Constructing an integrated sales and marketing system may be quite challenging. In this episode of Sales Secrets, Phillip Anderson from Boston Consulting Group will be sharing his secrets to aligning sales and marketing. Keep reading to find out more.
In this article:
- What Is Integrated Sales and Marketing?
- Six Digital Must-Haves
- Focusing on Customers
- Building Cross-Functional Capabilities
- Investing in Digital Marketing
- Building in the Data as Foundation
- Taking Advantage of Inside Sales
Achieving An Integrated Sales and Marketing Structure
Phillip Anderson is a partner and managing director at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). With over decades of experience, he spearheads projects to help digitally transform businesses.
Within BCG, Anderson leads the group’s next generation sales practices.
His team focuses on helping companies transform their go-to-market motions. They use the best of data and technology, along with the people and process they empower.
In this episode, Anderson shared his tips to answer these two important questions –
- How can a company build an integrated sales and marketing machine?
- How can inside sales transform how companies go to market?
What Is Integrated Sales and Marketing?
Having integrated sales and marketing functions in your company means that these teams work more closely together to turn sales prospects into loyal customers. They work hand in hand for better pipeline management and to effectively increase brand awareness.
A company’s marketing department is usually the one in charge of generating leads for potential prospecting. On the other hand, the sales department is usually responsible for building and maintaining customer relationships.
Ideally, a company’s sales and marketing teams should be on the same page during sales development. When this happens, you can easily develop smoother strategies to win target customers.
But in reality, one common problem businesses face is the lack of communication between the sales and marketing teams.
This is usually because there’s no unified database that can aid both teams on which type of customers to prioritize during sales development.
Six Digital Must-Haves
I asked Anderson this very important question – How do you drive above market growth at a lower cost while delivering better customer experience?
Anderson began sharing about the six digital must-haves in a complete customer journey.
- Digital Demand Center — This is where you take advantage of technology to reach out to prospects.
- Next Generation Inside Sales — Is about connecting with the prospects with that nurtured opportunity with high velocity.
- Achieving Customer Success — This is about ensuring the prospect becomes a loyal customer.
- Account-Based Marketing — This is the point where you think about your existing customer relationships by maintaining a digital touch point with them.
- Maintaining Data-Driven Sales — Requires assuring that all sales transactions are backed by visible data.
- Building the Integrated Sales and Marketing Strategy — This is where you control a 360-degree view of the customers and formulate the visibility you need across the motion.
Focusing on Customers
One important sales strategy is to focus on your customers as the anchor point for how you go to market.
Focusing on your customers is thinking about how you do customer acquisition. It is how you find and nurture those customers.
This begins with prospecting clients and getting to know them on a deeper level.
From there, you begin nurturing that customer to becoming a qualified opportunity. Your team can perform the needed sales development work to land that customer.
At the same time, there should be a customer support team that works on the other side. This is to ensure you’re addressing all issues and maintaining the quality of your service.
You should also make sure that during the whole process, there is administrative management work to maintain them as customers.
And after building the rapport, make sure to engage with them. Continuously engage with them and repeat those steps right as you go through the customer journey.
Focusing on your customers also opens the avenue for integrated sales and marketing functions.
Building Cross-Functional Capabilities
Another important sales strategy in an integrated sales and marketing structure is assessing cross-functional activities.
To operationalize this, Anderson explains, “So start to look at where on the seams of the organization can you create capabilities that span them and bring them together.”
This means looking at your company’s inside sales. Through this, you can assess how your company sits between marketing and sales during prospecting.
In this way, you can devise a plan in your pipeline management regarding tasks that can be shared between your sales and marketing teams. More teamwork, more knowledge.
You can ask your team these questions:
- Where are we on our goals?
- What is broken or what is wrong?
- Is it a process problem or is it a talent problem?
- Is it a data problem or is it a technology problem?
From there, you can start talking about the structures of your sales and marketing teams and what needs to be different in each of those functions. After that, you can implement your desired changes.
Anderson advised that it’s best to go with an agile approach. It should have a well-documented implementation anchoring on a pilot, which is focused on gaining momentum and learning.
Investing in Digital Marketing
Another type of investment we can grab is digital marketing.
Given our technological advances nowadays, almost all customer experiences are digital. There is a boom in online shopping and less need for selling in person.
By taking advantage of different online platforms such as social media, your teams can work remotely but still widen the span of their reach.
And, as part of your company’s inside sales routines, digital marketing can be a handy tool to personalize sales prospecting. Digital marketing can effectively target different prospects’ demographics.
And, during post sales transactions, having digital customer access can help you get feedback faster. This can be via email or feedback forms on your website.
Building in the Data as Foundation
Data management is also very important in constructing an integrated sales and marketing engine.
Nowadays, big data can explain everything. It can help you manage all sales transactions and see the best sales prospects.
In a customer’s sales journey, Anderson recommends to leverage that data and bring it into the customers’ experiences.
Through data management, you can directly assess what the customer needs and how to address them.
Taking Advantage of Inside Sales
Lastly, always remember that inside sales can be very valuable in building an integrated sales and marketing structure.
Inside sales can drive prospects into loyal customers based on personalized methods of reaching out to them individually.
Anderson also advises that there should be a change of perspective when it comes to inside sales.
He shares that it’s important not to think about inside sales as telesales. An inside sales team is not always on the phone like call center operations.
We should think about them as first-class highly skilled citizens within the sales organization. And by the way, they’re not always on the phone.
In a nutshell, they are hybrid sellers. Usually, they go to a client every now and then to meet for a quarterly review. And, the rest of the time, they’re in their center or regional set up.
Tying together sales and marketing functions is no easy task. Each team has its own set of responsibilities that can be hard to share with another department.
But at the end of the day, bringing these functions together requires elevating your company. So start your momentum with these sales strategies from Phillip Anderson, and you can pull the rest of the organization with you.
How do you unify your sales and marketing teams? Share your tips below!