Written by GoodData Author |
In the perfect company, sales and marketing would work side-by-side to achieve success.
Marketing would excite potential customers about the company’s products, capturing a wide array of information that sets the sales team up with the tools to further explain products. Sales would run with this information, eventually closing the deal.
But this ideal scenario rarely plays out. Instead, the two departments often take turns playing Lucy and Charlie Brown--one of them sets up the other, only to yank the football away at the last second. If a few leads supplied by marketing fail to produce, sales might assume all of marketing’s leads lack value and ignore them in the future. Conversely, marketing may create materials that don’t connect with the audience, or generate leads that are not ready to buy. This will adversely affect sales.
This fraught relationship needs a moderator, and data is ready to step up to the plate. So, how do sales and marketing find the metrics that demonstrate what is working and what is not?
Can We Agree on the Facts?
Many of the metrics to track united sales and marketing efforts already exist. The rise of digital marketing means precise metrics are readily available and provide real-time proof of successful marketing campaigns. At the same time, many sales teams track their efforts with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, such as SalesForce, to manage prospective information. The two teams can use this collection of data to see the clearest possible picture of how prospects move through the sales pipeline.
Of course, marketing and sales have different responsibilities, depending on the stage of the sales pipeline. Marketing should know how many people were reached by a campaign, what call-to-action was most effective, what leads were delivered, and how many marketing touches it took to obtain those leads. In the second half of the process, sales should track how it handles leads, which leads convert to sales, and all prospects that come from sources beyond marketing-driven leads. The more granular and individualized the tracking, the better the reporting and the greater potential savings.
Automating the process by which data is gathered and reports are generated simplifies digital marketing efforts easily. Keeping tabs on sales is more challenging. While CRMs are designed to handle this, it can be up to the individual salesperson to add in which marketing materials were used, which order they were used in, and what materials were left with the prospect.
You could ask your sales team to log these details individually, but providing them with a modern sales tool with built-in data-tracking saves them time and energy. One application that will save your sales team hours of manual CRM entries is imSMART from Compare Networks. imSMART enhances your sales team’s iPads to ensure that they have the most up-to-date materials, then providing automated reporting that tells you exactly who is using what and how they use it.
This level of granular reporting allows you to parse marketing to determine cost per lead, track the percentage of leads converted to sales, and put the full cost of customer acquisition into perspective. You can start to build sales strategies based on past performance: if a certain pitch closes well for customers who viewed the two specific videos and read a certain article, you can make sure the sales team knows this before they make the call.
Turning Analysis into Insight
Having a full pipeline of information about your sales and marketing process isn’t just about evaluating marketing campaigns or testing sales strategies. Knowing more about how different leads convert tells you how to rank leads from similar prospects in the future. It also provides you with a tool to evaluate your sales team. Is your best salesperson closing a deal through sheer charisma? Or are they using the sales tools effectively? Or are they simply in a fertile territory for your business?
With technologies in place that let you connect all of these data points, you are finally in a position to examine a start-to-finish ROI that encapsulates every aspect of your sales and marketing efforts. This complete dataset will help you figure out when programs off course, so you can push the right buttons to reclaim them.
Not Independent, but Interdependent
With the ability to gather so much data, it’s no longer effective for the sales and marketing teams to operate as independent appendages of the company. Automated tracking of every step of the process is within reach, so we can close the gap between the sales and marketing efforts. Start collecting all your data, and fine-tune your sales-marketing pipeline.
Written by GoodData Author |