In the not too distant past, sales people sold and marketers marketed. There wasn’t much overlap in the responsibilities of the two departments. Marketing was responsible for making people aware of the brand and driving awareness in general. Sales was responsible for finding prospects and selling them products or solutions. There then became an evolution within organizations. This evolution brought about the realization that aligning sales and marketing initiatives brought about greater success for both departments. Companies that have embraced this alignment have already realized increased productivity and better sales attainment.
Another Evolution of Sales is Upon Us
A new, highly beneficial, alignment has recently been uncovered. Building upon the tremendous success of sales and marketing alignment many forward thinking organizations have begun to layer in the alignment of finance as well. These alignments are made possible, and successful, through the use of technology, specifically, with the use of the technology that makes an optimized lead to money process possible.
With sales and marketing alignment, companies were able to streamline branding, ensure that marketing was targeting the right prospects, that sales had access to marketing approved documents when they needed them most, that marketing was taking cold leads and nurturing them along the buying cycle, and that marketing was staying engaged with the prospects throughout the entirety of the buying cycle as needed. By bringing finance into the mix, companies have been able to ensure that corporate objectives and revenue targets were being met through optimized territories based on historical data, that quotas were aligned to the territories for greater motivation, that margins were being protected within a CPQ solution, and that sales reps behaviors were aligned to company targets to ensure revenue targets were met.
This alignment brings with it greater visibility and accountability into every aspect of the business, driving each department to work towards the same end goal. Through lead to money and the alignment of sales, marketing, and finance companies will be able to respond to changes in the marketplace faster than ever before. The transparency and automation that the technology within the lead to money process brings with it will ensure that finance can quickly respond to market changes by approving new incentives or changing quotas. Sales can quickly respond to changes by allocating sales capacity to the territories that need it most, coaching individual reps on deficiencies, changing pricing structures within CPQ to stay competitive, and providing on-demand learning and training videos to keep sales up to date on what matters most. Marketing will be able to rapidly respond to changes by reallocating marketing resources, changing messaging to better match new realities, and raise or lower the quality of leads based on sales bandwidth to handle more or less. All of this is possible through better alignment and a clear, optimized process that begins with lead intelligence and ends with money being collected.
If you are interested in learning more about the power of sales, marketing, and finance alignment, you can watch our recent recorded webcast: Lead to Money: Aligning Finance with Sales and Marketing Processes.