'MarkSales': What Organizations Can Learn From the DevOps Movement
In the world of application development, “DevOps,” a portmanteau for "development" and "operations," entails improving collaboration, communication, integration and cooperation between developers and IT operations teams. The ultimate goal is creating a more agile organization, which rolls out higher-quality software products faster and generates more revenue.
In a lot of ways, marketing and sales teams are like developers and operations. Both sides could be a lot more productive — and ultimately make more money for their organizations — if they worked in parallel, not in silos, and the roadblocks between them were removed. In this article, we’ll explore the origins of the “DevOps” movement and show how it provides a strong model for marketing and sales organizations to increase their productivity.
The Importance of DevOps
DevOps began as a way for organizations to keep up with today’s fast pace of agile software delivery. Over time, DevOps has helped create structure and consistency between software developers (those writing the code) and ops teams (those responsible for the application-supporting infrastructure) in order to maximize productivity.
DevOps teams have helped organizations create efficiencies, improve interdepartmental communications and minimize headaches. Companies implementing DevOps often achieve a competitive advantage resulting from:
- Shorter development cycles
- Faster and more frequent deployment schedules
- Fewer technical errors and improved quality assurance
- Cross-functional leadership
No doubt, DevOps has had an enormously positive impact on the way organizations work. If marketing and sales could apply the same best practices, they’d easily generate more inbound leads, find better customers and close bigger contracts.
Within many organizations, marketing and sales departments maintain a contentious relationship. A 2015 study by CallidusCloud revealed approximately 28 percent of the 200 -plus marketing and sales professionals polled felt their departments were misaligned.
Though both groups are supposed to be on the same side, hubris, misunderstandings and self-interest often sabotage success. To foster a more collaborative environment, businesses need to take a DevOps-like approach to managing marketing and sales.
This is where sales ops managers and marketing leaders come together to generate better business results both immediately and long-term. For MarkSales to work, there needs to be at least one person who is tasked to:
1. Consolidate sales content. A MarkSales representative ensures relevant case studies, whitepapers, customer testimonials, and sales-related statistics are available in a content library for everyone in marketing and sales to reference.
2. Determine who the right buyers are. Many times, there is misalignment in the leads marketing acquires and the audience sales hopes to capture. MarkSales teams should set specific parameters for the types of customers they want to target.
3. Create a consistent customer experience. The language you use and the value proposition you offer mustn’t change as prospective clients progress through the sales funnel. This ensures a smooth hand off when marketing sends leads to sales.
4. Develop a transparent funnel. MarkSales leaders should clearly communicate how marketing acquires and nurtures leads, and how sales pitches the client, generates rapport, and closes the deal. This enables marketing to understand how sales works and vice versa.
5. Task marketing to indirectly sell. MarkSales helps rearrange priorities and coordinates who will be responsible for driving leads, developing cold email drips, creating sales collateral, or generating buzzworthy PR that gives buyers confidence in your brand before they even reach the sales pipeline.
6. Challenge sales to leverage marketing’s strengths and support its weaknesses. Marketers have a ton of highly specialized skills, such as capturing leads at volume, which sales can use to its advantage. That said, sales should step in where marketing falls short to fill out the perfect sales funnel.
7. Alleviate stress and actively improve processes. With the help of MarkSales, workers become more productive when MarkSales reps implement time-saving tools like content collaboration, take care of administrative responsibilities and manage office politics. This allows marketing and sales professionals to spend more of their time doing high-impact work to fatten the bottom line. In addition, sales teams should have direct access to high-impact marketing materials to help them better capitalize on leads when they are “hot.”
In a series of articles about DevOps for IBM developerWorks, Gene Kim wrote, “After benchmarking over 1500 high-performing IT organizations, I found that they were 5 to 7 times more productive than their non-high-performing peers.” Today, many successful technical teams thrive thanks to strong DevOps leadership. Just imagine what marketing and sales teams can accomplish when they leverage MarkSales and unite for a common goal.
How does your organization successfully marry marketing and sales?