Benefits of a Single CRM Cloud for Marketing
The Truth about Sales and Marketing Alignment
Think of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson. Holmes treats his detective work as an unemotional, cold science. Watson contributes by making more human observations and inspiring Holmes’ genius. They are very different, but they complement each other. The same is true of sales and marketing. They are dissimilar, but they’re stronger when they work together.
So why can’t sales and marketing just get along? After all, they’re working towards the same goals. Oops. Scratch that—they should be working towards the same goals and reinforcing each other’s efforts.
Instead, in many organizations, there is tension between sales and marketing associates. Perhaps it’s because marketers and salespeople think differently. Marketing leaders are concerned about the big picture—segments, industries, global expansion and more. They’re working on marketing strategies and plans. On the other hand, reps are in the trenches working one-on-one with prospects and customers to make the sale. While marketers don’t think the salespeople understand their vision, salespeople believe that marketing leaders, sealed off in ivory towers, have little understanding of customers.
Like Holmes and Watson, however, marketing and sales need each other. When they align their activities and work in close cooperation, they have what it takes to get results—increased sales and revenues.
The View from the Top
The view often looks better from up high. And that’s certainly true when it comes to top management’s view of sales and marketing alignment. So says a study of over 350 B2B marketers by Bizible, “2015 State of Pipeline Marketing.” It found that six in 10 C-level executives say that sales and marketing are tightly aligned. As you move down the corporate ladder, however, the rose-colored glasses are a rarer commodity. Middle-level managers and those just below them are most likely to say sales and marketing are seldomly aligned. Perhaps that’s because it’s easier to see the cracks in the landscape when you are closer to the surface.
The Tracks of Alignment Draw Closer
Discord between sales and marketing has festered for decades. The problem, however, is that the ramifications of this issue are on the verge of getting worse. Why is that? Because as customers get smarter and expect more, sales and marketing have to step into each other’s space. They not only have to align their efforts, but they also have to walk in each other’s footsteps. While the goal used to be to get two rails moving in parallel, now they practically need to merge into a monorail.
Salespeople can no longer expect to interact with prospects and customers in person and on the phone only. They must also be active on social channels and dig into the analytics to see when their targeted customers are opening emails, visiting the company’s website and downloading content.
Hmm—that sounds familiar. Maybe that’s because their colleagues in marketing were formerly the masters of these domains.
And it doesn’t end there. In the marketing world, you hear the words “personalization” or “one-to-one marketing” more and more frequently. Yet, it used to be that providing the unique message catered to a single individual sat squarely in the realm of sales.
Sales and marketing need to meld as never before.
From Diverging Paths to Monorail
So how do you move from where you are today, with sales and marketing often working at cross purposes, to where you need to be in 2016 and beyond?
If you are currently minding a gap between handoffs from marketing to sales, you can be sure that some leads and sales opportunities will fall through it. Building a bridge across that gap starts with adding structure and accountability to your lead generation process. Every step in the lead and demand generation process needs to move smoothly to the next one.
Sometimes you know problems exist in your sales and marketing process, but it’s hard to identify their root causes. Here’s a tip on where to look. Frequently, you’ll find issues firmly rooted in the “Battle of the Lists.” Often, sales and marketing work from two separate lists, letting leads leak out of the pipeline. When leads evaporate, salespeople put the blame for missed quotas in marketing’s hands.
The CRM Cloud: Your Bridge between Marketing and Sales Software
It’s time to move beyond the sales cloud and marketing cloud. You need a CRM cloud solution where everything required for marketing, sales and service floats harmoniously together. One chasm it helps to span is the burden of entering data from marketing software into CRM or sales software. That means fewer lost leads. Because all the information is in one place, you can:
- Build digital campaigns more easily
- Manage segments better
- Contact leads more rapidly
- Create more successful email marketing campaigns
- Nurture leads more effectively
- Personalize communications for the ultimate in one-to-one marketing
- Track and measure all variables related to leads, prospects, and customers for insights that move your sales and marketing tactics to the next level
Despite the attractiveness of such a solution, there is a danger that you might choose the wrong one. Given the rise in the popularity of marketing automation, many well-established companies that offer cloud CRM have jumped into the market by acquiring these tools and then tacking them on to their solutions. This Frankenstein approach, however, doesn’t work well. That’s because cohesiveness is the foundation for success. That comes from building a solution from the ground up.
So seek out a CRM cloud solution that was conceived with marketing automation as an integral part of it. That way you can be sure that it works cohesively for your entire organization, serving as the monorail that leads full-speed into the future.