In theory, your marketing and sales departments should be one big happy family. In reality, it can seem more like siblings who love each other but have some major differences. We’ve all witnessed the deep grudges that can grow between departments. Some of the telling signs your sales and marketing teams aren’t playing nice are what they say behind each other’s backs. Sound familiar?
Marketing folks will say…
- “We are generating a ton of leads. Is Sales even doing anything with them?”
- “We never get acknowledged for anything we do. Sales takes all the credit!”
- “I am so sick of salespeople requesting things last minute. Yep, we’re totally just sitting here twiddling our thumbs, waiting for something to do!”
Sales folks will say…
- “These leads are garbage. Is Marketing just buying junk lists?”
- “I don’t know anything about this ‘lead.’ This is worse than cold calling!”
- “Marketing can never give me a timeline for anything. Am I supposed to have my whole sales event planned out a year in advance?”
This behind-the-back grumbling is very common. It’s a symptom of poor communication, lack of transparency, and no accountability. So how do we get both sales and marketing to live harmoniously under one roof? The good news is, customer relationship management (CRM) can solve a lot of these issues—and when sales and marketing do play nice, you’ll likely see a big uptick in conversion rates.
How CRM Plays the Peacekeeper
1. CRM makes lead, customer, and account data easily accessible and transparent to everyone. A fine-tuned and well-maintained CRM is a central system of record that is tuned to the needs of the organization will give both sales and marketing all the information you need about a particular lead, contact, opportunity, or account. You know where they are in the buying cycle, their contact information, preferred communication preferences—all in one view.
2. CRM gives you accurate customer history. This is huge for getting sales and marketing to see eye to eye. CRM will show you all prior communication activities with a particular lead or contact. It can show you what campaign a lead was generated from. Sales no longer has to wonder if marketing ever followed up on an initial email blast—they can see if subsequent reminder emails were sent as well. Marketing can see if anyone from sales ever reached out to a lead if they’ve gotten a certain point down the sales funnel.
3. CRM helps you visualize the lead funnel and prioritize. Leads rarely just call up a sales rep and engage in a conversation. Today, people do all kinds of discovery and research before they are ready for sales to enter the equation. CRM can automate lead scoring based on their behavior with various marketing campaigns, allowing sales to visualize the funnel and follow up on the leads that are most likely to buy.
4. CRM allows you to identify a “pass off” point. With CRM, it’s easy to set rules in place for when a lead should officially move from just a lead to a sales-ready lead. It allows you to set up business rules that are required in order to be passed off, and helps prevent finger pointing or blame games.
5. CRM can help you easily pinpoint problems and quickly solve them. If you’re noticing a breakdown in communication between your organization and your customers, CRM will allow you to see exactly where that’s happening. Are leads falling out of the funnel before they reach sales? Or is something happening during the sales process? CRM can turn on the light and help you see the roadblocks to conversion.
6. CRM allows you to constantly be measuring success rates and improving processes. A CRM system gives you the ability to see all the activities on your end, whether you’re in sales or marketing, and whether the customer or prospect responded. This allows you to see if your marketing campaign or sales pitch was successful. It provides the flexibility to allow both departments to determine what works and what doesn’t, and make adjustments to future actions
There are probably a million and one more ways CRM can help your sales and marketing departments play nice, but these highlight some of the bigger pain points we’ve seen. Want to learn more? Hear from Chris, our data dude, and he dives deeper into this topic.
What do you see as your major beefs between sales and marketing? Or, if you’re already using CRM, what ways have you seen that improve the way they work together? Let’s hear it in the comments!