Working in harmony: the rewards of sales and marketing collaboration
“Research has proven that sales and marketing alignment is crucial to business success. A MarketingProfs study found that organisations with tightly aligned sales and marketing had 36% higher customer retention rates and achieved 36% higher sales wins.” Tom Ward, National Sales Conference 2019
What’s your vision for the future of your sales and marketing operation?
Ultimately, you want it to deliver a strong and growing revenue stream from existing and new customers. You want to nurture loyal customer relationships, gain insight into what your customers want, and prioritise your marketing and sales efforts for maximum return.
Aligning sales and marketing is the surest route to realising this vision in today’s marketplaces. When they act as one team with a range of skills and specialities, working towards shared goals using a single source of customer data, processes and priorities become coherent and consistent. Everyone can apply their knowledge, capability and motivation to awareness-raising, lead generation, lead nurturing and conversion within an end-to-end process.
Effective targeting and lead prioritisation
Create and disseminate the right content for the right customers. Learn about their interests and target key contacts with relevant propositions and timely communications. Monitor and continuously improve your marketing campaigns and sales activities with a complete view of their impact on customer behaviour and revenue generation.
Coherent customer engagement
Design and run campaigns within a master plan and activity tracker that gives you complete visibility of everything that’s happening. This cuts out duplication and conflicting messages. Create segments and buyer personas based on rich and accurate information about customer preferences, reactions and prior actions.
Clear ROI and trusted metrics
However your organisation chooses to attribute revenue generation, an integrated sales and marketing approach still allows you to identify the key actions that transform a lead into a sale, and reward or allocate accordingly.
Measure the ROI of sales and marketing campaigns and resource investment accurately, based on a complete picture of every outcome and interaction. When sales and marketing professionals plan and evaluate together, they have a shared understanding of definitions, targets and KPIs, so they can work together decisively and efficiently to deliver revenue and profit.
“LinkedIn data provides clear evidence of the difference that active sales and marketing alignment can make. LinkedIn members who have been primed through targeted marketing content are 25% more likely to respond to an InMail from a sales rep – and 10% more likely to accept a connection request. The benefits flow in the other direction as well: a sales rep’s connections are almost five times more likely than average to share marketing content.” LinkedIn eBook: The Secrets of Sales and Marketing Power Couples
Ways and means: strategies and tools to align and unite sales and marketing
“Forrester Research insight found that aligned organisations enjoy an average of 32% annual revenue growth, with less aligned firms experiencing an average 7% decline in revenue.” Tom Ward, National Sales Conference 2019
The risks of maintaining a duopoly in sales and marketing are clear. The benefits of true collaboration are attractive and proven. The big question is ‘how to make it happen?’.
Collaboration is the critical principle. That means removing silos of operation and information and working towards developing a culture that recognises sales and marketing as a single, end-to-end process. Sales and marketing leaders need to work together to set common goals. They need to share resources and insights to segment and target customers and prospects with an integrated campaign plan.
These are the fundamental practices you need to incorporate:
Agree clear, shared targets, goals and objectives and plan how collaborative activity will deliver them. Recognise that they’re only achievable with an integrated sales and marketing approach.
One source of truth
Share a single, trusted source of information about contact, leads and customers. Everyone uses the same data to measure results and extract decision-making insight. Everyone is motivated to update customer records and maintain data in this single repository. Seek and record customer feedback and include it in the database to increase business intelligence.
Connected sales and marketing processes
Plan and execute content campaigns, engage and segment customers and prospects, launch products and offers and manage direct sales engagement with one connected tool, that everyone can access. Share insight from campaign results, through a single platform, and work together to connect activities seamlessly so customers are never left hanging.
Use list segmentation and personas to determine the best target groups and develop marketing and sales campaigns to meet their needs.
Lead scoring and prioritisation
Support multiple lead-scoring models informed by complete customer data, so you can prioritise leads that are ready to buy. Follow up on every opportunity with the next best action – identify and notify the right team or individual to own the follow-up.
Create new leads, engagement and interaction with online and external events. Plan, target and track attendees and measure ROI and effectiveness using analytics, feeding the outputs back into your data repository and customer profiling.
Provide mobile and desktop tools so it’s easy to find information, update customer records and communicate with prospects, customers and colleagues wherever people are working. Encourage interaction and discussion through messaging and online meetings.
Review your marketing and sales processes to make sure they’re connected and coherent. Cut out duplication. Look for ways to automate and streamline so that everyone is productive and no-one is wasting time on duplicated or unnecessary tasks.
In our view, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement provides the most comprehensive, powerful and effective set of tools for sales and marketing integration and automation. It’s easily adopted by busy professionals, with the familiar Microsoft interface and direct integration with crucial office tools that teams use every day. It delivers leading-edge capability that’s continually updated to anticipate market demand and harness the latest digital innovations.
Of course, technology alone won’t bring your sales and marketing teams together. But if you can embed a collaborative culture and nurture it with Microsoft Dynamics 365, you will take a step towards empowering a highly integrated sales and marketing team that are better equipped to deliver your vision of customer and revenue growth.
To learn more about how Dynamics 365 and the experts at Xpedition can help your business, contact us today.
Kayleigh Lewis, Head of Marketing, Xpedition