It's the old sales vs. marketing battle royale: The sales department thinks the marketing department is out of touch, and marketing thinks sales consists of highly paid order takers. Thankfully, tools are available to help companies align client-acquisition teams and eliminate the outdated rift between sales and marketing. However, before deploying these tools, sales and marketing teams must align together and adopt a data-driven marketing approach. By deploying a data-driven marketing program that is fully integrated into sales, companies can shift from brand-centric activities to those that are sales-centric, thereby improving sales conversion and driving revenue. Here are four steps to help your company get on the right path.
1. Alignment. Departmental staff in business functions including sales, marketing, product development, the CEO and even board members should coordinate their customer acquisition strategies. This strategy may sound simple, but surprisingly few organizations achieve it. For organizations striving to become more sales-centric, alignment means people throughout the enterprise must understand the goals of the salespeople and how they propose to meet those goals. It's not enough to know that the sales department wants to increase sales by 30 percent, staff must understand how they intend to accomplish that. Do they plan to do upselling, cross-selling or a mixture of both? Are sales professionals seeking enterprise accounts, mid-market or SMB acquisitions? What products will be involved? What resources will sales need from marketing and product development? Are all stakeholders in agreement about the sales goals? If there is disagreement, hit the pause button and determine how to get all departments into alignment. Even the strongest marketing strategy will fail if departments don't agree about sales strategies.
2. Calculate Campaign Yield. Evaluate past marketing campaigns using a quantitative approach. Marketing professionals should take a critical look at prior campaigns, such as webinars, tradeshows, telesales, website assets, white papers, sales collateral, promotional items, marketing automation tools, email campaigns and paid social media platforms to understand which were the most cost-effective in bringing in qualified leads. Don't stop at simply calculating lead generation. Consider also looking at campaign results far past marketing qualified leads to closed sales. Due to fractional attribution, where one campaign is not responsible for any single lead or sale, sophisticated tracking tools are needed. Solutions enable companies of all sizes to track revenue back to marketing spend in insightful ways. Areas to consider in your analysis of campaign options include marketing cost, bookings results, margins and deal length.