Over the past decade digital technology has advanced drastically, which has resulted in a divide between sales and marketing teams. According to a report by Corporate Visions, only 1 out of every 10 B2B marketers and salespeople surveyed reported a high level of alignment between marketing and sales.
While most firms are adapting to the growing digital marketing environment, they are struggling to keep sales and marketing departments working together in a cohesive manner. With complex back-end processes and overcomplicated tech stacks the need for the adoption of content marketing and staying on-top of all the advancements is digital technology is a core component of the evolution. In fact, 84% of B2B and B2C companies, nonprofits, and other organizations are heading into 2021 with a content marketing strategy, according to a recent report.
In order to be more productive sales and marketing teams need to work together by creating a cohesive documented strategy, collaborate, and the use of a cutting-edge content management solution tool. By consolidating various platforms into one, firms can not only cut costs and save time, but they can also enable a single-source solution that both marketing and sales can access, helping to bring them into alignment.
How can sales and marketing be better aligned?
A single platform — The use of a single platform can help solve one of the biggest problems firms are facing, which is the overload of platforms and applications. Too many programs can fragment operations and cause confusion, especially when multiple departments need the same information. Firms will benefit from a single platform that marketers can use for their content management and communication distribution, including such materials as marketing messages, fact sheets, investor notices, proposals, pitchbooks and mailings (print or electronic). Meanwhile, sales can use it for sales enablement — giving them the materials they need to close more deals.
For example, let's look at how it could function for event marketing. Marketing could use the single system to email and print materials promoting the overall event to wholesalers and brokers. They could also use it to provide the sales teams with posters, emails, and social posts that can be customized to promote to their current and prospective investors. Further, it could be used to create promotional items that a wholesaler or broker could distribute at the event, such as pens, stress balls, water bottles, etc.
Sales team enablement — The solutions a firm selects should be designed for both marketers and the sales team, so that the marketing communications can enable sales. Marketing teams need to be able to create brand-approved, compliant materials that sales can access and personalize. These should be print or electronic, including custom kits and promotional materials. For example, marketing could create event promotions, market outlooks, proposals, pitchbooks, client and plan reviews, and more.
The ability for managers to grant permissions to the sales reps is key, so they can have access to the materials for which they are licensed. Then, they can log in and easily review all of the available materials to support the sales process. Further, they can personalize them to their client, adding relevant content and photos as well as adding in client information, personal bios, and more.
Once ready, sales reps should be able to download, email, or order the printed materials relevant to them. This allows them to access the materials they need in real-time, on their schedule, while ensuring all of the content is on-brand, relevant to their clients, and compliant.
Security and compliance — Security and compliance are also important factors to consider as well. Firms, especially those in highly regulated industries like financial services, will benefit from a solution that provides them with certified technology and workflows that make it easy to adhere to the most demanding security and compliance requirements.
For example, integrating document review and approval into a content management solution allows for real-time collaboration with marketing, sales, compliance, and legal teams on content creation and updating. This streamlines the process and improves speed to market. It also provides historical reports to see what was changed and by whom within your content.
Further, systems should be in place to ensure regulated communications are delivered. For example, if an electronic message isn't successful, it can bounce to print automatically. Additionally, the ability to make batch changes is also an important feature to consider. If a firm needs to update one piece of content for compliance, they should be able to automatically update all of the materials within the content management system, even if the materials were distributed by a sales team via the platform.
This type of solution helps firms to gain the technology they need to create content with peace of mind when it comes to compliance.
CRM integrations and more — Although it's helpful to have a content management solution that is a one-stop-shop for all communications and workflows, it doesn't have to be an island. Firms that rely on a CRM, sales desk, or marketing automation platform should look for the ability to integrate their program. This way it can continue to provide a single platform that meets all a firm's needs.
Obtaining and managing delivery consent — Marketing and sales representatives can help to ensure their messages are successfully received by connecting delivery preferences to IMR systems that connect to enterprise delivery preferences. This should be a feature of the solution a firm chooses. As a result, the platform can help ensure that customers receive personalized communications how and when they want them at a communication level. For example, they may want their newsletter electronic, but their plan review printed.
Business analytics and insights — Lastly, the key to success in marketing communications is understanding what's working and what isn't. Without that information, firms may end up investing a large amount of money without seeing the returns.
Embrace cohesive, forward-thinking technology that does the hard technical work for your business so you can focus on what matters most: seamlessly bringing value to your customers and growing your bottom line as effectively as possible.
The sales and marketing departments are two teams working toward the same goal. When they are aligned, firms see revenues increase, but the benefits don't end there. In addition to revenue growth, you can reduce the costs of market-entry, shorten your sales cycle, and reduce the costs associated with new sales.
With our innovative, single-source platform, Connect, you can leverage cross-channel solutions from electronic to print communications, helping marketing and sales teams to stay on the same page.
See more insights and tips by downloading our whitepaper, Sales and Marketing Strategies to Overcome Challenges in 2021.