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Spark growth: what happens when marketing and sales join forces
Information silos are one of the greatest challenges in contemporary corporate environments. A lack of communication between different departments and divisions within a company inevitably leads to inefficiency and subpar growth.
Take, let’s say, marketing and sales. In many companies, a deeply ingrained silo mentality causes a disconnect between these two divisions. A typical narrative in this situation:Sales people: “Marketing generates poor quality leads.”
Marketers: “Well, if there would be any follow-up…”
Sound familiar? Although complaining about your colleagues is definitely one of the biggest perks of daily working life – I mean, what are coffee breaks for? – this mentality sure isn’t helping the business along. In fact, sales and marketing misalignment is the biggest reason why annual revenue stagnates or, worse, declines.
So how can sales and marketing professionals break down the barriers and join forces? These are the 4 steps your company should take to align sales and marketing.
Find a common goal
In an ideal world, every division within a company is working toward a common goal, right? Well, in an ideal world, yes. But corporate environments are far more complex than that. In reality, marketing and sales departments often have different KPIs, which inevitably leads to differing interests.
The first step to achieving marketing and sales alignment is to harmonize these KPIs, or to come up with a new set of KPIs that reflect common goals. MQL to opportunity ratio, opportunity to customer ratio and end-to-end conversion ratio are important metrics that show whether your marketing and sales strategies are working in harmony.
Create a single customer journey
Now that you’ve established a common goal, it’s time for the real work to begin. Reinventing the entire customer journey is the next step. There should no longer be siloed experiences for your prospects. Instead, sales and marketing need to join forces to create a single customer journey – from the awareness stage to the brand loyalty stage.
To create a holistic customer experience, you need to get a 360-degree view of the customer. Although this may seem like a daunting task, luckily there’s a crazy little thing called… technology.
CRM is one of the most effective technologies to align marketing and sales strategies, followed by email marketing, analytics and marketing automation. The right CRM tool will help you draw the bridge between the marketing data about a prospect and their transformation into leads and opportunities.
Mind the gap (and close it)
Just like generating leads is a joint effort between marketing and sales, following up those leads is a shared responsibility, too.
How? Talk to each other. Or, in corporate lingo: closed-loop reporting. Marketing needs to find out what happens to the leads after they’ve reined them in. And sales needs to provide constructive feedback to marketing at every step of the sales cycle.
Assisted conversions and lead acquisition sources, for example, are key concepts that marketing should be looking at via closed-loop reporting.
Keep up retention – together
Generating new leads is great. But increasing the lifetime value of your existing customers is even better. Just a five percent increase in customer retention increases profits by 25-95%. By solely focusing on lead generation, your company could be missing out on a lot.
Marketing and sales alignment opens up exciting new opportunities to increase revenue from existing customers. In the past, retaining customers was primarily a sales responsibility. But marketers can help expand customer lifetime value, too.
Once you’ve acquired a new customer, your marketing team should shift their strategy from attracting leads to cross-selling and upselling.
A long-lasting love story between sales and marketing is crucial to your organization’s success. Companies that have successfully aligned these two divisions get 32% higher revenue, 36% more customer retention and 38% higher win rates on average.
By working toward a common goal, creating a single customer journey and – most importantly – talking to each other, sales people and marketers both win. So, what are you waiting for?
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