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How Better Aligned Teams Win More Deals


Presented By: bpm'online

Marketing, Sales and Service are all part of the customer process.

Align them well, and new leads – and deals – will follow.

by Michael Rooney, SVP and General Manager at bpm’online   

bpm'online.michaelR.nov2015Nowadays customers expect a seamless experience from the vendors at any point of interactions. For companies, that means they should eliminate rigid boundaries between marketing, sales, and service units, and align the underlying processes that unite the functions.    

Following those guidelines always pays off in the future. A recent Aberdeen Group study reported that highly aligned organizations achieved an average of 32% annual revenue growth while less well-aligned companies reported an average of 7% decline in revenue (1).    

However, achieving such alignment is harder than one might think, given the inherent barriers presented with integrating what are often disparate software systems and interconnecting departments and business processes. A closer look at successful CRM deployments demonstrates three ways in which better aligned teams gain an important edge.   

1) They nurture leads that others drop.

Marketing and sales go hand in glove, yet a surprising number of teams operate independently. However, those that do align with each other often find hidden opportunities that lead to more revenue. For example, a Sirius Decisions analysis showed that 80% of prospects labeled as “bad leads” by sales teams, actually made purchases within 24 months. Further nurturing by marketing can turn these disqualified leads back to the sales team where they become sales-ready. Establishing a unified definition (SLA) of what a qualified lead is and a clear understanding of which leads should be handled by each department is the first step.     

2) They enable cross-functional interchanges to unite departments.

If customers provide feedback to a service contact, they don’t want to have to repeat themselves the next time someone else calls. If marketing, sales, and customer service teams use different tools and platforms to support their day-to-day operations, information gathered from one program fails to be shared with the others.   

Successful CRM deployment begins with the refinement of the optimal sales process. Then, use the CRM system to make sure that the entire team is on the same page. For example, companies that set up joint processes for different units and departments report significantly increased business metrics than those that don’t align. Establishing shared goals and milestones, common reporting and allowing the availability of a full communication history to different departments is also important in order to keep everyone on the same page, or letting them work independently if needed.     

Using CRM packages based on one platform across marketing, sales and service makes it easy to connect the dots between all customer-facing activities. With them, companies can capture early customer history, such as an initial interest or user behavior on a website that is collected by marketing, and make sure sales has access to this information when it begins discussing products and providing proposals. Eliminating these redundancies demonstrates a company’s respect for the customers’ needs and preferred channels of communication. It saves the customers’ time and increases their level of satisfaction.   

3) They build social channels into every customer-facing function, not just marketing.

We frequently see companies using social capabilities only in marketing, when in fact, customer service is where important feedback is addressed, often via Twitter and Facebook. Social platform usage is so pervasive that any CRM system without comprehensive social support is essentially flawed.   

Companies that put social capabilities into action, for example by allowing social contact profiles to be automatically populated, shared between the teams, and used in ongoing dialogues as the customer prefers, make sure that they honor the customers’ wishes assuring customer satisfaction.
Selling is an interconnected process, and every team member plays a large part. Companies that use CRM technology to align sales, marketing and service can obtain a 360-degree view of the customer, which reveals opportunities and empowers everyone to achieve heightened revenue.  

Author’s Bio: Michael Rooney is SVP and General Manager at bpm’online – a premium vendor of process-driven CRM software for marketing, sales and service automation.