Three ways sales and marketing alignment reduces costs
Many professionals are operating in a distributed environment. Although, sales and marketing misalignment is common even when colleagues work in the same office. They both use different platforms and do not have the same goals and KPIs. If both sales and marketing teams used the same solution, they would be able to benefit from each other’s data and insights.
The potential for misalignment between sales and marketing is multiplied during a major economic disruption. This can lead to the loose of opportunities, costly duplicative work and wasted time on administrative work. If organizations align sales and marketing, they will reap many benefits such as: lower customer acquisition costs, less overhead spent on administrative tasks and the ability to capture data that spans the entire marketing and sales pipeline. This data can then provide the clearest and most actionable insights on where companies should and should not invest to earn the highest ROI. Aberdeen Group’s industry analyst firm said that: “organizations with aligned sales and marketing teams saw a 20% bump in yearly revenue.”
The evolving buying processes
The way B2B buyers engage with a company have been changed by two trends: sales and marketing teams used their combined knowledge and insights to make the right decisions, from procurement and finance to business unit leaders and IT.
Secondly, most B2B buyers educate themselves about companies and solutions thanks to digital assets. Salespeople need to understand customer behavior at every point of their buying journey in digital selling. They will thus be able to offer them highly personalized and relevant content. The understanding of these two trends helps companies to reduce costs and efforts tied to customer acquisition.
According to a LinkedIn study, 90% of business decision-makers reported they’re “more likely to consider a product or service if a sales rep shares content that’s relevant to their decision-making role”.
1- Reducing the cost of customer acquisition
We can notice an important investment of sales and marketing organizations in understanding their customers. However, they rarely share the information with each other in an effective way.
Marketing tends to focus more on the marketplace as a whole, researching customer needs and identifying opportunities whereas sales teams remain on the front lines, where they get to see individual customer needs firsthand.
The alignment of sales and marketing organizations including an integrated system that shares data and insights, enable both teams to build a more accurate buyer profile and create a single source of information about contacts, leads, and customers for every interaction.
Taking an outside-in and objective perspective from the buyer’s point of view is one of the biggest challenges for organizations. When sales and marketing teams align, they also align processes. This action helps customers to experience their interactions with the company seamless process.
According to Sirius Decisions: “faster-growing organizations use a more effective demand process that aligns sales and marketing”. This results in 18% fewer touches to move leads from marketing to telesales and 8% fewer touches to move leads from telesales to sales.
2- Aligning reporting to cut unnecessary expenses
Even though marketing and sales have different responsibilities, it is always critical to the sales process.
Misalignment can lead to wasted efforts and investment. It can thus cause frustration on both sides. For instance, marketing may feel sales fails to follow through on the leads marketing works so hard to surface while the sales team may feel marketing is making unrealistic claims about the company’s solutions.
This is why, the sales process becomes more seamless when both teams align. They can integrate their knowledge for greater campaign impact and better map and improve the customer journey. The customer is the first to benefit, enjoying a consistent experience throughout the buying process.
Companies are able to identify the most effective and investment-worthy methods of acquiring new customers and driving repeat business. They can build a more data-driven model across sales and marketing.
An integrated system can provide insights into the effectiveness of marketing programs such as email, and social posts and sales efforts (including meetings, webinars, and calls).
If this information is aggregated, along with analytic and AI tools, it can help organizations to develop sales and marketing playbooks for customer acquisition and identify which investments are under performing and reduce those expenses.
3- Automating administrative work and reducing overhead
The alignment of sales and marketing allow to improve productivity in many ways such as: reducing duplicative work in different areas (demand management, planning, data management, and measurement). Then, sales and marketing teams will be better able to identify tasks across the customer buyer journey that can be automated to improve efficiency.
Automated tasks include answering requests for events such as: sending relevant emails, product literature, scheduling sales calls, compiling sales reports, generating proposals and bids, and entering orders.
A Harvard Business Review study declared: “when two companies—a $7 billion electronics manufacturer and an $8 million custom printing company—invested in sales and marketing automation, each saw a first-year ROI of 100 percent”.
Broekman Logistics’ success story
Broekman Logistics is a global logistics company that achieved 180% ROI in only one year thanks to Microsoft Dynamics 365. The employees of Broekman described this new solution as user-friendly and immediately test-piloted an automated email campaign for an annual customer event. The company faces many familiar sales and marketing challenges, including:
- Increasing product recognition
- Intense competition in a growing field of providers
- Maintaining strong customer relationships while also expanding its customer base
Microsoft Dynamics 365 did not only increase sales leads. It also helped salespeople better understand the customer journey. It also brought rich information streams to reduce customer acquisition costs, support better lead nurturing and faster conversion.
The company decided to use Dynamics 365 to analyze data from previous years tied to opportunities generated by each sales event, as well as the gross margin each opportunity produced. The team used this information to use marketing campaign history in order to be more targeted in their interactions. This includes tracking things like who opened an email, clicked a link, or subscribed to an event.
Broekman Logistics wanted to take advantage of Dynamics 365 Marketing and Sales apps’ integration with LinkedInSales Navigator and LinkedIn lead-generation forms to save more time and increase sales.
We’ve already benefitted from having all this functionality on one platform. And there are big opportunities still ahead of us with Dynamics 365.
Rutger BonselGeneral Manager of MarketingBroekman Logistics
Save by aligning sales and marketing
Talking and sharing information between sales and marketing are the two key elements to start alignment. In order to truly break down silos, both teams need to collaborate on measurement strategies and goals, process creation and especially technology.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps companies align sales and marketing teams and also reduce costs and administrative tasks.