work together and support each other’s objectives?
Here are Redspire’s top five tips to ensure that Sales and Marketing are working together as effectively as possible:
- Ensure that both teams adopt a single CRM system
- Transfer information seamlessly between teams
- Check Sales and Marketing are talking the same language
- Qualify leads
- Compile and review data
Using a single CRM system such as Microsoft Dynamics ensures that teams have access to the information they need to retain existing customers and generate new ones.
A single view technology such as Dynamics allows your organisation to be entirely transparent about budgets, objectives and resources – providing Sales and Marketing with visibility to information as and when they need it. Additionally, a single system helps to remove any possible gaps between expectations and results.
If both Sales and Marketing are maintaining a single CRM system, information can move between the teams seamlessly. No more lost contact details. No more missed appointments. No more opportunities lost to the competition because one team failed to pick up where another left off. In other words, no more playing the Blame Game!
Access to the same information means you can empower your teams to make the right decisions at the right times – whether that’s changing the communications Marketing are currently working on or the lead ranking of prospects Sales are looking to close.
Often, miscommunication can be the biggest cause behind missed objectives. Using a single system helps to get your teams using the same terms of reference. For example, have you clearly defined when ‘a lead’ becomes ‘an opportunity’? Are your Sales teams understanding exactly when and how they can capitalise on the work their Marketing colleagues have already done?
A clearly defined process ensures that your customers enjoy a consistent, rewarding experience – no duplication of workload, no ‘going back to the office to double-check’; just knowledgeable teams that are all up to speed with their customers’ accounts.
A CRM system like Microsoft Dynamics can help Marketing teams to qualify leads much more effectively before they are handed over to Sales. This, in turn, increases the credibility of Marketing as well as boosting the productivity of Sales (as they are no longer having to look for leads of their own to convert; they have a ready-made list from Marketing).
By building automated processes into your system, you can ensure that leads are handed over to Sales at a point where the allocation of extra resource makes business sense.
It is easy for a culture of ‘finger-pointing’ to arise between Sales and Marketing. ‘They didn’t convert’ vs. ‘They didn’t create’. By building your approach around a single CRM system, you can begin compiling data that enables your organisation to understand more clearly which sort of leads are converted and which are not.
It will also enable you to spot patterns in customer behaviour that your Marketing teams can capitalise on, as well as understanding precisely what kind of marketing investment generates results, sales and return on investment.
To encourage a dynamic, agile approach, hold regular meetings that include key staff from both Sales and Marketing (at least quarterly) to review your results and make any appropriate changes.