Have you started setting business goals for 2014? Is “improving sales-marketing alignment” somewhere on the list? It should be.
Recent research shows that 70% of the buying process is now complete by the time a prospect is ready to engage with sales — which means your marketing team is now doing a good bit of selling. And that means that your marketing and sales teams better be on the same page.
Earlier this week, we published an interview between Ali Gooch, Pardot Sales Manager, and Sangram Vajre, Director of Marketing, on the topic of sales-marketing alignment. And we learned a couple of things: 1) when used effectively, marketing automation can go a long way towards aligning sales and marketing departments, and 2) while marketing automation can help sales and marketing teams communicate and collaborate on achieving their goals, it also impacts each team in very different ways.
Let’s take a closer look at how marketing automation impacts each team respectively, and how it can bring their efforts together for a more collaborative approach.
Marketing automation impacts the daily routines of your sales team in a number of ways. For one thing, reps have effective, well-written campaigns produced by marketing placed at their fingertips. Lead nurturing can ensure that prospects are educated and already see a rep as a trusted source of information before they even have their first phone call; list segmentation makes personalized emails possible on scaleable level; and real-time alerts allow reps to be relevant in the moment. Also, as Ali notes in her interview, having a lead score and grade in front of them gives reps incentive to pick up the phone and reach out, while feeling confident that they aren’t wasting their time on an unqualified prospect.
Automation allows marketers to take some of the more menial tasks, like assigning out leads, and put them on autopilot — freeing up marketers to focus on creating content and developing overall strategy. As Sangram mentioned in his interview, the lead nurturing capabilities of automation also ensure that marketing-sourced leads don’t go to waste just because they’re not yet considered warm leads. Colder leads can be added to a nurturing track and edited to a sales-ready state before being passed back over to sales.
The bottom line? Marketing automation allows each team to play to their greatest strengths, allowing sales to focus their efforts on closing deals while still getting the most out of the written content produced by marketing — and saving everyone a significant amount of time.
Interested in learning more about how marketing automation works? Be sure to download, “How Marketing Automation Works: A Visual Guide” for more helpful visuals.