There are many time-tested strategies and techniques that rule the Marketing landscape. They can yield immediate results on campaigns across channels. This can also let companies shift to a more customer-centric approach. However, there has to be a change coming from the top management and not just the Marketing department, and this change must result in improving company culture and revenue.
This move can bring in a good impact, especially to B2B marketers with a more convoluted sales cycle. This welcome change works within the organization to create the right environment for sales and marketing alignment.
In a traditional set up, sales and marketing have been looked at as two separate functions wherein the latter is used for lead generation and the former is about conversion of prospects to customers.
Sales has a lot of involvement in top of the funnel activities, such as crafting a spec sheet for leads. When marketing jumps in for nurturing of leads as they move along in the pipeline, the sales team gets the cake with the final closure. Here, in place of both the departments vying for one upmanship, the success of the company should be considered at large.
That being said, the crux here remains to be the job of integrating marketing function into sales-centric CRM – all with the use of technology. In fact, there are many all-in-one CRMs in the world such as Zoho, Infusionsoft, SugarCRM, Agile CRM etc., that offer a seamless integration of both.
How technology can aid internal alignment of Sales and Marketing
One observable change that technology has brought in is to empower the marketers, and they can be eventually rechristened as techno-marketers. Now marketing chiefs of companies are filling in the shoes of technocrats within the company to initiate buying chain of technology. This reminds me of Gartner’s prediction that by 2017 CMOs will be spending more on technology than CIOs.
Martech is the new wave
Just over ten years ago, when digital marketing was making its inroads; it churned out quantifiable data and website analytics dominated marketing. Developers by understanding the market requirement created tools through a need based approach. This automated tools for email and marketing replaced the manual activities out of campaigns. This gave a leeway for marketers to focus on the elements of creativity and strategy and build them into a robust system controlled by software.
In no time it was evident that for effective use of technology sales and marketing had to be pieced together to be a single database and a greater linkage would make the data transfer seamless from one piece in the automation to another in the CRM.
At present, martech has evolved into a big software category with incremental innovations and enhancements on the various available tools. They resulted in even more advanced powerful packages tailor-made for predictive analysis, social marketing etc.
A colossal benefit that can’t be overlooked is the way this technological integration has aligned sales and marketing teams. Now marketing can move the prospects through the whole pipeline and sales can claim a stake in top-of-the-funnel activities of marketing. Now CRM is no longer a sales-centric tool and is perceived to be a comprehensive process that entails the total customer lifecycle of transforming a random visitor to the website to a paid customer.
When teams work together to write the specs for a sales-qualified lead, the rest can be passed on to technology that bridges the divide between sales and marketing. Then companies can see substantial results that break the walls of separation between departments, amp up the communications, and on the whole, achieve greater objectives.