3 Steps to Align Your Sales and Marketing Process

Are your marketing and sales aligned? The answer is important in determining whether your marketing efforts produce qualified leads and sales teams can easily convert those growing leads and opportunities.

Your organisation needs to make use of integrated processes across sales and marketing to improve customer experience and service clients according to their buying journey.

So what are the steps companies need to successfully align marketing and sales to shorten the sales cycle and increase win rates?

Microsoft’s senior product marketing manager, David Holt, advised three key areas to focus on:

1. Generate high-quality leads

Aligning sales with marketing processes starts with asking yourself the right questions about your target customers and audience. Clarify the needs of your customers, their motivations and the channels they are most likely to use to connect with your brand.

Align this definition across your marketing and sales funnel and outline with clarity what exactly qualifies a lead into a sales opportunity.

The key here is to have a shared vision combined with a shared set of metrics that the organisation uses in the marketing and sales process to generate high-quality leads and identify best opportunities to engage with customers.

2. Shorten lead qualification

Integrate data-driven insights to qualify leads. As leads come into the funnel, predictive analytics can help your sales teams prioritise their efforts and determine which leads are most likely to convert.

Learning about customer behaviour is vital in generating better-qualified leads and focus on those insights that matter in the selection process.

Data analytics can also identify untapped opportunities for sales growth, as well as unused channels that the organisation can employ to engage with clients.

There is also the huge opportunity to apply all that data intelligence and create personalised customer experience across multiple channels, as well as improve the marketing function by delivering the most suitable content and message to customers where they expect it.

3. Deliver continuous and seamless customer experience

Ensure sales is a continuation of marketing. The integration of marketing and sales becomes essential to move leads to sales.

Think about predictive analysis on both sides and how marketing and sales teams can work together to recommend the next best actions, upsell/cross-sell recommendations and devise specific interactions with customers.

The result is the ability to personalise each customer interaction in real time through the employment of AI-driven insights and machine learning and continuously use feedback to tap into the right data.

A data-driven marketing and sales integration empowers organisations to send the most effective message to the customer on preferred channels and at the right time – all through intelligently mining the combined data.

Organisations faced with a fragmented approach to data across marketing and sales functions need to shift to an integrated platform to enable an overall and unified customer experience through CRM, ERP, mobile apps, point-of-sale systems, social media and business applications.

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