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Why Integrated Sales and Marketing Teams are No Longer Optional

If business growth is what you’re after, integrating these digital marketing tips into your sales functions is key. Many businesses run these departments in silos, which means they are acting alone without ever connecting to meet the same goals. Understanding how to marry the two is key to enjoying explosive business growth through selling and marketing department integration.

Why Sales & Digital Marketing Alignment is Necessary

To put it quite simply, aligning these two departments brings in more money. When these two departments work in tandem, they can quickly convert leads into customers, which will save time and, therefore, money for your company.

The key for sales and marketing collaboration is for them to have access to shared knowledge most commonly a CRM.  This allows them to see exactly what the other team is doing and plan their tasks accordingly. They can then track which campaigns lead to the most engagement and which efforts result in higher dollar amounts.

Traditional siloed marketing often meant that these two departments had separate systems, different processes and unaligned goals, making them more like competitors than the collaborators they should be. With many companies now taking steps to bridge the gap between these departments, there has been a marked difference in their overall effectiveness. They’re now working together and finding that outcomes are more favorable for both.

Traditionally, marketing would get a lead and immediately hand it off to the other department and these two departments engaged in little communication with each other. Now, the two work together on the lead, nurturing it and following it through the entire process from first contact to closing. The two funnels are then combined, making for a more efficient process.

The Financial Cost of Traditional Siloed Marketing

Traditional marketing- silos are not only inefficient, they can also be costly. For one thing, they rob the company of the ability to effectively see what tactics work and which don’t with prospects. If your digital marketing- team has created a 10-second commercial for use on social media, did it translate to actual sales? Was there a specific ad that brought in a flood of calls and inquiries for more information? Without integration and open communication, your company will spend money on ineffective campaigns.

These siloes can also lead to a misalignment of goals. If one team has a goal of more exposure while the other has a goal of a specific dollar amount, it may be hard to achieve either if the teams are not working together. Your sales and marketing plan should include similar goals, and the only way to achieve this is through collaboration between departments.

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Old Techniques No Longer Work, Try these Digital Marketing Tips

Gone are the days of the “spray and pray” method in which sellers and marketers simply threw the information out there and hoped someone bit. Today’s customer has evolved and has a lot more information at their disposal. They are going to research, read, and shop your competitor. That means that selling is now an integral part of the marketing process. You need to know what your prospect knows so that you can effectively sell to them using these tried and true digital marketing tips from the experts at Full Sail Media.

92% of buyers start the process by looking for a solution to a problem,
90% of buyers reject cold calls
75% of buyers seek out buying advice from social media
53% of buyers would rather do their own research online than talk to a live salesperson

But most importantly, the average customer doesn’t even want anyone to reach out to them until they’re nearly 60% of the way into the buying process. In other words, your team needs to know exactly when to contact that prospect to have the best chance of making the sale. Without a team who communicates and keeps in sync, your sales tactics will become shots in the dark.

If your departments are not working together, it will cost you your prospect.

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Using Marketing Content to Bring in Qualified Leads

Most people go looking for information, then find the product. They want to know more about the product and its benefits before they buy. This is where the marketing- department comes in. Through high-quality content like blog postings, webinars, and other interactive content, marketers can answer questions, conduct polls, and ask clarifying questions to ensure that they are providing the right information to help the prospect make a decision. Marketing departments can then send individualized content to the prospect that drives him closer to a buying decision. This is when the sales team can step in and start the process of working to close the sale.

Integrating Selling and Marketing Leads to Better Collateral

Do you know if your company’s brochures, press releases, and social media content are effective in helping to close more business? The sales team often gets a lot of the same questions again and again, so marketing and sales alignment means that the marketing team can create collateral that addresses these questions. Does your selling team know if your prospects are getting outdated digital marketing tips? Does your marketing team have the latest product developments that they can include on the website and in brochures? By moving toward integrated marketing and sales, you can ensure that your company is economizing both of these departments and providing a better experience for your customer.

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Know Your Ideal Customer

If you have ever searched for a product on Google and started to see ads on your social media feed for the same product, you will understand how much effort goes into knowing the wants, needs, and preferences of a customer. Your teams need to be clear on who this ideal customer is so that your materials, automation, and selling efforts are uniform. Both teams need to understand their pain points and be ready to explain how your company will solve those challenges. Instead of selling to the customer what you think they need, you can use their captured data to sell exactly what they are looking for.

Identify Your Joint KPIs

Selling teams often measure effectiveness in dollars. Marketing teams often measure their effectiveness in prospect engagement, email opens, social media shares, and brand awareness. The two teams often have key performance indicators (KPIs) that are different, leading to different tactics to capture leads. By identifying your overlapping performance indicators, you can ensure that both teams are working on the same goals.

Although it may seem on paper that the two departments have different goals, they are many ways in which they merge. While marketing teams tend to see brand recognition as the goal, the sales team can take advantage of this by starting the conversation with the prospect’s current base of knowledge instead of having to present the company to a cold prospect. A prospect who opens the weekly email newsletter is a warmer lead than the one that doesn’t, so the other team can make email engagement one of their KPIs as well.

With internet driven buying the new norm, integrated marketing is now a necessity. Combining these two departments is an integral part of any sales and marketing plan. More companies are making the move to marketing and sales alignment in order to save on costs and close more business. From a more custom tailored and data-driven customer experience, to a lead that is more warm than cold, integrating the sales and marketing functions can save the company money and aid in business growth.

Written by Elisa Lupton