As growing businesses navigate the challenges of economic uncertainty and mounting expectations, the best performers are able to drive consistent sales growth. One of the key ways to drive that growth is collaboration, specifically between sales and marketing. Whether your organization has defined sales and marketing departments, or one person managing both sides, you can foster this collaborative spirit.

In a recent Series Pass webcast in partnership with Conga, our own growth and innovation evangelist, Tiffani Bova, interviewed Thomas Baumgartner and Maria Valdivieso de Uster from McKinsey and Company's marketing and sales practice. In this insightful webcast, Thomas and Maria shared the latest sales growth research from McKinsey and Company featured in their new book, Sales Growth: Five Proven Strategies from the World’s Sales Leaders (2nd Edition). From the webcast and insights from their book, growing businesses can learn how to perfect sales and marketing alignment from Thomas, Maria and even Taylor Swift.

Have a dialog and share insights

“Marketing and sales are like salt and pepper, right?” Maria grinned, “However, it's critical that they work together, for marketing to bring insights to sales, and sales in the field to bring insights back to marketing.”

Thomas agreed that there's huge potential for sales and marketing to team up, yet the challenge is that the two departments are different. “Sales and marketing can often be referred to as the twins, but in reality, quite often sales and marketing are not completely in line,” Thomas shared. According to Thomas, when the head of marketing and the head of sales team up, and think through the best way to identify their audience, success is more likely to be achieved.

“If you think about what has happened in sales over the last four to five years, there's been a lot of change. If you think about data, automation, digital, the role of mobile,” shared Maria, “there has been a change in how organizations engage their customers. That’s a key theme.” By collaborating with marketing, sales can keep its fingers on the pulse of the trends and ways to engage with customers.

Use technology to share information between departments and create that dialog. Apps such as Apttus CPQ help all departments manage the configuration of their pricing, quoting, discounts, incentives, proposals, and more. Apttus CPQ creates a seamless experience for your customers throughout the sales process, while providing your sales, marketing, and all other departments access to real-time insights.

Channel your inner Taylor Swift

From their hundreds of interviews for the book, Thomas and Maria found that sales success comes from organizations that optimize their digital channels on an ongoing basis. Whether the goal is optimizing the online shopping cart experience or truly integrating mobile, the omnichannel approach was a key takeaway for success. But how do you create the omnichannel experience?

“We think Taylor Swift is fantastic; she gets the omnichannel play. She gets how to use social media. She gets how to use online channels. We think that more companies need to get it the way that she gets it,” shared Maria.

The omnichannel approach requires alignment across your business, where everyone is working together. Then, the customer truly experiences your brand the best way on every channel. Small businesses can start aligning quickly, and with a smaller team of people, they can ensure that alignment is in place. “It’s not just going digital with one channel, but it's having digital as the glue that brings all of the channels together,” advised Maria. Omnichannel involves mobile, which goes beyond just having a mobile-friendly website or an app. With sales and marketing working together, you can truly integrate and connect your entire organization.

The omnichannel experience extends to your document generation process. Whether your customers and team members are viewing documents on their mobile device, on their desktop, or in print, the experience needs to be the same. Drawloop Document Generation quickly and easily creates richly-formatted documents in Salesforce. The app merges data with Word, Excel, PowerPoint or PDF document templates. Your documents are clean, easy to read, and interactive from any device.

Share data

In order to achieve a true connection between sales and marketing, data must be a focus, according to Thomas. Use your data, or look for new data, in order to connect your sellers and marketers. “What are the absolute minimum needs your customers need to be successfully serviced? The answer to this question and more lies in your data, and marketers and sellers need to review that together,” advised Thomas.

Share your sales data with marketing, and ensure marketing is sharing their data with sales. “Data is the achilles heel for sales,” remarked Tiffani Bova, “The promise of big data is great, and many organizations have done a good job of maximizing it, but I think many organizations aren't taking advantage of data.”

One key way that sales and marketing work together is through lead generation and lead routing. Once a lead comes in, the data about that lead needs to be assigned. Apps such as NC Squared Distribution Engine automate the lead routing and distribution process. It ensures your leads and opportunities are distributed to team members in an intelligent and timely manner by organizing and analyzing your lead data.

“We looked at our rich findings when interviewing the leading sales organizations in the world,” shared Thomas, “We identified five major strategies on how to drive growth.” Watch the replay to see all of these strategies.