Surely it goes without saying that sales and marketing departments work to serve clients? But think about it: is this really the case, and do they work well together? The alignment of sales and marketing is now more urgent than ever. Globalisation and the internet have radically changed the way people buy. Sellers used to be the most important sources of information, but now potential customers look up all their various options for themselves online. They also value their contacts’ and peers’ opinions more, which they can find online too.
So sales and marketing can no longer be allowed to operate as two separate departments working alongside each other. Even though lots of companies have tried to bring them in line over the last fifteen years, there has been little improvement:
“Marketing doesn’t result in any leads that are ready to buy,” says sales.
“Sales isn’t following leads up,” claims marketing.
“Marketing spends a lot of money but can’t measure ROI.”
“Sales has no impact on marketing expenses, and vice versa.”
“Sales always gets the spoils.”
Lower sales cost
Things can be improved by harmonising all marketing and sales activities with the market and potential customers’ readiness to buy. We call this Buyer-Aligned Collaboration, and it ensures the highest possible impact at the lowest possible sales cost.
The client controls your sales process
So promote your client to the centre of your business universe. Then synchronise sales and marketing so they quickly start to work in harmony. In summary:
- The client’s buying cycle and the buyer readiness is the benchmark for all sales processes
- Use software to register every decision-maker’s readiness to buy
- Use CRM as a pragmatic tool for all departments; correct information is more important than the quantity of prospect data
- Marketing produces sales material to match the various buyer readiness phases
- Product information targets your client’s challenges and the impact of your solution, not the product features
- Involve sales when verifying the buyer readiness and pick up leads at the right moment
- Measure and benchmark all activities throughout the buying cycle and work continuously on improvement