The most effective marketing organizations in 2017 (and beyond) will be those who break down any remaining barriers that prevent them from working harmoniously with sales. Collaboration is the path to better results for both teams, a bigger contribution to the company’s bottom line, and a clear justification for getting a sizeable budget renewed each year.
The stats bear this out. Companies where sales and marketing work together see a 208% increase in marketing revenue. Top performing marketing teams are nearly eight times more likely to integrate their message with sales and customer service, and over 17 times more likely to excel at collaborating with other teams.
When the two teams can break down silos, establish communication, and manage to successfully work together, things move up and to the right.
Admittedly, this is easier said than done. Each department has their own set of practices and goals that may not necessarily align with one another. But marketing has a rich resource that can help ease the process of beginning to bridge the divide: marketing analytics.
The sophistication of marketing measurement tools today has equipped marketing teams with a wealth of new information about who their prospects are and what their typical path to becoming a customer is. By sharing these insights with sales, you can make their job easier and increase the rate at which those leads close.
Your marketing analytics help with prioritization.
Marketing teams often see their value as being measured by the sheer number of INQs they generate. This sole KPI makes for a simplistic target, but fails to consider the myriad of inputs that lead to closed won business.
You’ve likely already established a scoring mechanism to help sales understand which leads have the highest level of engagement. But does this scale help you identify when the ideal customer enters the pipeline? A review of your data should yield a persona (or several) that:
- Are the quickest to close
- Represent the highest dollar value
- Bring in the most revenue over time (via renewals, maintenance etc.)
A thorough examination should start to provide clues as to what these personas look like. Perhaps there is a fit with one product line across a particular vertical. Or, maybe there is a sweet spot where an organization of a certain size can move through the pipeline at an accelerated pace. You may not see these personas very often, but it’s important to recognize them to ensure they are made a top sales priority.
Your marketing analytics paint the customer experience.
By the time you’re sending a lead to sales, you know a host of other information about them. How did they access your website and on what device? What ads did they engage with across which platforms? What pieces of content did they download and in what order?
As marketers we often imagine our content being consumed in particular ways – specifically, in the fashion we intended. Prospects, however, generally consume content at rate relative to their interest and in the areas of their greatest need. This often looks very different than the case study > white paper > webinar > sales request flow envisioned by marketing.
The prospects’ unique experience helps arm sales with a strategy for success. Knowing what types of marketing materials got the lead’s interest will give them fuel for which issues to bring up when they call or email and will ensure they’re prepared to answer the questions the lead is most likely to have. If you have multiple leads from one company, you can make sure sales knows that and is aware of their different positions and marketing history. Provide this story to sales with easy access so they don’t need marketing to get the ley of the land.
Your marketing analytics can spot patterns.
Marketing analytics also help you see the trends in your data. Do you know which of your customers is the most valuable to the organization from the first sale subsequent renewal and maintenance revenue? Can you spot the signs that a particular prospect may never close or is unlikely to remain a customer year-over-year?
If a current prospect resembles a past success persona, inform sales so they can replicate proven tactics for the account. Or, if the pattern was one that ate up cycles but resulted in closed lost business, work with sales to iterate and refine the approach.
Your data can help your sales team do their job more efficiently and effectively. And by helping them, you help the company’s bottom line and are better able show the C-suite the important role both teams played in bringing in revenue for the company.Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed under CC BY 3.0