Using Marketing Analytics to Slingshot Sales

Updated: April 30, 2009

Introduction

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.

Analysis

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.

Conclusion


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.

Related Briefs

Why Sales & Marketing Don't Speak the Same Language

Focus Speaks: Do Social Media Efforts Translate into Sales?

5 Fast Steps to Better Relations (and Results) Between Sales & Marketing

Disclosures

The original source of this article is InsideCRM.com , part of the Focus network of sites.

Featured Research
  • 7 Ways Your CRM Helps Convert Leads

    Failure to convert interested leads can impact your bottom line drastically and simultaneously increase your operational costs and decrease your profits. The most common reason for this failure is lack of follow through from a sales team. Did you know that 74% of CRM users said that their CRM gave them improved access to customer data? And that by properly implementing a CRM, a business could shorten the sales cycle by 8 to 14%? more

  • Is Your CRM a Liability

    Is your CRM a liability? Before you answer too quickly with a no, just think about all the advancements that have taken place over the years regarding this technical solution. In fact, just in over the past decade there has been a dramatic shift away from on-premise systems to cloud based solutions. more

  • 12 Must-Have CRM Features

    Having a CRM is absolutely essential to any modern day business's success. In fact, 91% of companies with 11+ employees now utilize a CRM solution in their business. When making the decision to purchase or upgrade your CRM solution, it can be quite overwhelming determining which features are essential to your success versus those that pack more fluff than punch. more

  • Making the Case for a New CRM

    Did you know that having an outdated CRM is just as bad as not having one at all? Do you find yourself working even just a little too hard to make your current CRM work to maintain your contacts and relationships? While it is increasingly more difficult to reduce customer churn, modern CRM tools are much more powerful and provide much more opportunity to develop stronger relationships with your clients that can provide more stability and revenue to your company and bottom line. more

  • Don't Make These 10 CRM Mistakes

    Finding and buying a CRM is exciting. It is also quite daunting as you want to be as prepared as possible so as to avoid making a costly mistake. We have seen that many businesses fail when implementing a CRM, as they repeatedly make the same errors over and over again. more