Are You Driven to Align Marketing and Sales?
Attract the Right Job or Clientele
NOTE: Sreedhar Ambati, Co-Founder and CEO, EngageBay provides today’s guest post.
Sreedhar has over 14 years of experience working with various startups. His positions include member of a founding team, senior management, and advisory roles. He is currently an angel investor, and sits on the Boards of several SaaS startups in India. Sreedhar has founded EngageBay to make marketing easier and more affordable for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
As marketers, we always talk about generating revenue and top-line growth. In these conversations about marketing automation and tools, we forget one crucial fact. The core component of teams is people. So, if people in the Marketing and Sales teams aren’t on the same page, it means misaligned strategies.
Misaligned strategies lead to broken processes and miscommunication concerning leads. In turn, the miscommunication frustrates employees and irritates customers. The misalignment between Sales and Marketing affects both teams and a loss of business is sure to follow.
Marketing and Sales were previously viewed as separate functions; they worked in silos.
The job of the Marketing team was to generate leads through different types of marketing activities. Sales were at the bottom of the funnel to turn the leads into paying customers.
Problem #1: There Was no Knowledge Transfer
Lead qualification is more effective with lead nurturing knowledge, and takes place with the Marketing team. Since Marketing and Sales were not expected to coordinate, any lead generation knowledge stayed within the Sales team.
If a lead did fulfill Marketing’s lead qualification criteria, it was passed onto Sales. No additional information about the purchase intent or customer’s business would be shared. A lack of sharing was primarily due to important data not being available. Marketing was detached from the customer’s journey.
Problem #2: Customer Experience Would Be Negative
Because Marketing and Sales processes were separate, customer experience was unpredictable and unpleasant.
The Sales team having to repetitively ask all those details again would frustrate the lead. The process was time-consuming and led to poor customer experiences.
A lot of internal conflicts would also arise. If these conflicts were not resolved, the whole lead generation cycle would be affected.
Marketing activities were insignificant to the Sales team because they couldn’t map them to direct numerical outputs. Sales would often reject the leads that Marketing brought in, and sought to generate their own.
The Truth About Modern Customers
The customer’s journey has changed significantly by the advent of technology. It isn’t a one-dimensional journey anymore. Today, you can get leads from your website or your many social assets like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and a few others.
Content marketing and social media marketing are top tiers. The customer can live out more than half of your funnel online, before ever talking to your Sales team.
Prospects can move from Awareness to Evaluation by way of social discovery and in-depth online research. The customer today is smarter than ever.
Often 50-75% of lead nurturing happens online. Such a lead, when given to Sales, has already progressed beyond the basic questions. The prospect looks for detailed and very specific nuggets of information.
Lines between Marketing and Sales are getting blurred.
Misaligned strategies lead to broken processes and miscommunication with prospective clientele. In turn, the miscommunication frustrates employees and irritates customers. It may even cause a loss of business.
Misalignment between Sales and Marketing Affects Both Teams
Marketing and Sales were viewed as separate functions; they worked in silos.
From a customer’s point-of-view, the brand became omnipresent. There was no difference between getting an offer from Instagram, Snapchat, Email, a PPC ad, or any other form of the landing page.
Every marketer has to know how to sell, and every salesperson must be able and willing to market his products when needed.
Take note that today’s customer hates being sold! Your marketing messages can’t be too aggressive or overly persuasive. It has to be natural, and it has to speak in the customer’s native language.
Marketing Automation Affects It All
Email marketing, in its initial stages, brought some progress to this process. Marketers began to realize that leads may not be ready based on the activity of one email.
This insight only helped; more mature email marketing funnels came into the picture. The tools were still separate though.
As told before, a potential customer can come from any frontend channel. On the backend, though, the process was still broken. We had separate software for email marketing automation and landing pages. Software companies specializing in lead capture forms and social media management were born.
The all-in-one marketing software came to the rescue. By bringing all these functionalities in a single software, marketers got rid of all these:Overhead effort Extra time Costs of many tools
They would begin to collect information about the online journey of the lead. Lead scoring solidified the marketing qualification criteria. Finally, a full picture of the customer in the funnel began to emerge.
So, for leads who are not interested, such a picture wouldn’t emerge completely. Once this picture did appear, these leads were transferred to Sales via a CRM software. A case for Sales and Marketing alignment
Today, Sales and Marketing have to work together as one unit and share all the information to help improve revenue growth.
Generally, the Marketing team’s content develops from ideas and predictions from the customer persona. It doesn’t ask the customer what he needs. Predictions are the primary source.
Marketing stays detached from customers’ real problems.
It is the Sales Department that helps convert and convince the customer. Salespeople are much closer to the customer. They are able to obtain first-hand information instead of generically making assumptions.
If the Marketing team were to have access to this data, they would know what questions their potential customers have in mind.
For example, if Marketing were able to look at a Sales call transcript, they would get to know the types of customers more accurately. Marketers can examine the call notes, analyze the needs of the customers, and create highly targeted content to address the needs and desires.
When new leads reach the same stage, they will consume marketing content. Sales team won’t have to spend as much time convincing.
A Sales and Marketing alignment also helps tie the ROI directly back to marketing materials.
How EngageBay Was Born
EngageBay uniquely unifies all the online marketing tools under one roof. We create Email campaigns with broadcasts AND follow-ups. You don’t need to buy any additional software for quickly creating beautiful and engaging landing pages. We have also created marketing automation triggers, split testing, and everything else required to grow your business.
As of writing this article, no other unified marketing software is more affordable than EngageBay. Most are taken by surprise, in a good way, upon visiting our site.
We also include a free CRM module for Sales teams. The program helps organize all your email contacts. It also enables you to track deals in the sales pipeline to grow your sales and build meaningful customer relationships.
What makes our CRM stand out is a 360-degree customer view screen. Every customer interaction from every channel on one-page records. There’s even integration for phone call history. This screen remains accessible to both the Marketing and Sales teams.
We are working toward having businesses of all sizes wanting to adopt our system. Our goal is to help align Marketing and Sales at an affordable price for small businesses. And we will continue to add more features that enable our clients to build better relationships while earning more sales.
Today’s guest blog is provided to help you achieve the Smooth Sale!