If you haven’t already, it’s time to turn around sales and marketing. Why? Because the customer is now smarter than ever…
You wouldn’t have to spend too long standing in the middle of sales and marketing teams to work out that the two don’t always get along too well. With sales invariably not giving much credence to marketing and marketing thinking sales is easy, is it any wonder that these departments often don’t speak, let alone combine their efforts? Add in all too frequently different goals, expectations and of course judging criteria, and it’s a chalice not so much poisoned but empty.
This may have worked back in the past. Not anymore. As the last few years have shown, in this new digital age of the customer – the internet makes it faster for customers to find an alternative provider.
One tightly integrated effort
Today, with the wider world continuing to present its challenges, only a thoroughly customer-oriented strategy will do: what they think, what is it that they want, and what will they do next. And getting marketing and sales to reassess how they combine their efforts to get under the skin of the customer is not only advantageous, it’s the key weapon that will help combat the biggest issue facing business, and boardroom thinking, right now – the pace of change. What that means is shifting the mindset towards alignment and collaboration, ensuring both teams see the bigger picture and how it all fits together. Do that, and you have something that reaps far more than increased productivity or cost. You have the holy grail of superior customer experience.
The new reality? we need to know more about the customer
So, what exactly does best practice between sales and marketing look like, and more importantly what’s the best roadmap to help us get there? For starters, to help achieve your commercial objectives, an in-depth understanding and tracking of the end-to-end customer journey are needed.
Looking at our maturity curve will help you establish where you sit.
The art of getting under the skin of the customer
Now you know where you sit, it’s time to take advantage and deal with the areas that need improving at each stage of the buying cycle. Where does sales and marketing alignment come into this, you ask? By aligning efforts and getting them to work consistently together – with a focus on probing more deeply into what the customer needs and may want in the future – you’ll take control of every touch point. And once you’ve taken these steps, you’re well on your way towards adding value and at the right points, as opposed to snatching it away.
Getting to know each other better
It’s generally agreed that effective CRM is about customer centricity in support of both teams – developing relationships to retain profitable business, increase sales from existing customers and gain new ones. If it’s done well, it can also inspire favourable word of mouth that’s persuasive enough to shift the perception of your brand as well as a step change in performance and productivity.
When all this is in place, you can begin to move along the maturity curve.
The result? The customer touchpoints and definable ROI you need to make you stand out from the crowd and build customer share. And that means an inspired and motivated sales and marketing function too, with each team fully understanding the other team’s contribution.