We often hear about sales and marketing integration, and while most business leaders understand the need to have their sales and marketing departments working hand in hand, only a few are really successful at making it a reality on a daily basis.
We all know the challenges: Salespeople complain that marketing lacks the direct contact needed to really grasp the customer’s perspective, while the marketing department complains that sales should help implement global strategies. Thankfully, there are some ways to reconcile the two, and that’s where technology can help. Using a system that centralizes client information and data enables both teams to better understand the client’s reality while collaborating toward common goals.
How to reconcile sales and marketing
- Base decisions on facts: Everybody has an opinion, and relying on those opinions to make key decisions can easily lead to heated discussions between your teams. Putting real, measurable client data at the core of your sales and marketing strategy will allow all teams to work on what really matters.
- Define common goals: A clear vision that is perfectly understood and shared among team members ensures that everybody works in the same direction.
- Share data, information and materials between the teams: Lack of communication and failing to have the right information at the right time are the two biggest challenges of reconciling sales and marketing. To ensure that the sales department buys in, marketing tactics and materials must be based on first-hand customer knowledge collected in the field.
- Measure ROI on every action taken: If you can’t measure ROI, there’s no way to know if your actions really help you to achieve your common goals. And yes, even marketing tactics can (and should) be measured.
Make it last in the long run
It’s easy to say that we will share the same vision and goals and that we want to improve communications within the company. It’s another thing to take actual steps to get there. The best way I know to keep your methods consistent and to make sure that everyone adopts the new guidelines is to implement the following system:
- Generate leads: Deploy a strong customer acquisition strategy. This ranges from brand awareness to phone calls, trade shows, sales and marketing automation, networking and more.
- Nurture and convert leads: Ensure that you deliver an outstanding customer experience. This is where the sales happen. Do everything you can to convert prospects into loyal customers; listen to them, understand their needs, connect with them, offer products and services tailored to their needs, give them relevant information at the right time in the right format and with a pleasing design, be prepared to overcome objections, etc.
- Manage customer relationships: Use sales-centric, user-friendly CRM functionalities to track, organize and collect customer information. Use the data to better qualify leads, anticipate client needs and generate new opportunities to get in touch with the customers.
- Define key performance indicators: Implement an efficient data tracking system that can measure key indicators for both sales and marketing goals, such as time spent with a customer, products and services your prospects are most interested in, how they interact with the marketing material, customer conversion rate, etc. Analyzing this kind of data will enable you to refine and improve your sales and marketing strategies.
The key to efficiently implementing these steps is to put technology to good use. The combination of marketing automation software and an advanced lead nurturing tool, plus some key CRM functionalities, creates a powerful system to empower your teams and optimize their synergy.
What’s the biggest challenge for sales and marketing integration in your business? Have you implemented a system to optimize sales and marketing teamwork?
See how Nexsale can help your business reconcile sales and marketing.