How can you unify your sales and marketing teams?
In the last few years, there has been a radical shift in the traditional roles of Sales and Marketing. In experts’ opinion, it is the onset of the Age of the Customer that has made it a mandate for all organizations to unify their sales and marketing. In the words of Ellie Mirman –‘’ Miscommunication between sales and marketing has started working as an anchor in the company’s growth rate. Companies who have not aligned their sales and marketing teams have experienced a revenue decline by 4%. Further, organizations who have accomplished this challenge have witnessed a marked difference – 20% revenue growth (approx).’’
In consideration to the above statement along with statements of other business experts, it is clear and proven: unified sales and marketing is necessary for every organization who wishes to move up the path of growth and revenue. Result: organizations (big and small, local and international) have started working towards the accomplishment of this goal. However, the success rate is not so high.
While many organizations have implemented ways to generate better communication between sales and marketing, cracks between the two groups have continued to develop. Resultant to which - there is a cry among organizations regarding the right sales and marketing business process management.
So the question is: How can companies unify sales and marketing teams? How can they streamline their activities to ensure they work together and share a common goal?
Below enlisted, are a few ways to unify your sales and marketing teams:
1. Give a combined picture of the funnel
There is often a discrepancy between the sales and marketing professionals regarding the number of stages a lead passes to convert into a customer. Surprisingly, both teams have different terminologies to describe the stages. To get your sales and marketing together, firstly you need to remove this conflict of understanding. Your sales and marketing reps should have one combined picture of the sales funnel/cycle.
For this they should understand:
Lead Quality: Remember this is a crucial hand-off point between sales and marketing. There should be a defined set of parameters to judge whether a lead is ready for sales follow-up. It is advisable for marketing reps to categorize leads before passing them on to the sales reps:
- The lead is a good fit to our products/service offerings
- The lead is interested in our products/service offerings
- The lead is a good fit to our product/service but not interested to purchase
- The lead has shown high interest but does not fit the ideal customer profile.
Based on the above-mentioned matrix, marketing and sales team together can form the MQL (marketing qualified lead) definition. Remember doing this will put a stop to the accusations of the sales reps about low quality of leads forwarded.
Using the lead scoring option in most CRM software, marketing reps can make it easy for the sales reps to understand the importance of working upon a lead. For instance, a lead with a high score can define the urgency with which the sales rep should work upon it.
Factors to be used by marketing reps for scoring leads:
- Lead behavioral history
- Recent activities of the lead (website form fill-up, campaign participation etc)
- Common patterns of other leads which have been converted to sales
Note: several industry experts have advocated the use of lead scoring mechanism. Resultant to which, most renowned organizations use lead score facility in the CRM as a crucial part of their lead filtration process.
2. Implement a SLA
The SLA can talk about sales and marketing teams’ activities such as quantity and quality of leads, specific number of contact attempts and so on. In sum, it can formalize the commitment of both the team to share the information and work together collaboratively.
According to Thom Weerd, using the CRM, most organizations execute the below-mentioned tactics under the SLA program:
Creating a list of all campaigns (webinars, demos and trade shows) implemented
- Categorizing the lead
- Finding the connection between the recent customers and the different campaigns
- Calculating the average revenue for each lead source
- Multiplying average close rate of each campaign with the average revenue per customer to know the marketing qualified lead value.
- Selecting an X number of leads present in the sales pipeline
- Based on the CRM records, listing the number of times, each lead has been contacted. (Creating cohorts of leads based on this criterion).
- Calculating the total number of hour’s sales rep spends on calls. Also calculating the total number of contact attempts made per hour. Then determining the cost-per-call of the sales rep
- Determining the profitability of the contact attempts by dividing each customer’s revenue by cost-per-call
- Noting the ideal number of contact attempts and putting it down in the SLA
3. Use Business Growth Software
Needless to say, data is the most important element to align sales and marketing. Without having the combined data on hand, it will not be possible for you to measure marketing ROI, lead conversion, lead quality and so on. Precisely why, you need an enterprise software application that acts as a unified repository for your sales and marketing data, brochures, collaterals and other essential documents.
It should have all the indispensable functionalities of sales and marketing by which the reps of both the team can use it as a shared platform. From lead generation, to contact attempts and lead conversion, the entire process should be mapped within the single system.
ConvergeHub CRM serves as one central platform for Sales, Marketing, Service and Collaboration to give you complete visibility into your business. Instead of investing in separate best-of-breed systems (which needs to be cobbled together) ConvergeHub CRM acts as one combined platform (CRM + Marketing + Sales) to grow leads, identify opportunities, close deals and support customers.
Below mentioned are a few of the benefits that you can garner through ConvergeHub CRM:
- Automatic synchronization between leads and customers
- De-duplication of leads (which is possible while updating existing lead records)
- Lead/customer categorization
- Lead intelligence (history of their activities)
- Contact attempts
- Lead status updates
- Deal acquisition
- Lead acquisition
- Deals by expected close date
- Leads by source
- Lead-to-customer ratio
- Sales & Marketing reports and analytics.
Using ConvergeHub CRM, you can align your company’s Sales and Marketing efforts to grow your base of customers. Additionally, sales and marketing reps can use it as a common platform for managing leads and prospects and can collaborate well on –
- Sales ready lead
- Profile and communication history for lead tracking (as previously mentioned).
Patricia is a full time CRM consultant at ConvergeHub and part-time blogger. She has earned herself quite a fame as a specialist and market expert in CRM software. In the last five year she has worked with various companies as CRM consultant to help them move their businesses to cloud. Her expertise lies in offering cloud CRM consultation, CRM customization and integration solutions to small enterprises. For last one she is engaged in building ConvergeHub, cloud-based CRM solution for SMBs, as a consultant.Follow her at Twitter: @convergehub