How Technology Can Help Sales-Marketing Alignment
One of the most important synergies in your company is the cooperation between your sales and marketing teams. In fact, the failure to align sales and marketing departments is the number one reason that an organization’s annual revenue plateaus or even declines. Today, there are multiple technology solutions created with the purpose of solving the misalignment between sales and marketing, resulting in a more efficient company. How can technology help?
Sales-Marketing Alignment Statistics
According to Hubspot, the misalignment between marketing and sales costs the business world more than $1 trillion per year.
The largest contributor to this wasted revenue is the inefficient handoff between marketing and sales. Of the leads generated by marketing efforts, only 21 percent of them are converted to sales. Worse, only 27 percent of the leads are even contacted.
Aligning sales and marketing can have dramatic benefits. Organizations with better departmental alignment report 27 percent better three-year growth, close 38 percent more sales, and achieve a 208 percent higher marketing revenue than organizations with disjointed teams.
How Technology Can Improve Alignment
To best make use of technology in pursuit of sales-marketing alignment, focus on the primary source of friction between the two departments: the acquisition and handling of leads.
The first step is to implement a few key pieces:
- Strong digital assets: both departments need to have access to your website, blog, sales collateral, imagery, and social media accounts.
- Marketing automation systems: when you decide how leads should be nurtured and closed, you’ll need the tools in place to do so quickly and efficiently.
- A CRM system: you can’t keep two separate customer databases. All your customers’ information, from the links they’ve clicked to their email addresses to the last time you called them, should be in one central database.
With the right sales technology in place, you can easily pass information from one department to another, set up lead nurturing pathways that hand off leads from marketing to sales, and follow up with leads in the manner spelled out in the SLA.
Finding Better Leads
Once your sales and marketing departments have established the criteria for a sales-qualified lead (SQL), technology can be leveraged to reach your defined audience. Ad networks like Facebook and Google will allow you to target your messaging to people based on location, demographics, job title, company size, or other interests.
Retargeting tools will let you track your potential customers’ browsing behavior, allowing you to serve them relevant marketing materials at exactly the right point in the buyer’s journey. If you can increase the percentage of high-quality leads being generated, you’ll convert more frequently.
Technology is invaluable when nurturing SQLs, and your CRM is at the hub of the entire process. When you gain a new lead, you might be working with very little information — maybe just a name and email address. As you add more information about each lead to the CRM, the picture of your prospective customer grows.
The more you know, the more you can tailor your approach to the specific person you’re targeting. Most importantly, you can easily track who reached out to a lead most recently, how they were contacted, and the results of that conversation to ensure that leads are being adequately pursued. When it’s time to reach out to a lead, sales and marketing teams can work together to craft the messaging you use. When the persuasion and people skills of your sales team are paired with the messaging and collateral of your marketing team, you can create a much more effective lead nurturing strategy.
Your job doesn’t stop when a customer signs on the dotted line. Your existing customers are the best asset your company has for upselling, cross-selling, and bringing in new customers. Keeping them happy is a top priority.
Technology is your friend in this respect, too. With your CRM and monitoring software, you can track whether your customers are opening emails, logging in regularly, accessing your product from multiple machines, and dozens of other data points. Over time, you’ll notice patterns in the behavior of customers who stick around and those who don’t.
If you find that specific groups of customers tend to churn quickly, your sales and marketing teams can make the decision not to pursue those customers. On the other hand, if you notice commonalities between your most loyal customers, you can focus more of your sales and marketing departments’ energy on finding leads that fit that description.
Embrace the Role of Technology
Aligning your sales and marketing departments is an undeniable boon to your company, streamlining important processes and improving the way that all your departments interact with your customers. That alignment relies on clear communication and highly organized information between departments, which is where technology can help. Don’t get stuck handling the sales-marketing relationship the way you always have — technology can make the whole process much more efficient.