On the face of it, using marketing analytics as tool to increase sales makes all the sense in the world, but getting marketing and sales to work together is not always easy. If you tune your marketing analytics and expose key information to sales people in your CRM tool , you could boost sales, foster better communication between the two departments and make it more likely that sales staff will use CRM effectively.
Geoff Rego, CEO at Market2Lead Inc., a software firm that sells marketing analytics software, said you have to be able to measure success to manage accountability." In the past, marketing used to dump leads and sales didn't follow up because they thought marketing was sending them junk that had no value," Rego said. He added that it's very important to align the marketing and sales systems. "If you can't measure, you can't manage," he said.
Integrated Equals Successful
According to Ian Michiels, an analyst with Aberdeen Group Inc. , successful companies find a way to more tightly integrate marketing and sales . "How do you prioritize the leads that go into the sales pipeline? Metrics that help you do that are going to make you more effective," he said. The goal is to find ways to define the best leads , whether that's by the number of times a potential customer has gone to a Web site, attended a webinar or visited a trade-show booth. Only send the best leads to sales.
Once you provide this information, Rego said, your reps have the information they need to close more sales. "The carrot is providing sales with as much ammunition as needed to close the sale. The way you need [to] do that is tight integration from the marketing automation system into the SFA system." Once you do this, you begin to build a consensus around the definition of a "good lead." Rego said this approach gives marketing a view into the sales funnel and can provide marketing-level information as the sales staff approaches a sales opportunity.
Changing Minds About CRM
Michiels pointed out that it takes more than technology to reach a high level of integration - it takes a change in mindset. "Typically, companies achieving higher performance have tighter integration with systems, they have organizational processes in place and they may have executive-level support for initiatives. It all comes together. It's not just technology," he said.
Yet even when companies have the motivation to integrate marketing analytics and CRM, Michiels said, it's not always easy to adapt legacy software for the job. What's more, he thinks even companies handcuffed with older systems can still improve communication and integration. "I think that every organization that is struggling with this has capabilities in place today that they could work on to get tighter integration than they have today," he said.
An added bonus of this integration - when it works - is that salespeople begin to see CRM as more than a tool for management. It becomes a way for them to increase their own sales, and as such, he said, they are more likely to enter information into the system when they are getting useful data from it.
It's clear that companies need to improve communication between sales and marketing. Successful businesses are already using technology to bridge the gap and share information between marketing analytics tools and CRM systems. You should too.
The original source of this article is InsideCRM.com , part of the Focus network of sites.
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