As a CMO how often do you meet with your counterpart in sales? Probably not often enough. According to a survey by Demand Gen Report, 45% of sales executives meet with their marketing peers less than once per quarter. This lack of alignment between sales and marketing fuels an incomplete understanding of customers, and in turn, lower win rates.
When CMOs and sales team leaders get on the same page and employ customer-centric methodologies and technology, it benefits the company’s bottom line. Ready to bridge the gap and empower your staff to succeed? Integrate the voice of sales into your marketing process.
Marketing and Selling in the Age of the Customer
To successfully close deals in a marketplace where customers are digitally-driven and easily influenced by online reviews and their peers on social media, each interaction must add value. One way to add value is through personalization, mapping the customer’s purchasing journey to his or her own unique needs and interests — in other words, account-based marketing.
As a marketer looking to personalize content, your first instinct is likely to dig in to your data. But, analytics can only get you so far. To deeply understand the needs of target customer accounts, marketing must turn to sales and listen. After all, they’re on the frontline day in and day out, taking the pulse of the people.
The more you can incorporate the voice of your sales team and an account-based mindset into your marketing process, the more your content will resonate with specific target accounts. Discover a few steps you can take to get the ball rolling.
Provide Instant Access To Collateral as Part of Larger Solution
Whether it’s identifying and researching target accounts, selecting channels or measuring campaign results, there’s a slew of digital tools you can use to complete tasks while ensuring synergy between sales and marketing. Most importantly, you want to ensure a seamless customer experience.
Obviously, collaboration is paramount. Unicorn collaboration tool Slack has exploded in popularity over the last few years and is perhaps the world’s foremost team communication app right now. It is primarily used to start conversations and keep employees engaged.
Facebook even has a collaboration tool you might want to try. Workplace by Facebook has proven popular since it’s introduction in 2016. Create groups, upload shared documents or shine a light on a team member who’s doing great work.
Help Your Teams Get Organized and Improve Productivity
When you need to get your sales and marketing teams on the same page, try Zoho, a cloud-based CRM that helps teams engage customers across channels. Functionality includes real-time feeds, chat, tagging and calendar help.
There’s also a document library where salespeople can access the collateral they need in the moment, improving productivity and giving the customer the answers they seek immediately. When choosing any top CRM, you’ll be looking for key features like AI, analytics, process management, pipeline management and marketing automation, among many more.
HubSpot offers another top CRM service to help teams organize and manage their pipeline visually in real-time. It lets sales people avoid clunky spreadsheets and clogged inboxes. This product’s automation lets staff focus on the customer rather than monotonous data entry.
You can also sync the CRM with HubSpot Sales or HubSpot Marketing to efficiently tailor your sales and marketing efforts to individual target accounts to maximize the customer experience. Make your meetings meaningful and boost collaboration. We’ve all been in meetings where one person monopolizes the conversation and others stare off into space (or are too shy to say anything).
To ensure participation and collaboration from everyone involved, try GoWall, a meeting productivity tool that lets salespeople and marketers record, share and organize ideas.
During a meeting, you contribute by adding notes to a virtual wall. The notes can be categorized by topic. Participants can add to or “like” notes, building collaboration across teams. You can do this anonymously, so people who have controversial opinions, or who are just shy, can be as candid as they like.
Unlike traditional meetings where much of what is said is quickly forgotten, all notes can be exported to Excel at the end of the meeting with one click.
Retain Customers and Close New Target Accounts
Customers are people, and like all humans, they just want to be heard and understood. SurveyMonkey helps marketers build online surveys that teams can use to conduct market research to better understand their target accounts and their current customers.
When you send a survey following a product launch or customer purchase, the person taking the survey sees that you value their feedback. This improves customer experience and can boost retention rates. Marketers can also use SurveyMonkey’s TechValidate software to turn positive survey feedback into collateral such as case studies and graphs. Salespeople can use that as customer proof to help close new business or grow live customer accounts.
When executives empower their staff with the best technology like this, they’re aligning sales and marketing teams. They’re also helping these employees see each other’s roles better. Customers often respond by signing on the dotted line. It comes down to the idea that if you keep customer experience top-of-mind, everybody wins.
@steveolenski is a marketer who also happens to be among the most influential writers in the space. He’s been called The CMO Whisperer & Distiller of Truth. He’s looking for his next challenge.