Makes market & sales work together to build your marketing funnel
Do you believe that the chaos of social media is overwhelming and makes it hard to gain an overview? Would you like your CRM to find relevant people for you to contact? To make that happen, sales and marketing teams need to work together more closely in order to build your online marketing funnel.
The work of sales and marketing departments has changed over the years. Sales and marketing have been closing in on each other because of the behavioural changes that technology, especially the internet, has created.
As buyers, we don’t need to talk to a salesperson as the single point of contact to get the information we need during our information-gathering process. Now, with most of the information we need available at our fingertips, we can do most of it ourselves.
By the time we as customers want to talk to a salesperson, in many cases we have already narrowed down the possible vendors to a few, we want more adding-value-information, expertise and support in our descision making process.
This places new requirements on sales and marketing people, and most likely other relevant roles, to work together. As a buyer, we don’t want that human dialogue to give us the same information that we already found online, we want to get added value from it.
Therefore, in short,
- sales teams need to be better prepared and have much deeper knowledge about what their company is offering, the problems their customers regularly face, and how their product or service can really add value to the customer; and
- marketing teams need to realise that it’s not only about branding any more. Marketing needs to be more involved in lead generation and in educating customers about the problems they face and how the company’s offering adds value.
How can sales and marketing departments adapt and build your marketing funnel ?
So, how does this affect sales and marketing departments and the tools they use? The classic scenario is that marketing focuses on branding, doing campaigns, planning events etc.
That’s good, they need to keep doing that, but they also need to involve themselves more actively in lead generation. Many marketing departments are already doing that, to an extent.
However, many sales and marketing departments have an invisible wall between them. Marketing hands leads over the wall, and sales sometimes follows up.
How is that working out? In many cases not so well, just like the co-operation between sales and delivery, but that is another story. The point is that to become successful we need to work together more closely, using joint processes, otherwise we end up in the classic scenario where one department blames another for its own bad performance.
In that situation, it’s not unusual for sales to blame marketing for poor leads, and for marketing to blame sales for not following up on the delivered leads. To be successful, departments need to get over that, look at the common goal and figure out how they can work together to achieve it.
What if marketing could help sales to educate customers about their offering during the initial information-gathering process that all customers go through? What if marketing could provide sales with leads arising from that work?
What if marketing could target mini campaigns at the customers that the sales team is already talking to? In that scenario, sales and marketing would really work together, hand in hand, to make sure the customer realises that the company understands their problem, has a relevant and suitable solution, and so is the company they should buy from.
In such a scenario, you contribute the basic information when the customer wants it, and give the added value when it is needed, which increases the chance that the customer will choose your company and not randomly pick another.
We need to use the same tool to reach the goal together
We can all agree that a rally driver and it’s navigator needs to sit in the same car to reach the goal together, right? Imagine a rally driver and it’s navigator sitting separately. The driver in the car and the navigator behind a desk in an office, instructing the driver.
That would probably work, in theory, but would it be optimal, of course not. They need to use the same tool to reach the goal together, i.e. sit in the car together. The same goes for sales and marketing, they need to operate in the same tool to reach the goal together.
To simplify this change in approach, and to help sales and marketing work together, a modern CRM must come packaged with marketing automation and automated lead generation, so that they are an everyday part of business.
The alternative is that if our sales and marketing teams use separate tools to follow up the same process
- it is hard to get an overview,
- so there is a risk of losing things in the cracks,
- and if we lose things in the cracks we lose control,
- so people stop working together.
Hence, sales and marketing need to use the same tool, one that integrates marketing, lead generation and sales. It needs to be simple to follow up leads and to see how different activities have paid off.
The tool needs to answer questions like, how did the last campaign perform against the targets? How many leads did it generate? How many opportunities did we get from those leads?
How many opportunities did we win and what was their value? What marketing channels are best for our company to use?
Dynamic and changing environments stimulates creativity
To be even more effective, we also want to be able to use this tool anywhere at any time. Imagine setting up your new campaign in less than a minute, while shopping. Imagine seeing the leads flowing in, and sales following up on them and converting the interesting ones to opportunities.
Imagine tracking what is happening from anywhere. Imagine having your meetings in a coffee shop, instead of the office. Imagine letting go of the heavy computer that rarely fits on the coffee shop table.
If we want to be more successful, to be freer and to have more time to do other things, we need to combine marketing, lead generation and sales tools in one mobile tool.
Only then will we have a united, free and responsive sales and marketing organisation.