All too often, sales and marketing don’t see eye to eye. According to the sales guys, marketing unceremoniously dumps a heap of poor-quality leads on their desk every week. But if you speak to the marketing team, they’ll tell you the sales team never bothers to give them any feedback on which leads went on to convert into sales anyway.
The bottom line is that the traditional marketing and sales divide results in a serious lack of communication, and untold sales opportunities are missed as a result. That’s why the best IT sales and marketing teams are those that work together as a single, unified revenue generation team. The good news? There’s a lot you can do to better align your IT sales and marketing teams.
Here are three top tips for aligning your IT sales and marketing teams:
- Come up with a clear IT sales and marketing SLA.
One of the first things you can do to align your IT sales and marketing teams is to put an internal SLA (service level agreement) in place. This agreement should make it crystal clear who’s responsible for what. For example, whose job is it to send a follow-up mail to a new customer? Who’s in charge of updating the CRM system? Does the sales team play a role in lead generation? If so, what is that role exactly? Clearly assigning responsibilities to each team not only ensures that all tasks are taken care of, it also encourages a more harmonious working relationship between marketing and sales.
Drawing up an SLA is also a good opportunity to make sure that both teams agree on the definition of a ‘qualified lead’. Make it clear which behaviours indicate serious buying intent, as well as the fact that a lead is the responsibility of the marketing team until they engage in flagged behaviours. When your IT sales team doesn’t have to waste time chasing low quality leads, they can focus their time on real buyers.
- Invite both teams to a persona workshop.
Your IT sales and marketing teams can’t work together if they don’t agree on who your ideal clients are. The best way to ensure that both teams know exactly who you’re targeting is to involve them both in a buyer persona workshop. Remember, your sales team will have invaluable insights into who your customers really are. They’ll know which questions they typically ask, what their favourite products are, what their biggest challenges are, and more. This kind of information is pure gold for your marketing team, so get everyone in a room together and review your buyer personas.
- Integrate your marketing automation and CRM systems.
Integrating your marketing automation and CRM (customer relationship management) systems not only helps align your IT sales and marketing teams, it also streamlines the sales cycle. That’s because marketing automation software allows you to monitor leads’ online behaviour and automatically trigger workflows off flagged behaviours. When a lead engages in behaviour that indicates serious buying intent – classifying the prospect as a ‘qualified lead’ – the system automatically notifies the relevant salesperson. When that salesperson picks up the phone to call the lead, they have quick, easy access to all the information stored in the integrated CRM and marketing automation systems. Armed with all that behavioural data, they’re much better equipped to close the deal.
Any subsequent client interactions – like emails or sales calls – are likewise automatically logged in the CRM system. When the marketing team logs into the marketing automation system, they’re able to see which leads converted into customers. This kind of feedback lets marketing know what’s working and what isn’t, and allows them to fine-tune their efforts accordingly.
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