There’s a lot of talk these days about the importance of aligning sales and marketing teams. While it may seem intuitive for every business to do this, there are still quite a few companies with sales and marketing teams that are little more than ships passing in the night.
When that’s the case, the marketing team takes care of leads, and the sales team tries to turn those leads into customers. Passing those leads from marketing to sales is the only touchpoint.
When the two organizations are properly aligned, the main responsibilities stay the same. The marketing team still focuses mainly on generating leads, and the sales team on converting those leads. But there are so many more touchpoints. There is no single handoff, as marketing supports sales throughout the customer lifecycle.
When properly aligned, the benefits are huge. First off, you build customer trust. When sales and marketing are on the same page, they’re telling the customer the same thing. It also makes your organization more efficient as you can make sure that sales is no longer wasting it’s time on bad leads. Finally, when both teams understand how the other impacts broader company goals, morale improves.
Now let’s take a look at some actionable things you can do to align your sales and marketing teams with ActiveCampaign.
Optimize your contact database
Having a clean and data-rich contact database is a great way to ensure you never forget about your customers and leads, and in turn, they don’t forget about you. As well as making communication with contacts easier, it also enables marketing and sales analysis.
The first thing you need to do is make sure your contacts have all the necessary profile info. In order for a contact to be created in ActiveCampaign, they must have an email, but all of the other info is configurable. Determine what are the must haves and identify your contacts that don’t have what you consider to have necessary info. Many users find full name, phone number, and address be important. You don’t have to worry about duplicate contacts as ActiveCampaign will not allow you to add a contact with the same email as an existing one.
Once you have all the high-level necessities, create custom fields. ActiveCampaign allows you to create several different types of fields from text boxes to drop-downs, and you can use them to document information about your contacts that’s relevant to your business. Use these fields in automations, for conditional content in campaigns, or as a factor for lead scoring.
Tags are similar to custom fields, but are typically used more granular information about a contact. You can use tags for similar purposes as you would custom fields.
A clean contact database benefits both prospects and existing customers. You’ll be able to take care of so many customer-facing business processes more efficiently and effectively when you have your database optimized.
Refine lead scoring
In order for sales and marketing to be truly copacetic, the two teams have to understand and agree on a lead scoring criteria. Having an agreed-upon lead qualification process leads to much more predictable and easy-to-forecast sales numbers.
Once you’ve hashed out the factors that contribute to your lead score, you can start building logic in ActiveCampaign to automatically attribute points toward your contacts. Depending on your business these might be things like subscribing to emails, opening an email, or visiting a web page.
Since your entire organization is on the same page regarding the quality of leads, sales will know who to contact and when. They’ll be much happier with the marketing team as they become better and better at forecasting their numbers.
Unite your pipeline
Marketing and sales should not be working with two completely separate pipelines. When marketing passes a lead along to sales their work isn’t done. In fact, once sales is in contact with a prospect, marketing teams should still be supplying content that is aimed to educate and convince the prospect. These might come in the form of trend reports, case studies, or ROI calculators.
Using ActiveCampaign, you can create automations that are tied to the Deals CRM. For example, as a contact moves from an intro call to a product demo, there might be an automation in place to send a check-in email and a guide providing use cases for the prospect’s business.
It’s a good idea to have some sort of marketing initiative associated with each stage of the deal. This way, as sales does their work, the marketing team continues to support until the prospect turns into a customer.
It’s nice to say that your organization aligns its sales and marketing teams, but it’s another thing to actually make sure it happens. Much of the research on the subject suggests that in order for a company to successfully align the two teams, senior management must take action in coordination.
If senior managers can effectively facilitate communication, promote cross-department learning, and share team information and plans, the alignment of sales and marketing is much more likely to take hold. When senior management is committed to this mandate, the rest of the organization will follow suit. Do this successfully, and you’ll soon see your hard work and collaboration reflected in your businesses performance.