Aligning Sales and Marketing through Technology
As someone who works closely with both Sales and Marketing, the scepticism that still exists between one and another never fails to confuse me.
Sales and Marketing have endured a difficult relationship for longer than I care to remember. But surely, as the importance of Social Media continues to grow and the whole buying process is a much slower, more considered affair, the two business functions should now be able to find a way to compliment each other?
With the rise of Lead Scoring strategies in mind, it came as a grim inevitably when I read numerous posts on LinkedIn groups questioning the purpose of one and other. These were specialist groups, and it amazes me that in 2011, a successful and experienced Sales Manager can still fail to see any point in driving marketing efforts.
In the LinkedIn discussion, sales professionals insist that marketers are hoarding too much of company budgets, misleading customers with unrealistic offers and, ultimately, limiting their chances of increasing sales revenue.
They are missing the point quite spectacularly.
The focus shouldn't be on whether marketing is killing sales, or indeed if sales is killing marketing. It should be on how they can utilise one and another to provide a more successful overall strategy.
While I understand that marketing and sales professionals will be approaching the customer in a hugely different way, the fact is that if they were to stop and consider the benefits of actually using each others strengths, their job would become much easier.
Sales professionals are driven and focussed, and don't take kindly to 'wasting' time updating management's latest [CRM] software. They just want to sell.
Achieving alignment between marketing and sales departments is the largest opportunity for improving business performance today. When marketing and sales teams align around a single revenue cycle, they can create dramatic improvements in marketing ROI, sales productivity and, most importantly, top-line growth.
CRM enables them to do this.
Microsoft CRM enables marketing to build relationships, before passing qualified prospects over to sales when the prospect is suitably ready to buy. Even for the most driven and hardened salesman, surely this is a more sensible approach? By working more closely together and having access to details of the prospect at both levels, the Sales/Marketing relationship is simplified.
Sales and Marketing may not ever fully understand or appreciate each other, but technology can at least begin to break down some of the barriers that exist in businesses all over the globe.
At Contact Edge CRM, we specialise in Microsoft CRM, which helps businesses find creative ways to engage with customers. And by accurately tracking how the first engagement was initiated, it is easy to determine which elements of your marketing strategy are working.
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