In some companies it’s obvious, in others it’s more subdued.
But it’s normally a constant situation: marketing and sales just can’t see eye-to-eye. They snipe at each other, each criticizes the other to management, and in some measure, each is deemed responsible for the other’s perceived shortcomings.
“Marketing isn’t giving us enough leads!” cries the sales force. Or, “the leads they’re giving us are crap!” Meanwhile, from marketing, we hear, “What is sales doing with the leads we are sending them? Why are they wasting them?” and so on since the beginning of time.
The primary reason for this ongoing battle is factually an information vacuum: each really doesn’t know what the other is doing. Unfortunately (at least most of the time) neither is attempting to find out, either. But then, who has time? Both are more than full-time jobs.
Filling this information vacuum would certainly help, but it wouldn’t be the total solution. If a way were found for the sales force and marketing to work in complete cooperation, the war could actually be won by both sides.
The Missing Link: CRM Solution
A CRM solution that functions as the backbone of the sales process—which of course includes marketing—is the missing link. Without it, lead quality cannot be accurately measured, sales don’t always follow up leads, lead shortages cannot be pinpointed, and many other situations can occur and actually have been occurring since companies have been around.
Picture if you will a scene in which the sales pipeline is graphically visible. When leads enter the pipeline, they can be tracked all the way through the sales process. The sales force is able to track them so as not to lose them, and marketing can see where they are going and where they end up every time.
But it certainly doesn’t stop there. Some leads are going to be better than others—and marketing can now see which those are. Having isolated them, marketing can now take action to adjust lead generation strategies that result in the best leads and lead responsibility for sales.
With full pipeline, visibility marketing can provide other kinds of assistance to sales. For example, it can launch “mini-campaigns” to provide assistance to various stages of the pipeline that need it. When it is seen that one sales rep is performing well above others, marketing can interview that rep and find out what he or she is doing; that information can be incorporated into marketing materials as well as being shared with other sales reps.
The sales force no longer needs to cry, “We don’t have enough leads!” With accurate sales analytics, marketing can clearly see when quality leads are going to start drying up and take proactive measures to see that they don’t.
With this kind of analytics, the question can now finally be answered: are the leads too low-quality, or is sales just not selling to them? If leads are falling off fairly early in the pipeline stages, they might be of inadequate quality. If they fall off later, it could be that sales reps are not taking the right actions to keep them moving forward. Analysis could also reveal a data deficiency; leads might be moving too far along the pipeline before it being discovered that they lack in quality.
When the Wall Comes Tumbling Down
With the right CRM solution in place, it will be found that, as if by magic, sales and marketing function not on opposite sides of a battlefield, but as a single, united team. And after all, that’s what a company actually is.
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