The best sales teams are getting better connected, and more proactive. The best marketers are busily mapping customer journeys on all available tools.
They’re aware of customer needs even before they take a call.
In short, the best Sales and Marketing teams are all moving in the same direction: towards the customer, and that means they’re also moving ever closer to each other with the common goal of targeting and landing specific accounts.
However, the convergence does not just happen; it must be planned and co-ordinated and it requires a good bit of innovation: many sales teams are still using old-style CRM software – or even just spreadsheets, but sales and marketing convergence needs a different type of technology and a merged set of skills. CRM software is designed mostly to enable sales management to monitor the actions of salespeople and track relationships with prospects as they move through the pipeline. What it doesn’t do is arm the individual salesperson with the insights which will make those interactions even more successful.
As more enterprises implement Account-Based Marketing, or Key-Account Marketing, we will naturally see more alignment between sales and marketing teams and the systems they use; and this also extends to post-sale activities, such as customer success and support.
Inspiring clients to pursue new ideas and possibilities, understanding clients’ buying processes, standing out against the competition, making a compelling business case for buying, are skills at which good sales team excel but nowadays they can be made stronger and more effective as they use the insights given by marketing: how much more efficient might your sales team be, if they could go to a client meeting armed with engagement metrics? If they could integrate multi-channel content into their e-mail campaigns, perfectly targeted to their buyer personas?
All this can only be done with the right skills and the right technology which puts the prospect at the centre of all marketing and sales activities, where both activities have input at every step.