Today forward-thinking companies are realizing that having Sales and Marketing in their traditional stances—that is, opposed to and bickering at each other—is not productive of a smoothly progressive organization.
In its most basic form a company is a team. Its two most important revenue-producing units—Sales and Marketing—are part of that team, and in fact need to fully function as such.
Because it is so heavily associated with Sales, when one thinks of a CRM application one rarely thinks about Marketing. A CRM tool is most often utilized by company and sales management to monitor sales and ensure they are staying on quota. To a lesser degree it also coordinates other customer relationship activities throughout the company, such as those of Tech Support.
But today forward-thinking companies have realized that a CRM application can be much more than a sales monitoring device: it can actually empower sales reps, and beyond that enable Marketing to monitor their leads and assist in moving sales along the sales pipeline.
A leading-edge CRM solution is fully adaptable to a company’s sales process. This allows sales reps to rapidly record and retrieve vital information on each and every sales cycle they have in progress. It also makes it possible for sales management and other relevant departments and executives to quickly and easily view and analyze sales from lead to close.
It is a fact, however, that the sales process includes Marketing—for Marketing is bringing in the leads, and has a vested interest in seeing how the leads are progressing along the pipeline. They can monitor the number of leads in the pipeline and, utilizing the average close ratio for that sales force, ensure there are enough leads there to sustain them. If Sales is complaining about a particular lead source, Marketing can actually go in and verify the situation for themselves. Marketing can also take a proactive stance in such a situation: Through CRM Marketing can see if a particular type of lead is commonly falling off at a particular stage of the sales process—and rather than waiting for Sales to complain about it can take action.
“Heating Up” Leads
In an earlier article we discussed the leads that can be neglected when Sales and Marketing are not in accord. Marketing forwards leads to sales, considering that any lead is worth following up. Sales only desires leads that are “hot” and ready to buy now or in the near future. In between fall the lukewarm leads.
When Sales and Marketing have joined forces, this “black hole” can be cooperatively resolved. This might mean that Sales assigns several Sales Development Reps that only deal with lukewarm leads and works to make them hot enough to forward to the Sales Reps. It might also mean that Marketing creates specific campaigns consisting of various promotional actions that are designed to heat up these leads. Or (ideally) it might be a combination of both Sales and Marketing efforts.
Once a lead is designated as a “hot lead” and has progressed into the sales part of the sales process, that doesn’t mean it has to be forever ignored by Marketing.
Working with sales reps, Marketing can provide collateral materials that will assist the sales force at particular stages of the pipeline. As sales are being worked, sales reps can have these materials right where they need them; reps can just click and send to the prospect.
Marketing Steps as Part of Sales Process and CRM Application
As Sales and Marketing become truly united, the sales process (and therefore CRM) can and should be extended to include marketing steps. A simplified example of a unified pipeline might be:
Suspect / Marketing Nurture / Lead Qualification / Sales Presentation / Marketing Collateral / Proposal / Negotiation / Close
This kind of interaction can only be possible if the CRM application is so intuitive it can be easily followed and utilized by Sales and non-Sales personnel alike. With a leading-edge CRM application, inclusion of Marketing is also facilitated through its compatibility with robust Marketing automation tools such as Hubspot, MailChimp and Constant Contact.
The right CRM solution is factually the final piece in bringing Sales and Marketing together as a cooperative team, who together consistently meets and exceeds sales quotas.
The right CRM solution for bridging Sales and Marketing is Pipeliner CRM. Get your free trial now.