Use Data To Bridge The Gap Between Sales and Marketing

In today’s world of technology where information is available in real time, decision makers are more educated than ever. It is no longer effective to dial down the phone book for customers, or to exist without an effective website.

The expectations for innovative products and presentations have created a highly symbiotic relationship between marketing and sales that is vital to sustaining client relationships and creating new ones.

Unfortunately, many companies are missing the boat when it comes to maintaining this sales-marketing utopia. According to a study done by LinkedIn, 87% of the terms sales and marketing use to describe each other are negative. This is most often due to a back and forth “blame game” between the parties. How strange! We know that each department is ultimately measured on the revenue that is generated through their efforts. They are on the same team! Why then is there such a gap that exists between these similar roles?

The common challenges that cause the rift between sales and marketing teams are well documented. Fortunately, reframing these challenges brings about the root cause of most of these problems: lack of tangible, real data and analytics. When real data is present, emotions are put to the side and science takes over. This data is being collected most often today through the use of effective mobile sales enablement tools.

This blog post will identify some of the most common challenges that occur between sales and marketing teams, and explain how mobile solutions can provide the data that is needed to eliminate them.

Current Challenges

Challenge #1 – Outdated collateral being distributed

Marketing - I have no way of knowing when outdated and off brand collateral is being distributed.

Sales - I don’t have updated collateral in time for my meeting, or I can’t find it. I end up using what I have stored in the trunk of my car, or whatever I have that has worked in the past.

From the marketing perspective, nothing is more troublesome than seeing off-brand collateral land in the hands of customers. It is damaging to the image and credibility of the company as a whole. It is important that marketing has a way to track which collateral is being shared so that the most effective collateral can be easily updated with new branding guidelines. By streamlining this process, marketing can focus on creating new content for distribution, while making sure that most effective collateral remains shareable.

At the same time, sales should be provided with new and updated collateral in a timely manner that is easy to find and share. Marketing should have an easy way to distribute this content to the field, and then an easy way to see if it is used effectively. According to Ring DNA, 90% of the content created by marketing is not used by sales reps. By seeing usage data in real time, marketers can identify training opportunities and collateral that just isn’t effective. A conversation can take place that eliminates the reluctance to use marketing materials early, resulting in high adoption from sales people and distribution of updated materials to customers.

Mobile sales tools such as Game Plan collect and provide data that shows when assets are shared and how often. They also provide an avenue to distribute materials to the sales reps in the field in real time with alerts.

Challenge #2 – The “One-Off” Requests from Sales

Marketing – I’m spending most of my time coming up with customized collateral for one-off sales presentations. This puts me behind on other deadlines, and it can only be used once.

Sales – My job is to sell, and each client is important. I need customized presentations for each meeting, and I need them quick. Who knows when clients will schedule meetings?

Marketing teams are deadline driven, and salespeople with an immediate need often ignore busy schedules. It is important that one-off, customizable presentations are created, but it’s equally important that they follow a pre-defined process set up and agreed upon by the sales and marketing teams. Data is valuable in guiding the direction of this process.

Marketers should start by understanding whether these customized presentations are effective. Effectiveness can be measured in different ways, but the most effective way is to compare time spent to the return for the company. Are these customized presentations resulting in revenue? Do marketing team members spend a full day on collateral, only for sales to share it once and never follow up? Or is the collateral being pushed to the client in multiple sales meetings only for the client to go elsewhere?

Mobile sales tools that are customizable can provide the data that allow these presentations to be tracked throughout the sales process, showing how they add value (or not) to the overall lifecycle of the opportunity. By integrating with CRM software like Salesforce, customer touch points can be viewed in dashboards and analyzed to document effectiveness.

Challenge #3 – Which materials work and which materials don’t?

Marketing – “I can’t get any info on what reps are actually sharing with clients and what they aren’t. Also, what collateral do customers like the most?”

Sales – “I send a lot of info out to clients, but I can’t tell what they are reading or if they’re even interested in the content. I’m not sure what type of collateral marketing should make, and they don’t seem to know either.”

Very often, marketers operate in a vacuum, cranking out collateral one PDF after another. It is rare that they stop to investigate whether the collateral they are producing was ever shown, and they probably don’t want to know!

Salespeople operate in a vacuum as well, handing paper collateral over to clients or sending emails. It is rare that they stop to investigate whether clients ever took the time to read what they were given. This cycle repeats itself over and over.

Mobile sales tools can solve this problem by providing data at both stages. First, marketers can get analytics that show what is and what isn’t being shared. This is important if they are going to adjust their content going forward, as it will tell them whether they should change their direction or whether they should run some internal training with reps. Second, sales can share documents through mobile tools and receive tracking updates as they are examined (or not) by customers. Knowing which materials are interesting to clients after a meeting is a great tool in adjusting a sales pitch and closing business. It’s also a great tool for communicating needs back to marketing.

Bridge the Gap Between Sales and Marketing

“Bridging the gap” between sales and marketing is one of the most common use cases for mobile in the enterprise. While it is tempting to provide a quick fix, it’s important to integrate data collection solutions into the mix that can be tailored to individual sales processes.

ChaiOne has multiple solutions that solve these problems for some of the largest corporations in the world.

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