How to seamlessly integrate marketing and sales

Just as bringing the customer into business strategy is good for business, ensuring integration of sales and marketing is good for the customer.

Nothing can kill a deal as fast as what feels to the customer like a bad handoff.

As such, the relationship marketing has with sales is the most important one in the business.

Marketers today know this. Transformative marketers live and breath this. They attend sales meetings with customers. They share office (and coffee shop) space as often as possible. They treat sales as their primary customer.

In return… by jointly scoping the customer journey and identifying metrics that indicate when a customer is ready to move in the conversation… sales can give marketing new insight on the customer.

Insight that helps marketing create relevant content that in turn helps sales most effectively follow up on leads.

Analytics and sales

Just as page performance and engagement data help marketing understand and generate leads with aggregated groups of customers, individualised analytics help sales close the deal.

“Marketing now has tools available to support the entire customer journey. It makes sense for sales and marketing to use the same tools to drive a seamless working relationship.”
– Mark Sallows, Founder & CEO, Turtl

Knowing page performance by prospect helps guide the first conversation, while engagement data illuminates specific areas of interest as well as what, when and where content was read.
This approach to individualised analytics… a powerful tool in the hands of sales… represents the unifying methodology necessary to truly align a business around the customer, by giving each business function precisely what it needs.

Bridging the divide

The natural tension between sales and marketing can quite easily… and ironically… be attributed to the handshake that needs to exist between them.

Historically, marketing has been solely responsible for brand, and sales for the customer.

But now that customers have placed themselves squarely in the driver’s seat of brand perception and the sales process, marketing and sales need to recalibrate their own relationship… with the customer at the centre.

An effective approach is to start small and build trust with easy-win, collaborative content projects that map to a specific sales metric… perhaps in a previously untapped but customer relevant channel.

Demonstrate success through lead generation that can be tracked back to the content, but also use content tools and analytics that can help facilitate each stage of the sales conversation.

Takeaways
  1. Be physically closer to sales.
  2. Jointly scope customer journey and content.
  3. Jointly evaluate marketing activities.
  4. Identify tools that generate aggregated customer data (for marketing) and individualised data (for sales).
  5. No ‘hand-off’: marketing supports sales ( through content) to signature on conversion.

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