Sales & Marketing Alignment, a key to sustainable success.

We have been talking about the topic Sales & Marketing alignment as long as Sales & Marketing departments exist… the usual discussion (and possible long arguments) is around the quality of the leads generated by Marketing against the capacity of the sales team to convert leads. Silos are created when both teams do not work hand in hand and when a target is missed… so does the blame game start.

We have entered a new area where we will engage in a more personalized way with prospective customers thanks to Marketing automation, we will be able to use machine learning to create individual conversion paths for each type of clients, based on his behaviors and demographics.  

Sales teams will have more insights into the journey prospective customers went through before they got in touch.  

Does this mean that Sales people have an easier job to do in the future, or that Marketing can take over the whole conversion process? certainly not! 

Looking at customer journeys and defining customer journeys maps, it is essential to understand when automation will work or when sales people need actually to take over and engage directly with the prospective customer.  

How can we align both teams better ? 

Sales & Marketing should agree on the stages of development of a prospect, what kind of elements determines the quality of a lead, what makes a prospect move from one stage to the next, or when it needs to go back to an earlier stage .  All these elements should be trackable and reporting on them made possible. 

To create transparency and trust, messages and engagements made towards the prospective customers should be made visible for both parties (what is not in the CRM does not exist) 

Clear Key performance indicators and objectives should be defined along the conversion journey and agreed by both parties 

Dashboards should create the visualisation of the KPI’s and be the single source of truth for both. They should be reviewed regularly together to define corrective actions to take, or to celebrate successes !

Marketing automation allows for delegation of some engagements, using predefined templates and content to allow a brand consistency – these tools should be made available to the sales team. They will not only enable a consistant brand messaging, but also add touchpoints tracking and track sales teams engagement with the prospective customer.

What is coming next? 

as machine learning and automated engagement tactics become common functionalities of marketing technology platforms, so will the necessity of sales and marketing teams to align bigger. 

The usual marketing & communication plan with specific elements of communication sent at a specific date or stage will disappear, the engagement with the prospective customers will be driven by algorithms with the goal to raise conversion rates, machine will dictate sales teams when to contact a prospective customer, e-mails, sms, dynamic offers will be generated by machines…

Therefore it is time for organisations to start their teams alignments and break the silos!!! If a company does not manage to do this, its competitor might do… and will definitely win the fight for customer attention and close more sales!!!

We have facilitated the  alignment of Sales & Marketing organisations by implementing marketing automation solutions and Dashboards using Salesforce, Marketo and tableau. Contacts us to have a discussion how we could possibly help you achieve greater sales results!