The Quest for Marketing & Sales Alignment Through Shared Customer Insights

Marketing and sales alignment — or really, misalignment — is a persistent problem that plagues organizations of every size. Trying to solve it often feels like trying to kill a weed infestation. Just as you’ve nipped one alignment issue in the bud, another one blossoms to life.

If you’re on the lookout for a new misalignment “weed-killer,” one of the best strategies is to unify each team’s insights about customers. When marketing and sales teams do this, it fosters communication and understanding between them, resulting in a shared sense of direction and purpose.

Plus, bringing data together in one place helps solve other modern business problems. According to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report, if companies don’t successfully leverage data to deliver personalized experiences, 76% of customers say it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere.

Here’s how sharing customer insights can align your marketing and sales teams and help them exceed the expectations of today’s customers:

Identify data sources to align.

It can sometimes be difficult for marketing and sales teams to figure out exactly which data sources to align. How little is too little, and how much is too much? As a rule of thumb, you can probably never be transparent enough across teams.

However, it’s important to be organized about how teams rally around shared customer insights. Also, teams may need to keep certain information protected. As such, it’s essential for marketing and sales teams to work together and come to clear agreements about how to align sources of data.

Develop a strategy for aligning data.

Aligning data across teams is easier said than done. Due to sensitive information and large file sizes, it’s not feasible (or advisable) to manually send data sources between team members, such as via email. That’s why your organization needs a plan for doing this securely across teams.

In many companies, marketing and sales teams work in separate platforms that may not be integrated. This is a particular issue with old, legacy systems that aren’t cloud-based, which can lead to big challenges when it comes to unifying customer insights effectively.

VMware, a global leader in cloud infrastructure and digital workspace technology, ran into this very problem. Their marketing team struggled to nurture leads, and their sales team had to manually qualify leads, without any understanding of how to prioritize follow-up. How’d VMware solve the problem? They started sharing insights across the integrated cloud-based Salesforce platform.

Create a unified view of your customers.

A unified view of customers across business segments is essential to success in modern business. Unfortunately, according to Salesforce’s State of Marketing report, only 28% of marketers are satisfied with their ability to create a cohesive view of customers.

Unifying customer insights is the key to success here. When data is siloed and teams aren’t prompted to communicate, everyone’s understanding of customers becomes fragmented. By organizing data in one easy-to-access digital space, marketing and sales can move forward together as a unified team with a unified view of customers.

Discover new ways to innovate and succeed.

Once marketing and sales teams are successfully aligned through data, they can begin to optimize their processes, automate manual tasks, and create meaningful connections with leads. Not only does unified data promote transparency across teams, but it also frees up tons of time — no more searching for data you don’t have access to!

When marketing and sales teams share customer insights, they’re able to save time, work together more efficiently, and understand customers more deeply. Ultimately, that allows them to deliver better customer experiences at every touchpoint.

Explore more sales and marketing innovation.

Sign up for our upcoming webinar, Align Sales and Marketing with Sales Cloud + Pardot in Lightning, to see how sales and marketing teams can be more innovative with Pardot in Lightning and Sales Cloud.

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