Nowadays, businesses have recognized the importance of sales and marketing departments within their enterprise. However, this hasn’t been the case in the past. In the past, sales and marketing were all the same. At first, it was a person going from door to door marketing and selling the products and services on the spot. Then, it changed to telephone marketing or telesales, where salespeople called customers and did the marketing and sales via the phone. Currently, the situation is completely different, and these two departments are completely different, but they are interconnected and should work in alignment. Before we proceed to the importance of having marketing and sales efforts aligned, we will briefly see how marketing and sales have changed in recent years.
Marketing and sales in today’s world
Marketing has become to be the pre-sales activity and it is meant to connect the right customers to the right product. It takes into consideration the customer experience, puts the customer in the center, and strives to tailor its activities in a way that would be helpful for customers. The customers need to know what the product or service does before they make the purchase. Thus, marketing should ensure that customers:
- are properly informed about the product
- receive personalized experience, i.e. every customer is treated individually
- are engaged even after they make the purchase
Marketing ultimately drives sales and grows the business. And just like marketing, sales has the characteristic of being helpful to the customer, i.e. how your product/service can help the customer. Additionally, research has shown that customers need more touchpoint interactions (7 to 10 touching points) before the selling is done, meaning that customers’ time and interaction become of a high value. This is where marketing and sales interconnect and build an inseparable link – content marketing is being widely used as a digital touchpoint. Finally, the one-size-fits-all sales approach doesn’t work anymore and every customer expects personalized treatment.
The need for sales and marketing alignment
Having in mind the customers’ changing behavior, the increased online presence, and the increased connection between marketing and sales, it is more than obvious that they should be perfectly aligned and function as one. Marketing should provide consistent messaging, which will support salespeople and the sales process. In order for this to happen, sales and marketing teams should have the same goals, same parameters, and should work towards the same destination. This can be accomplished only if both teams have timely information about the activities that are ongoing in both departments. In cases when there is no connection between these two departments, the result will be sales decline or stagnation, and waste of efforts and resources. On the other hand, a good alignment between sales and marketing efforts leads to higher win rates and increases customer retention ratio.
So, how can you achieve this alignment?
The key to ensuring that these two departments are aligned is by using systems and solutions that increase collaboration, communication, and sharing of information. In fact, the system/solution should ensure that both teams have one central place where they would be able to see what’s happening in both departments on daily basis. Having this information real-time will allow marketing teams to tailor their activities in accordance with sales targeting, and will give sales teams credible material that will support them in the sales process. One such solution is Dynamics365, designed and developed by Microsoft, which is fully-customizable and flexible and connects both marketing & sales teams in one central place. In the following blog posts, we are going to discuss more about the benefits of using Dynamics365 in your marketing and sales activities.