Your organisation may well be caught between a rock and a hard place. I’m talking about the ongoing rivalry that often exists between sales and marketing teams.
No doubt you’re familiar with the gripes that are often voiced on both sides of the fence.
Marketers say they are frustrated by uncommunicative sales teams that don’t seem inclined to dedicate time or effort to tell them what’s hot – and what’s not – when it comes to targeting marketing efforts.
With zero visibility of what sales are doing with the leads they’ve generated, marketers say they feel they never get recognition for anything they do.
Meanwhile, sales professionals will complain how they’re dissatisfied with marketing’s support and that, as far as they’re concerned, marketing’s activities don’t generate what counts for them – quality leads for the pipeline, stronger customer relationships and measurable results.
It’s an age-old issue. Sadly, misalignment between sales and marketing teams will result in inconsistent leads, unfocused marketing activity and stunted growth.
What’s more, they have zero visibility of the marketing timeline. So, as far as sales are concerned, the marketing department could well be sitting around twiddling their thumbs.
But when sales and marketing work together, costs decrease, sales cycles shorten, and customer retention rates soar.
So, how do you get your sales and marketing teams to buddy up and tackle the business goals they have in common?
The answer is to implement an intelligent, connected CRM system.
But first, you’ll need to understand the challenges facing both teams to understand how a new CRM solution will help eliminate the age-old sales-marketing disconnect.
– Customer Communications
One of the reasons why marketers often feel pressure from the sales team is that, without an effective CRM system, they’re restricted in how they segment their audience. As a result, they only deliver generic communications that fail to resonate with recipients in the same way that timely, highly personalised messages will.
A CRM system will help Marketers focus their efforts on creating highly targeted campaigns that deliver relevant and compelling messages at the right time.
This enables marketers to proactively nurture new leads and drive prospects to key points in the selling cycle – at which point the sales team picks up the baton.
– Marketing ROI
Sales teams often struggle to understand marketing efforts – because it’s activity hasn’t historically been properly quantified in terms of ROI.
With in-depth analytics and real-time tracking tools, CRM with integrated marketing automation services makes it possible for marketers to accurately monitor the returns on individual marketing campaigns – and adjust their strategy, and spending, accordingly.
It all adds up to greater transparency and the ability to demonstrate the performance of campaigns.
– Pipeline Management
Without a modern and mobile CRM system, Sales teams will struggle to understand their opportunity pipeline in real-time. This, in turn, will lead to effort being placed in the wrong areas and some deals may well fall between process cracks.
It may also mean that sales teams can’t give meaningful feedback to the marketing department when it comes to understanding what type of leads convert best.
A CRM system enables sales professionals to do business wherever they are – using their mobile, laptop or desktop device – and enables sales managers to generate on-demand reports that are the basis for reliable sales and production forecasts.
All of which takes the effort out of gathering and collating sales data that could be analysed to better direct marketing efforts.
– Effort Duplication
Without an effective CRM system, individual reps may unknowingly pursue the same leads – or target them with a message that isn’t relevant to their current stage in the buying cycle. The result is unhappy customers and uncoordinated sales and marketing teams.
A CRM system gives salespeople instant access to the entire history of interactions with any given contact – minimising the chance of salespeople calling a contact who a colleague has already spoken to or requesting information that has already been supplied.
A finely tuned CRM system provides a central system of record that gives both sales and marketing all the information they need about a contact, opportunity or account – including, where they are in the buying cycle.
In other words, a great CRM system can solve a lot of the issues that get in the way of sales and marketing working in harmonious collaboration. Let’s take a look at how:
Transparency – now everyone can visualise the lead funnel and prioritise where efforts should be prioritised. Even better, teams can set up business rules to establish when a lead should be passed over to Sales – and identify the roadblocks to conversion.
Accountability – a CRM system delivers end-to-end visibility of all sales and marketing activities. This allows both departments to determine what works and what doesn’t, and to agree on appropriate adjustments to ensure future efforts generate better outcomes. Everyone can pinpoint who owns what activities, agree on the best way to score leads and automate processes between teams.
Now there’s no room for finger pointing or blame. Sales no longer have to worry if marketing ever followed up on an initial email blast – while marketing can see if anyone from sales reached out to a lead the moment it moved to an agreed point in the sales funnel.
This article was contributed by Sandra Kaminska.