It’s natural for us to become reliant on certain technologies as they continue to make our lives easier. And in the world of B2B, companies are becoming increasingly dependent on technology. Most specifically, when it comes to aligning marketing and sales, this monumental job has now become a breeze thanks to several robust state-of-the-art platforms.
Although technology makes the processes much easier, marketers need to make sure they aren’t losing the most important thing— The Human Element. After all, it’s the only thing that makes sales and marketing alignment possible. Aligning these two departments will require effective communication through sociability, and a reward-based program, which can be supplemented by technology to bring everything together.
Technology is one of the best things that happened to organizations wishing to develop more cohesion between their sales and marketing teams. But it shouldn’t be the end all be all—in fact, relying on marketing tech can turn into a huge mistake. Here are some reasons why.
Marketing/Sales Alignment is Critical for Success
The B2B competition is very fierce, so sales and marketing teams that aren’t working together cohesively are going to be detrimental to business success. The alternative is to bring the two departments together, which can help to drive improved value to clients while helping your company achieve its yearly goals.
Studies show that marketing and sales teams experience 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales win rates when they are aligned, and they’re 67% more likely to convert leads into clients.
When you take into consideration that marketing and sales now have largely overlapping roles, alignment makes for better organizational efficiency. With marketers now in charge of driving revenue, a largely sales-centric role previously, and sales tasked with taking a more proactive position in customer engagement and relationship building, which used to be marketing’s forte, marketing and sales should be working together and sharing notes on a consistent basis.
However, relying solely on technology to facilitate these new role objectives and bring your two departments together cannot succeed, because the human element must be present when it comes to fortifying the customer experience.
Even with AI, technology can’t compete with salespeople, who usually work closest with clients. It’s your salespeople who will be able to better understand your clients’ needs, objections, buying habits, as well as other behaviors to give relevant feedback for improvement.
Marketers, too, should be working closely with salespeople to understand those client motivations, and so that precision-targeted content can be created and delivered for more leads and revenue.
Technology can help bring these departments together to share insights, but it can’t replace the process entirely. Communication can become instant and more collaborative, which is excellent for creating a more personalized client experience.
Technology alone cannot come up with these insights, nor can it motivate your sales and marketing teams to collaborate, share notes, and better understand your clients’ needs.
Instead, your sales and marketing teams should be meeting regularly and connecting in person, if possible, so there is no mistaking tone of voice, meaning, or body language involved in the corroboration process.
Delivering Specific Content to Your Salespeople
Your salespeople need your marketing team to provide them with dynamic and personalized content that sales can then share with clients at various touchpoints. Technology can help create this collateral and material, but the creative human mind must create the vision. Technology is also helpful in identifying who to target, but it’s your salespeople who give your marketers insights to make the content even more engaging. Technology will never replace a warm salesperson who delivers content when clients need it most.
Crunching the Numbers
No B2B marketing campaign would be successful without analytics data, however, it ’s still, not enough gives you everything you need to improve. These results are interpreted and then acted upon. After months and years of data, you will have a virtual gold mine of crucial information that can tell you what’s working and what’s not.
You can then act on that data to help your sales and marketing teams deliver exactly what your prospects and clients are searching for.
Technology can help you gather an immense amount of big data from a variety of channels, from Google to your social accounts, email platforms, and more. Figuring out how all those numbers go together can also be performed using technology. Some platforms can analyze these figures to determine a proper course of action.
However, it will take marketers with experience and salespeople with intimate knowledge of your buyer persona that are going to help you use your analytics most effectively. Without that human element, any actions that come about because of your analytics data may be misguided. Only fully-aligned marketing and sales departments can, working together, figure out the best ways to act on analytics for a superpowered campaign.
How Sales & Marketing Can Come Together Using Technology
Forcing sales and marketing to meet in person won’t accomplish much until you give your teams shared objectives. Research shows that conversion rates tend to be higher when sales and marketing are more aligned and share common objectives, such as increasing revenue by 20% or converting 50% more leads on a particular landing page. The teams can then use tech to facilitate those goals once the CMOs and CSOs set them in motion.
Another great way to use technology to bring your teams together is to create common dashboards that combine both sales and marketing data. This helps your teams remain focused on their common goals, and there will be no confusion of terms, objectives, or the reading of data on any given screen.
Rewards & Contributions
Reward your teams for proving that they are indeed working together. Furthermore, salespeople can tend to be more competitive than marketers, so make sure you acknowledge people’s contributions on both sides. Give credit where credit is due, and make your teams excited to better align.
You now have several ways of aligning sales and marketing that can be improved upon with technology. Tech can help immensely when it comes to helping your teams communicate more effectively, crunch the numbers more efficiently, and nurture leads on a mass scale without sacrificing quality or personalization.
And yet, technology cannot do it all. Your teams must work together as people with shared interests and goals, and they should be rewarded whenever they come through. Working together, your organization can reach any objectives you establish, but only if marketing and sales are in perfect alignment. Just don’t rely solely on tech when the human element is all the matter calls for.
Check out this guide for B2B marketers to increase their overall conversions through insights from analytics.