Aligning sales and marketing teams is a challenge most businesses grapple with, yet few are able to achieve a truly integrated and united approach. With united sales and marketing teams, we can expect better conversion rates, sales revenue, and profit.
Marketing automation software is one technology that is hugely underrated in its ability to benefit both marketing
Yes, it’s true that marketing tools are designed and built primarily for marketers but ultimately, the data insights gathered within marketing automation platforms are vital for sales teams too.
It goes without saying that the more a salesperson knows about the potential customers they’re speaking to, the more likely they are to engage and convert them to a paying client.
Tidbits of information such as the eBook they recently downloaded, or the blog pages they visited, or how many times and which emails they have opened, all inform the pain point and interests of a particular lead.
The trouble is, marketing data and sales data is often siloed in separate platforms.
Marketers use automation software to generate leads and nurture them to the point that they are considered sales-ready. While sales teams live and breathe their CRM system to maintain contact with and convert the leads they have been passed from marketing.
Too often, a businesses marketing automation software and their sales CRM are not integrated so the interactions of the lead before they reach sales are not shared. This is a big problem!
Sales teams should not only want this information from marketing, they should demand it.
And marketers should be pushing to share their marketing data with sales too. After all, the more marketing leads that become customers, the more attribution marketing teams get for delivering return on investment. It’s a win-win for both sides.
How to share marketing automation data with sales
If your business is using, or planning to use, marketing automation software for lead generation, there are a few ways to ensure that the sales team gets what they need from it.
1. Opt for a software with built-in CRM integration
By this, I mean research the CRMs your chosen marketing automation platform integrates with out-of-the-box. For example, the marketing automation platform Pardot, is owned by Salesforce, which is the
leading CRM worldwide
. Because of this, Pardot and Salesforce integrate seamlessly, meaning less custom API development and headaches for businesses.
Make CRM integration a consideration when selecting the best platform for you.
2. If a pre-built CRM integration doesn’t exist, build it
Perhaps you use a custom-built sales CRM, or your marketing automation platform simply doesn’t have a built-in integration for your CRM. It might seem like a mammoth and costly task to build the integration but in the long-run, it will pay off. Leaving the two separate will stunt productivity and close rates.
3. Map the lead management process with both teams
From defining a qualified and sales-ready lead, to planning how and when these are sent to the sales team, both teams should be involved and in agreement when it comes to lead management.
Create a document that outlines the process fully and considers things like lead score and prospect grade, which sales team member leads should be allocated to (it may differ by region or product), any team notifications that should be sent, and the data points that are automatically integrated with the sales CRM and what these mean.
4. Ensure sales is aware of marketing channels and touchpoints
Having your marketing automation software and sales CRM integrated is great, but if sales doesn’t have a clue about the different marketing channels and touchpoints, and the communications or content being promoted, it won’t be as helpful.
Share marketing strategy and campaign plans with sales so they’re aware of new activity launching and the duration of set campaigns. Send marketing content such as eBooks or whitepapers to the team for both additional resources they can share with leads, and so they’re up to date with the most recent downloads a lead could have read.
I’ll also point out here that given sales is on the frontline speaking with potential customers, their input into marketing is useful! Be receptive to feedback and insights.
Ultimately, use marketing automation technology to open up the corridor for data sharing and better communication between marketing and sales teams. Any business that can achieve that, is destined for great results.
Why not check out Propolis, our exclusive community for B2B marketers to share insights, learn from industry leading marketers, and access our best content. Propolis includes a Hive (group) specially dedicated to Marketing Operations and Processes.