"The future of sales is marketing; the future of marketing is sales."
In theory, no two departments within an organisation should be as closely aligned with their business goals and objectives as the Sales and Marketing teams. After all, one of the main roles of the marketing team is to create sales opportunities for the business with sales (specifically revenue generation) undeniably being the lifeblood of the business. Increasingly though, in our line of business and especially where we work closely with business owners and marketing teams, we're seeing a disconnect between Marketing and Sales teams and we believe this is potentially a huge problem for companies.
Whether your business is B2B or B2C focused, the role of marketing is to generate brand and product awareness in order to generate new business opportunities and customers. Traditionally, in the pre-digital marketing era, this was somewhat easier than it is today. For example, awareness campaigns came in the form of newspaper, magazine, TV or radio adverts coupled with PR. In many ways, there was more of a predictable feel for how sales opportunities would be created. Back then, media would require pre-booking and therefore, sales teams knew when they'd have to be ready for either the sales hotline to start ringing or to welcome an influx of customers through the door. But the internet, and digital marketing specifically, has changed that.
Today, marketing campaigns can be launched in a matter of minutes, with potential customers consuming brand messages 24 hours a day. You'd imagine that the impact of digital marketing for sales teams has been huge, but aside from having to be more responsive to opportunities than would previously have been the case, we believe that the majority of sales teams haven't adapted to the change nor embraced the opportunities that are presented by digital marketing and this lack of understanding is something that businesses need to address.
Is education the missing ingredient?
We believe so. And there's good reason for this. Digital marketing is constantly evolving and it's becoming increasingly difficult for seasoned marketers to keep up with the changes from new technology, platforms, devices and more. As one client recently commented to me "every time I feel as if I'm in a position where I understand digital marketing, something new pops up". Keeping up with the latest innovations is hugely challenging and if marketers are struggling to keep up with the pace of change, it's going to be even harder for business owners and sales teams to do the same.
How do businesses overcome this challenge?
First and foremost, it's important for the key decision makers within a company to understand the opportunities available to their business from a digital marketing and sales efficiency perspective. Working with consultants who can create a customised workshop is one way of fast-tracking this process. Another is to hire a marketing agency who also specialises in sales enablement so that any insights or recommendations align both the sales and marketing opportunities for a business.
Whichever path you choose, it's vital that you keep your customers front of mind throughout the process. A customer's journey with your business has to be optimised at all times to ensure that each experience with your company is positive and aligned to fulfilling their needs and wants. Align your marketing touch points and messaging to these needs, until such time that your sales team can take over. At that point, your sales interactions also need to be aligned and build on your marketing efforts, removing any form of duplication (such as form filling that may already have been done during the lead generation process) that will impact the customer experience negatively.
NEXA is a very different kind of digital agency. We understand that creating a marketing strategy without ensuring sales processes are aligned to this will ultimately impact the success of a client engagement. We're therefore much more solutions focused as a business. We work with businesses of all shapes and sizes to align marketing and sales processes, so that businesses gain the maximum impact from any commercial marketing activities.
If you're a business owner or senior executive looking to understand more about marketing and sales alignment, contact us so we can help you out. We offer a range of courses to help train your workforce. Have a look at our HubSpot Workshops as a way to get started with CRM that combines sales with marketing at a fundamental level.