By Nirosha Methananda, VP of Marketing Influ2
Are your marketing and sales efforts as robust as they could be? It’s time to shake up traditional marketing and sales approaches with these three tips to improve your internal alignment and bolster your bottom line.
Why it’s critical to communicate one brand at every touchpoint
Marketing and sales is about to undergo its next evolution. Here’s an example of why the time is now. I am a longstanding awards member of a major hotel chain. Recently, I tried to cancel a timeshare I am no longer using. Upon my arrival at the property, a marketing person sent me to someone who they assured could help me. But instead of easing my transition out, the person tried to upsell me. After rounds of back and forth, this employee admitted they couldn’t help me because they were in sales and didn’t have access to my account history or know the process for cancellation. While I was disappointed for a number of reasons, there is a business lesson here: to be successful, sales and marketing teams need to work well together.
In this experience, the disjointedness of the hotel chain’s internal operations had been laid bare. The individuals on the front line, both marketing and sales employees, clearly did not communicate with each other, nor did they have a full view of my data—and know about my long standing loyalty to the company—or even have my recent request to the company to cancel my timeshare. This lack of data sharing resulted in a disjointed engagement with me that was unnecessary and cost me, and the company, precious time to resolve. The result is a long-term, negative impact on my loyalty to their brand.
Your customer doesn’t care who they are talking to in an engagement. To them, every touchpoint is one brand. It’s why instead of disjointed sales and marketing teams, you should consider a fully aligned “Smarketing” approach (uniting sales with marketing) to streamline the buyer journey.
Three tips to streamlining the buyer journey through Smarketing
These three tips will help you build a smart Smarketing approach and ensure a great prospect-to-customer (and beyond!) experience:
- Clean and clear data: The data your sales and marketing teams use should be seamless, shared, and give insight on your customers’ stories. Siloed data systems are inefficient and can introduce friction into the customers’ brand experience. If you have data that is clean, clear, accessible, and up to date, your employees can have a holistic understanding of your entire sales funnel and their roles within it from top to bottom enabling them to better serve customers’ needs.
- Great internal communication: Building strong, operationalized internal communications practices between marketing and sales teams can help these two internal organizations succeed. Traditional marketing and sales processes have a clear passing of the proverbial baton in the form of leads, and marketing and sales have worked independently on either side of this baton pass. It’s time to move away from this traditional approach and instead of connecting at the baton pass, both sales and marketing should be communicating and working leads through the entire funnel. To do this well, your teams need to be fully aligned and over communicating on the prospect approach. When sales and marketing work together, they can share important data and know how prospects are being communicated to at every stage with the objective of closing sales.
- Strategies to understand customers’ needs: Buying Group Marketing (BGM) can help your marketing and sales teams get to know your prospects and work together more closely. In enterprise sales, BGM targets individuals at key accounts who influence the purchase decisions, versus marketing to an entire account. Together, marketing and sales perform the equivalent of a full-court press, influencing individuals on the buying team in a coordinated fashion from first touch to closed deal. When marketing and sales work together, using a strategy like this, they glean important data enabling efficient and effective collaboration between teams.
Align all your marketing & sales wood behind one arrowhead
My experience with the hotel chain was a cautionary tale that revealed the churn beneath the brand face. If you want to serve your customers well and promote their loyalty and even turn them into raving fans that return again and recommend you to others, you need to work on eliminating that internal churn.
A good place to start is your marketing and sales alignment, turning your people into Smarketers. Taking a Smarketing approach combines the strengths of both teams. It eliminates data silos, helps your teams understand each other’s work, and makes your efforts more effective. When done well, greater alignment leads to more revenue efficiency and better organizational efficiency. If you want to innovate and flourish, this is where your business should be heading.
About the Author
Driven by a strong urge to Always Be Learning (ABL), Nirosha Methananda is a proud marketing generalist.
With a career spanning close to 15-years, including many marketing disciplines in a variety of industries, Nirosha serves as Vice President of Marketing at Influ2. Nirosha came to Influ2 from Bombora, where she was responsible for creating a distinctive brand and establishing it as the leading global provider of B2B Intent data. Prior to this, Nirosha led marketing for PwC Australia’s Tech Consulting practice, dabbled in PR and journalism at Power Retail and gained an interest in digital and data at Experian Hitwise.
Not a morning person, Nirosha enjoys stimulating conversation, adores witty sarcasm and is passionate about creating magical marketing moments.