Everyone in your organization is working toward the same goals overall, but the specific paths you take to reach them are often different. That can cause challenges with demand generation, customer care, and the hand-off between teams. Having a road map to alignment helps you bring everyone together, mapping the quickest routes to success with your database services manager and ensuring total customer care the whole way.
Not sure how well your current sales/marketing alignment is working for you? Take the quiz and find your SMA score. Then, come back and see how you can improve it with this quick-start guide.
Your first step to total sales/marketing alignment is fully understanding and articulating where you want to go. It’s not enough to talk in general terms about increasing revenue or improving customer satisfaction; you and your marketing automation consultant should work on defining specific benchmarks.
With your marketing automation manager, you’re able to refine your cost per lead and know precisely what your sales team needs to achieve to stay in the black. Using that knowledge, you can calculate the effects of changes to your marketing approach and know how it will affect overall revenue. That’s alignment in action.
A single, central database is essential to fully integrated sales and marketing. Only when each side of the customer care equation can see what the other team is doing can they truly align. We’ve described it before as a relay race; in that analogy, both racers must adjust to match their paces with one another. That only happens when you’re able to see what the other runner’s doing.
If your CRM isn’t part of your marketing automation platform, your sales and marketing teams are running blindfolded. Because they don’t know what their counterparts are doing and how much ground they’ve covered, it’s almost impossible to perform a smooth hand-off from marketing to sales. Bring all your information together with the help of a database services consultant, and you empower your racers to reach top speed.
Once you’ve established a central database and allow information to flow freely, you need to ensure that channels of communication stay open. Regular meetings that bring sales and marketing teams together are important, but marketing automation technology itself has built-in tools to facilitate easier communication. With automated lead scoring, fields for notes, and a customizable alert system to notify a seller as soon as a lead reaches sales readiness, the software makes it easier for marketing and sales to connect.
If both sales and marketing are contributing information to the database, how does the system resolve potential conflicts? Designating a priority system for incoming data is part of what your database services manager does when setting up the system. For example, routine data hygiene processes are initiated on the marketing side, but a seller who gets newer information directly from a customer can manually update that account file, amending the existing information with the freshest data possible.
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