The range of technologies available to sales and marketing is vast and growing. And companies of all sizes recognize the value of sales and marketing tech: according to the 2015 Salesforce State of Sales, top teams are eight times more likely than underperformers to be heavy tech adopters. The report also reveals that high-performing companies are three times as likely as underperformers to view sales as the responsibility of the entire organization.
It's clear that for companies to win and maintain customers, sales and marketing teams must work together consistently and efficiently. But how can companies ensure sales and marketing stay on the same page? It turns out that putting customers at the center of sales and marketing efforts lays a strong foundation for building the best process, from first interaction to long-term customer relationships.
By using a well-crafted tech stack, creating a shared set of goals and using data to personalize customer experience, companies can build a data-driven sales and marketing process that attracts the right prospects and converts them to loyal customers.
It's still common for companies to have completely different metrics for sales and marketing teams. But creating a single, comprehensive approach to the buyer journey gives companies the power to move more deals through the funnel. If an overall revenue goal isn't met, it doesn't matter how many leads were generated – the entire company loses.
"If you can't buy a beer with it, it's not a good metric," said Matt Heinz, president of Heinz Marketing. "How an organization is structured is less important than common than common objectives." It's important for sales and marketing leaders to share knowledge as well as goals, so that their teams can give prospects the personalized attention they need to move to the next step in the sales process.
Choosing solutions that play well with other technologies is critical to ensuring that sales and marketing teams current and accurate prospect data throughout the buyer journey. Whether it's building a tightly integrated tech stack that pushes data throughout the process or finding a platform that sales and marketing teams can use together, giving companies a single source of truth makes data collection much easier.
"Creating an ideal customer profile is an integral element of our sales and marketing strategy," said Phill Keene, manager of demand generation at TinderBox. "Part of that strategy requires us to give our sales and marketing team the ability to share knowledge in one place that's accessible to everyone."
Data is the answer to many sales and marketing conflicts, but it's most effective when used to create a personalized experience for customers. Not every prospect will follow the same journey; that means companies must use the data they have to craft messaging, sales assets and late-stage content to serve their specific needs.
"Everyone knows people respond when they're touched multiple times using a variety of media," said Trish Bertuzzi, president of The Bridge Group. "But where things go awry is when prospect end up in the same vanilla nurture streams. Sales and marketing should look at different nurture tracks for different prospects. We have the technology – what we don't have is the agreement to treat different buyers differently."
When customers are treated as the top priority of an entire organization, sales and marketing teams can create a seamless internal process that translates to an effective and satisfying buying experience. It's easier said than done – but the tools are available to companies willing to use them.
Sharmin Kent is the content and communications manager at TinderBox. You can find her at Twitter at @STMKent.