Right now, there’s a lot of talk about the value of encouraging sales and marketing departments to work together – despite the challenges this union often presents.
Here are my top three reasons you should be initiating this collaboration:
1. To increase the quality of your leads
All leads are NOT created equal.
Whilst your top line numbers may look healthy, if you’re attracting the wrong type of prospect into your sales pipeline, you’ll struggle with inefficiencies and unnecessary spend.
As you know, if a prospect is not a decision-maker or lacks the budget, it’s going to be almost impossible to convince them to buy. As a result:
- You risk wasting a significant amount of sales effort nurturing customers who will never close
- As well as the time cost, there’s also a financial implication in terms of wasted marketing and sales resource
- Poor quality leads will hit forecasting accuracy. Not only will reps need far more leads to make quota, they’ll get frustrated and disillusioned trying to “flog a dead horse”
In comparison, when sales and marketing departments work together, marketing can enjoy access to detailed, insightful information about the market. As a result, these insights can be used to tighten the relevance of your lead generation campaigns, so they appeal to your buyer persona.
Higher quality leads – and the resulting knock-on effect further down your sales pipeline.
2. To increase your pipeline velocity
Pipeline velocity refers to the speed at which leads convert into a sale.
As a general rule, the longer a prospect remains in your sales pipeline, the less chance that prospect has of converting into a customer. This means it pays to streamline your pipeline and remove friction points to allow prospects to move from start to finish as quickly as possible.
Again, sales and marketing alignment can help with this…
For example, you may identify a reduction in pipeline velocity because prospects get stuck/leak at a specific stage of the pipeline. If sales teams can identify this blockage/leakage, marketing can help by creating targeted material that helps nurture prospects at any stage so they can progress.
3. To reduce the cost of a sale
If sales and marketing alignment increases the quality of leads and pipeline velocity, it follows that your cost per sale could reduce too.
That’s because you’ll be able to:
- Cut the wasted sales and marketing budget that you’ve spent attracting and nurturing unsuitable prospects
- Improve marketing collateral and sales tactics to increase pipeline velocity
- Reduce pipeline leaks and overcome common blockages
- Increase conversion rates by allowing sales teams to focus on prospects who actually meet your buyer persona definition
Make sure that your CRM system supports your sales & marketing alignment by updating your marketing automation system with the current opportunity status -- and your CRM with what’s happening from marketing.
How can you encourage your sales and marketing departments to work together? Please let me know in the comments below.
By Richard Young, Managing Director, Pipeliner CRM