Aligning Sales and Marketing for Better Customer Experience and Pipeline Results
How well aligned are your sales and marketing departments? Do you need to drive better alignment for more successful prospecting? The importance of consistent alignment in targeting across all functions of your operation is vital for building pipeline and should not be underestimated. LinkedIn shared a great article about this here, it is well worth a read.
Meanwhile, here are a few pointers we’ve gleaned from our time working with sales and marketing in the IT sector…
The key to sales success is for sales and marketing to come together, to align and to create indispensable customer experiences. As stated in the LinkedIn article: “If you’re looking at different data sets, and are incentivised by different goals, you’re not going to win customer love.” Simply put, if marketing and sales don’t see their target audience through the same lens, they’re greatly misaligned and can’t possibly serve up a seamless experience to prospects.
“Sales and Marketing alignment is rated as the most important success factor to achieve revenue goals.” Heinz Marketing, 2017 Marketing Performance Management Report
So, you know what you need to achieve, but how are you going to go about it?
Firstly, Acknowledge the Practical Benefits of Sales and Marketing Alignment LinkedIn research supports the belief that sales and marketing must work in tandem to shepherd leads and opportunities across the finish line. But what precisely is it about sales and marketing alignment that helps drive better results?
Here are the seven main impacts and practical benefits:
A clearer understanding of the buyer. It’s much easier to arrive at a shared vision of the target buyer when teams are working as one.
More realistic view of the buyer journey. Sales and marketing alignment gets rid of the artificial funnel division between marketing and sales and instead aligns each to a holistic view of the buyer journey from start to finish.
More feedback about prospects. Both marketing and sales uncover interesting knowledge about prospects as they interact with and observe them on their buying journeys. Cohesive, shared customer intelligence paves the way for higher conversion and win rates.
Better activation of buyer insights. When marketing and sales work collaboratively, they are more likely to respect and respond to shared knowledge.
More support from company leadership. When the executive team sees a commitment from marketing and sales to orchestrate their efforts, they are motivated to help ensure the success of that alignment.
Better results for sales and marketing. When marketing and sales join forces, they amplify the impact of their efforts.
A more strategic go-to-market approach. The organizations with aligned sales and marketing functions tend to be strategic and big-picture oriented.
Secondly, Agree Goals, Objectives, and Target Audience In 2022, it should be a priority to establish shared goals, objectives, and metrics. Once established, your next focus is your target audience. Who are your core customers? And, perhaps more importantly, do marketing and sales departments agree on this? Has your organisation identified your target buyers and built coherent processes across marketing and sales to drive lead generation and win customers?
With a clearly defined target audience, it is much easier to determine where and how to market your company. Here are some tips to help you define your target market:
Look at your current customer base
Check out your competition
Analyse your product/service
Develop buyer personas
Choose specific demographics to target
Consider the psychographics of your target
If you create marketing messages that truly resonate with your target audience, you’ll achieve higher conversion rates, and build a more powerful brand.
Thirdly, Decide How You Are Going to Access You Target Market
With a core, defined target audience you are halfway there. Once you have this in place, the next question is, how do you engage and interact with them? There is no one size fits all answer to that question. The best answer is … using a combination of all the strategies and approaches in your marketing arsenal.
Picking up the telephone is still one of the most effective lead generation tools in specialist technology telemarketing. Telemarketing makes a significant impact and is a vital component of an integrated solution.
To win new customers you need a unique differentiator. Talking to prospects is the best way to discover exactly how you can meet their needs. It’s not just about content, at CPB we believe it’s about conversation. Speaking to qualified contacts enables CPB to nurture prospects through the sales funnel quickly and proactively, resulting in rapid pipeline results.
Digital marketing is a method of connecting with and influencing your prospects online and is one of the most powerful elements in your marketing strategy. The dynamics of digital marketing change every day and digital marketers must stay alert, be agile and adaptable. A significant contributor to digital marketing is eMarketing. eMarketing is a digital marketing strategy based on sending emails and developing relationships with prospects and customers. An effective email marketing strategy convert prospects into customers and turn first time buyers into recurring customers.
Key findings of a recent DMA report on email marketing found that marketing campaigns which include email are more effective than the average campaign, and that a blended approach is best: email is more effective when part of a multi-channel campaign than when used in isolation. One of the many advantages of email marketing is that you can automate the entire process, and CPB is able to deliver the whole package on your behalf.
Multi-touch marketing allows you to target your audience with consistent, layered brand messaging across a range of platforms and touch points bringing lead generation results from highly successful campaigns. Automated, customisable multi-touch campaigns enable you to act in a customer-centric way. Clever use of compelling and continuous communications develops strong customer relationships. Multi-touch marketing gives your audience the ability to access your content on their terms. Furthermore, it enables you to nurture prospects based on preferences and previous behaviours, delivering personalised, relevant messaging.
A crucial part of accessing and engaging with your target audience is data. Without it, it won’t matter how fabulous your marketing campaign is, how defined your audience is or how well aligned sales is with marketing as your messaging will not reach the right recipients. Once you have defined your market you need to obtain the most accurate, up to date data that is available for this audience. This is where the value of a great data partner comes into play.
At CPB, we have a sister company called ProspectaBase, which, for nearly 25 years has been gathering, profiling, cleansing, and verifying IT industry contact data for the UK market. It’s depth and breadth of IT industry contact and infrastructure intelligence is second to none. But we are conscious this doesn’t turn into a sales piece so all we are going to leave here are some stats about the type of data held in ProspectaBase and we’ll leave it with you to determine the potential value to your business.
ProspectaBase is the only IT database to size by network component and includes contact data on individuals as well as key aspects of organisational infrastructure intelligence. At a glance, ProspectaBase contains:
98,000 UK organisations
207,000 emailable contacts
325,000+ contact names
62,000+ direct dial or mobile numbers
150,000 decision maker contact records
Two Heads Are Better One
Overall, a joined-up approach works. Not just in the IT sector, not just in sales and marketing, but in life. People work better and obtain better outcomes when they work together. Situations and end results improve when opportunities are identified, discussed, and addressed in teams or with a cross-party or multi-disciplinary approach. Individuals and departments cannot exist in isolation, it’s simply not how we are built to operate.
Sales and marketing alignment is vital to operational success. Cooperation and collaboration are essential elements of any partnership, alliance, organisation, or venture. Build these into your strategic business plans and sales and marketing department objectives and you won’t go far wrong.