Are you sick of hearing the term “Marketing and Sales Alignment” like it’s some cure-all for the business? Well, you wouldn’t be alone—people have spent the past decade touting it as this business nirvana that helps companies sell more, reduces the disdain—whether real or imaginary—marketing departments and sales staff have for each other, and deliver wide-ranging benefits.
While these talking heads aren’t wrong—aligning marketing and sales can help your business—the constant repetition hasn’t exactly driven the point home, nor does it communicate the full spectrum of alignment that businesses need to embrace in today’s competitive landscape.
As we continue our CRM series, we would today like to explore why you need to focus on aligning more than just your marketing and sales departments—and how to make this happen.
From Marketing and Sales Alignment to a Full-Stack Sales Process Alignment
The idea of marketing and sales alignment was born from a realization that the buying process had changed. Business decision makers’ first interaction wasn’t with a salesperson, it was with a screen. People were more social than ever.
Alignment Still Matters
In the early 2010s, it was estimated that a buyer is three fifths of the way through the journey before they even reach out to the sales staff, 71 percent of customers prefer to conduct research on their own and only 12 percent want to meet in-person with a sales representative.
Understandably, this was the time when marketing and sales alignment entered peak hype cycle, as everyone served to gain from the evolution of content marketing, inbound marketing, and more.
The idea was simple: Facilitate the pass from marketing to sales in a world where buyers had more power than ever. While the initial goal started by focusing on facilitation, the concept of alignment evolved to incorporate message consistency, lead qualification, and more.
But Today, It Needs More Than Two Departments
While yes, businesses still need their sales and marketing departments to speak the same language and operate with the same goals, buyer expectations have evolved since it was simply marketing and sales alignment. This is especially true for product-based companies, in which buyers have been spoiled by Amazon in their personal lives and in turn expect you to deliver faster than ever.
Now, marketing needs to align with sales, who needs to align with finance, who needs to align with inventory and/or project management.
- A buyer is almost ready to finalize a deal with your sales team. Are you able to deliver on the promise? Do they have the credit?
- You’re about to send a service quote to a purchasing department. Do you have the right people for the job?
Customer expectations are higher than ever, and successful companies need to align their entire organizations to meet the demands.
From Lead to Quote, From Quote to Cash
In order to deliver on the increased expectations of today’s customer, the right information needs to be in the right hands—all the time. Luckily, in today’s world of integration-friendly applications, Open APIs, and well-provisioned partners who have the skills to make integration a reality, companies are able to align their complete business to facilitate the sales process.
What starts with a CRM solution built to facilitate marketing and sales needs to expand, incorporating functionality like ERP, inventory management, project management, and more. By aligning technology, the modern business can align their sales process to get a buyer from website visitor to lead, lead to opportunity, opportunity to client, and client to satisfied customer.
According to MuleSoft, a well-built integration strategy relies on the following:
- Create building blocks: Leverage APIs to externalize data and functionality from core systems like partner information into discrete, consumable services.
- Orchestrate processes: Enable cross-functional access to these processes and combine them into new workflows that help every team understand how customer behaviors and intent affect sales.
- Expose assets as a service: Increase scale and create new business opportunities by leveraging a shared library of assets to drive the consumption and productization of those applications.
In turn, sales and marketing receive a connected experience, a 360-degree view of their customer, better relationships, and ultimately improved productivity.
Learn More: CRM Software, Customized and Delivered by MIBAR
Businesses of all sizes have turned to CRM software to track, organize, and improve their customer relationships. But those who connect this powerful application (or select a CRM built into the ERP) get even more from their efforts and investments.
As a leading provider of business management software in the New York Metro, we understand how to help your business do more with ERP and CRM solutions customized for your unique business. Get to know more about our company, the work we do with CRM, and contact us for more information.