Conflict between sales and marketing is nothing new. The most common scenario is that marketing teams complain about a lack of timely follow-up with their hard-earned leads or them not being closed properly, and sales is often unhappy with the quality of leads they get from marketing. These two teams
Marketing teams can track the online behaviors of leads to help warm up what would otherwise be a cold call. At the same time, data and insight from your sales team can help marketing improve how they recognize leads that will most likely convert and identify the most efficient communication channels.
Bringing sales and marketing together is paramount to the growth of your company.
5 Ways an Integrated Approach Boosts Growth
1. It provides prospects with a coherent buyer’s journey
Your ideal customer profile or buyer persona should be shaped by both teams. When you think about who it is that you’re trying to reach with your product or service, you need key information about who your customers are and where you can find them. You also need to know about their buying habits, how they make decisions, and what they value.
Marketing can conduct research and surveys with your best customers to understand more about their buying process and decisions. Sales' experience can support those insights by sharing with marketing the most common problems prospects encounter when researching a solution.
Using content marketing, you can distinguish yourself through well-researched articles and content offers that bring the right prospects into your sales funnel. This is where you want to use your marketing team's experience of knowing what to say and where to say it.
2. It builds credibility with a unified message
With an integrated sales and marketing strategy, you can position your company as an industry leader, one who is always happy to educate, help, advise, and counsel clients throughout the buying process.
Sales should leverage the valuable content the marketing team creates to perfect their sales pitches and phone calls. Have content matching prospects' needs throughout the buying process – provide them with informative eBooks or solution briefs that can help them make a better-informed decision.
Building close relationships between sales and marketing should be a priority through planning, implementing, and analyzing your customer acquisition processes.
3. It aligns goals
Remember that the final objective everyone should be focused on achieving is driving the bottom line. Thinking this way will simplify everything, with both sales and marketing pushing for the same broad goal. Working together can only get them there faster and much more efficiently.
Both teams should define what a marketing qualified lead is, as well as what a sales-ready lead is, in a common meeting. This way, both teams can voice their concerns with respect to when a prospect is ready to advance to the next step of the funnel but also when it’s too early for someone to receive a buying offer.
4. It makes tracking and budgeting easy
Working together can save both teams a lot of money and time. Why have separate budgets and spending for tools and campaigns that don’t coordinate? Why not have teams build a unified retention and advocacy program on a common budget?
With an integrated approach, you can track lead flow and close rates so much better. Measure marketing performance on the volume and quality of leads they hand off to sales. As for sales performance, make sure that they deliver on their closing rates.
5. It improves efficiency through integrations
Everyone stands to lose from leads falling through the cracks between filling out a form on your site and being registered in your CRM. In this digital economy, data is key to all operations.
The best way to generate data between sales and marketing is to integrate your sales and marketing software. This integration benefits both sides with valuable data to improve their results. By connecting both teams’ operations, you can see the entire lifecycle of visitors to a customer.
Find out how Dell increased their pipeline revenue by 10X in one quarter using an integrated sales and marketing approach.
Everyone benefits from an integrated approach to sales and marketing. This sort of alignment (or agreement) can help you significantly improve your business bottom line and create a better working environment.
It will give you a better overview of how your customers interact with your business and how they reach a purchasing decision, enabling you to create smarter marketing campaigns and improve your customer service.
*Editor's Note: This blog was originally written in 2015 and has since been updated.