It’s always been easier to operate marketing as its own entity, with systems and data silo’ed so the only people who can used them being marketers. Some marketers would even argue this is the best way for them to achieve their goals. And technology in the SaaS era makes it easy to build those silos – and, in many cases, rebuild them after converted efforts to knock them down during the 2000s. With SaaS, marketing has a very low technical and financial barrier to entry and thus can exclude decision makers from other parts of the organization – most notably, the CIO and the VP of Sales – from not only helping to choose a solution but from even knowing much about its presence in the company.
This is clearly not a good precedent to set. Anyone with a strategic view of sales, marketing and technology investment knows that it is much better for ROI and sales results to make systems and data more available, more transparent and more effectively integrated. And, in a world where sales and marketing alignment is finally being quantified and recognized as a key to sales performance, it is painfully apparent that marketing needs to bulldoze its silos.
Need to be convinced? Here are five reasons you need to stop treating your marketing assets as the exclusive property of the marketing department – for the sake of the company, and especially for the sake of marketing:
1. Sales Needs Lead Context
Without access to the full story of the leads passed to them by marketing, sales is operating with a massive blind spot. How much do the leads know about your company? What were their interactions prior to becoming qualified? What criteria are being used to describe them as “qualified?” What lead score did they achieve to merit their passage to sales? All these nuggets of data are useful to sales in order to prioritize leads and to work them in a way that’s productive and which enhances the lead’s buying experience. If the prospective customer has to rehash the same data that he or she has already communicated to marketing in a web form or in a direct contact, like at a conference, the buying experience is negatively influenced and can contribute directly to a lost sale. And the entire point of demand generation and lead management is not to get leads but to get closed sales – so make sure sales has all the data it needs at its disposal by making the background on leads transparent.
2. Marketing Needs to Help Sales Close the Loop on Leads
When leads don’t close, what would marketers prefer to be the next step: they sit on the salesperson’s desk indefinitely; they get dropped into a trash can (virtual or actual); or they’re returned to marketing for further nurturing, scoring and evaluation? If you want those leads returned, congratulations – you want your efforts to be rewarded, even when you anticipate a good buyer before the buyer is truly ready to buy. But if you don’t give sales some way of getting those leads back to you, you run the risk of the trash can option being the one sales uses. Without a unified system for moving leads through the organization, you’re in the position of having to move them back and forth between sales and marketing in a manual way. That’s just asking for some leads to disappear, taking hopes of marketing ROI with them.
3. Marketing Controls Just One Part of the Customer Experience
In many companies, responsibility for customer experience lies with marketing. In others, support or service are in charge of customer experience. The idea that one department is “in charge” of experience is great if you’re drawing an org chart, but it’s simplistic in reality: everyone who has contact with customers is responsible for customer experience, since they are the ones who will determine the quality of that experience. Keeping marketing data silo’ed works directly against this concept: unless everyone who’s likely to talk to customers can get at that data, they have an incomplete picture of the person whose experience they are trying to influence.
4. Marketing Needs to Connect its Efforts to Revenue
Marketing is no longer allowed to provide its own rosy estimate of its impact to the CEO, especially with sales so readily able to provide its numbers when asked. That makes it critically important for marketing systems to be connected to the rest of the organizations. For example, having a compensation management solution that’s well connected to marketing systems allows you to see which deals closed, how large they were, and how quickly they closed – and it also allows you to see how marketing influenced those numbers. Measures of revenue influence can be based on actual results and actual numbers – and in many cases, doing so reveals that marketing makes a bigger contribution to revenue than even marketers realize.
5. Sales People do Marketing, Too
The capabilities of marketing automation aren’t beneficial to marketers alone. They can be put into play by salespeople to reach and stay in communication with their prospects, too. If marketing and sales have their systems integrated – and if the marketing automation is designed to be used by all members of the sales and marketing team – sales people can use marketing automation to keep in contact with prospects and marketing can use the data those contacts generate just as they do the data stemming from their own communications. In that way, sales can help nurture leads and contribute to a flow of qualified leads, and do so in a way that can potentially be more productive and rewarding than simple prospecting.
To learn more about CallidusCloud Marketing Automation, visit our website.