Many companies are shifting away from the classical division of sales and marketing to a more close-knit group of people who share a common interest.
These people work together to get more traffic to their website, more high-quality leads into their sales funnel, and more new customers.
It’s wonderful if your sales and marketing are already working together and you can see your business benefiting from it.According to research from SiriusDecisions, B2B organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing teams achieved 24% faster revenue growth over a three-year period. Click To Tweet
But if your business growth has gotten stuck and you are still keeping sales and marketing separate, consider integrating these two seemingly different departments.
What harm is done by keeping sales and marketing separate?
Have you noticed that whenever your sales results are not as expected, which happens often, your marketing and sales teams always have something to say about the other? The most typical scenario is this:
- Marketing accuses sales of throwing away their leads with poor sales tactics or lack of follow-through.
- Sales accuses marketing of providing low-quality leads in the first place, setting them up for failure.
Conflicts between sales and marketing aren’t surprising. After all, these teams are responsible for the opposing ends of the customers’ buying journey.
It’s a lose-lose situation that creates unnecessary stress and tension.
Integrate your sales and marketing in 4 practical steps
To truly achieve sales and marketing integration, you need to focus on more than just paperwork and formal agreements; you need to change the systems under which both teams work.
Here are four ways to achieve just that.
1. Keep your business data in a single centralized location
Working with data that is kept in a single centralized location allows your marketing and sales team to get real-time, actionable intelligence about your leads. For example, how your leads are engaging with your emails and campaigns.
As a result:
- Sales will have more data-rich information about leads before they officially enter their part of the funnel (allowing sales reps to tailor their approach, provide more useful content, know which leads to call first and ultimately close more deals).
- Marketing will be able to follow their leads through the end of the cycle (allowing them to tweak and change their strategies for paid advertising, email campaigns, content marketing, and website targeting/personalization).
If you are using multiple tools, see if they can be integrated with the CRM where you keep your data. It’s important because the more info you can bring together into one CRM, the more your team will benefit from it.
Full visibility across departments is essential for sales and marketing integration to work. It is the core of bringing the teams together.
Just make sure your data is always in sync. With several tools integrated into one CRM information can get lost. So, choose yourself a marketing automation tool that keeps your data in sync 24/7.
Read more from here about how we automate our marketing with less than $ 50 per month.
2. Make plans, set goals, and track KPIs together
Have sales and marketing collaborate across teams to create mutually developed plans, goals, terminology, and KPIs.
It’s not difficult. Here at Outfunnel, we have set up a simple spreadsheet in which both sales and marketing add their results at the end of every month.
Together we track traffic, signups, and conversions, also the numbers of new leads, new customers and churned customers.
Set yourself a goal to create your own spreadsheet of sales and marketing key performance indicators. It gives you a good reason to call both of your teams together to discuss the following points:
- What is the mutual goal for this week/month/quarter, and what are the department-specific KPIs to aim for?
- What marketing collateral should be developed to assist sales during one-on-one conversations?
- What information can sales share to help marketing attract better, more qualified leads?
- What is the feedback from sales regarding the quality of the leads? If it is not great, how to improve it?
- What specific information should be exchanged so that each team can do its job better?
3. Open the lines of communication
Once general plans are in place for sales and marketing integration, each team must be held mutually accountable for bringing in results. Communication, both within and across departments, is key.
In addition to regular meetings, you can make use of project management tools to automate reminders, assign tasks, and maintain up-to-date information across departments. Popular project management platforms include Trello, Basecamp, Asana, and others.
Keeping communication open, transparent, and trackable will help your teams work together without excessive duplication or frustration.
At Outfunnel, our sales and customer support puts together every month a report about why trial users are not buying our subscription and why some customers churn. This information is highly valuable also for marketing, development, and management.
Also, we have one dedicated Slack channel for sales, marketing, and customer support. There we share valuable insights we have learned about our customers but also invite colleagues to read a useful article, a book or listen to a podcast.
4. Involve sales and customer support in marketing
Both sales and customer support know your customers very well and can give valuable insights that marketing might otherwise miss.
“Data and content working together is today’s marketing currency. The better we leverage both in concert with the buying cycle, the more quickly we close any gaps and support the sales team’s journey.” Steve Kozek, Head of Commercial Excellence at Citizen’s Bank
Here are a few ways in which these traditionally end-of-funnel teams can help marketers improve their content and increase their ROI:
- Ask sales to suggest topics for content marketing or printed marketing collateral
- Listen to recorded sales calls or meetings to find more descriptive, sticky language
- Rely on sales reps’ experience and knowledge to craft more accurate buyers personas
- Add leads back into marketing funnel for further nurturing if sales team sends them back for not being warm enough.
In the end, integrating sales and marketing won’t just streamline your business processes; it’ll keep leads flowing through the funnel, help you close more sales, and improve your ROI on marketing efforts.
Just remember to keep your data open and accessible to both sales and marketing, make mutual plans, communicate openly, and involve sales and customer support in marketing. Doing so will prevent your business from getting stuck and unleash greater growth potential.