To succeed in the digital world, it's crucial to quickly utilise available tools and make informed decisions that support your business ambitions. The contentious chemistry between Sales and Marketing teams is what makes the commercial world go round. Getting it right isn't always easy, but it holds the key to big business impact and organisational growth.
In fact, organisations with closely-aligned sales and marketing teams see 24% faster growth. When these two teams are not aligned, it can lead to a number of problems that can cause friction and stunt growth. For example, 80% of leads generated by marketing are not contacted by sales. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of connected sales and marketing and how businesses can implement it using business applications from Microsoft.
What is Connected Sales & Marketing?
Connected sales and marketing is a process that aligns the efforts of the sales and marketing teams to achieve common goals – driving revenue and building client relationships. The goal is to provide a seamless experience for the customer, from the moment they become aware of a product or service until the point of purchase, and beyond. It is also to ensure that a hot lead gets straight to the right available sales person, and that everyone in the business knows what part they play in bringing in revenue, and no step falls between the cracks. The process involves the sharing of data, insights, and strategies between sales and marketing teams.
Benefits of Connected Sales & Marketing
There are a number of benefits of implementing a connected sales and marketing process, including:
- Better Understanding of the Customer: Gain a better understanding of customer needs and behaviours, so you can provide personalised and targeted messages.
- Increased Efficiency: Streamlining the sales and marketing process eliminates duplication of efforts, reduces errors, and increases productivity.
- Improved Lead Generation: Generate better, more quality leads by providing targeted messages that are more likely to resonate with potential customers. Only 56% of B2B companies do any validation of leads before passing to sales. If marketing is generating leads that are not a good fit, the sales team will end up wasting their time on activities that are not producing revenue and will likely not appreciate or accept any leads being sent their way in the future.
- Improved Customer Experience: Companies with superior customer experiences bring in 7 times more revenue than other competitors. Connected sales and marketing provides a seamless experience for customers from the moment they become aware of a product or service until the point of purchase. This provides a positive customer experience that leads to increased sales and loyalty.
Implementing Connected Sales & Marketing
To implement connected sales and marketing, businesses need to follow these steps:
- Define the Sales and Marketing Process: Businesses need to define the sales and marketing process and establish a common language between the two teams.
- Share Data and Insights: Businesses need to share data and insights between sales and marketing teams. This allows both teams to gain a better understanding of the customer and the buying process.
- Establish Common Goals: Businesses need to establish common goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) between sales and marketing teams. This provides both teams with a common goal and clear metric to measure their success.
- Use Technology: This is likely stating the obvious when I say that it is important to align processes and goals with technology to automate and provide shared insight and experiences. Indeed, there are a shed load of CRM solutions and marketing solutions out there, as well as having integrations between the two. Fortunately, Microsoft Dynamics 365 also has two applications in its arsenal for businesses that are truly connected, working together natively on the same Dataverse.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales and Marketing
Dynamics 365 Sales is a customer relationship management (CRM) application that helps sales teams manage their leads, opportunities, and accounts. And from lead->opportunity->quote->order->invoice, it is a complete sales force automation solution. It provides a single view of customer data, allowing salespeople to better understand their customers and personalise their sales approach and automate many levels through the sales cycle.
Dynamics 365 Marketing, on the other hand, is a marketing automation application that helps businesses generate and nurture leads. It allows marketers to create and manage marketing campaigns, manage events, website content pages, track customer interactions real-time (and nurture through a journey), and measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.
Together, these applications allow seamless handover of leads from origination, nurturing and qualification through to sales. Marketing can easily receive back disqualified leads and lost opportunities into a re-nurture path, and the sales team can see all the interactions in a single place. Built-in business process flows manage the steps from warming a lead through; automated marketing, marketing qualified, sales accepted, sales qualified, and then various opportunity stages through to close.
Connected sales and marketing is a process that aligns the efforts of the sales and marketing teams to achieve a common goal. By implementing connected sales and marketing, businesses can gain a better understanding of their customers' needs and behaviours, increase efficiency, generate better quality leads, and provide a seamless customer experience. Microsoft Dynamics 365 can provide you with the full lead to cash process, end to end, from a completely anonymous visitor, through to a fully-fledged loyal customer. If you're looking to achieve growth and profitability, connected sales and marketing is definitely worth considering.
In a later blog and webinar, I will discuss the benefits of using Viva Sales and Copilot alongside Dynamics 365 Sales and Marketing to provide conversational intelligence and further automate processes.