sales and marketing aligment

Why Should You Align Your Sales and Marketing Strategy?

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Sales and Marketing are two sides of the Coin. In the simplest of terms, while marketing focuses on creating awareness and evoking a desire to buy a particular brand’s product/service, sales focuses on converting a potential customer into an actual one. That being said, it’s pretty obvious that their ultimate goal is the same: business growth. Coming together with a common goal of increasing revenue, these two pillars of a successful business can drastically increase marketing ROI, sales productivity, and profits.

There is an immense scope for improving business performance by aligning sales and marketing functions; an idea that is often overlooked due to deep-rooted misunderstandings.

Why is it then that marketing and sales teams view each other as competitors, as opposed to collaborators?

A difference in their approach is one reason. Marketing strategies are created for the long haul: creating brand awareness, recognition, and retention, building a solid foundation, nurturing leads etc. Sales strategies tend to be short-term, dealing with meeting monthly, quarterly, and yearly quotas. They need aid from the marketing team that will help them close a sale today.

Another reason for discord between sales and marketing teams is the difficulty in measuring the results of marketing activities, unlike the quantifiable outcomes of sales efforts. This often leads to marketing efforts not being taken seriously or considered important by the sales team.

Demand Gen & Inside View conducted a survey amongst sales and marketing professionals to understand the main issues faced in aligning marketing and sales. The results provide proof of the problems stated above 49% of those surveyed cited communication as the main challenge, followed by broken or flawed processes (42%), use of different metrics (40%), lack of accurate data on target accounts (39%) and reporting challenges (27%).

Acknowledging the problem is the first step in solving it.

Benefits of aligning marketing and sales

Before stating the measurable benefits of aligning sales and marketing, let’s go over the real and potential losses that arise out of non-alignment.

As per Wheelhouse Advisors:

  • Companies are losing closing to $ 1 trillion per year due to lost sales and wasted marketing expenditure.
  • 79% of marketing leads don’t close.
  • Only 27% of leads given by B2B marketers are pursued by the sales team.

The advantages on the other hand are:

  • According to Wheelhouse Advisors companies that ran sales and marketing strategies in tandem achieved 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher win rates.
  • A report by Aberdeen Research states that companies that have aligned sales and marketing saw an average of 20% increase in annual revenue, as opposed to a 4% decrease in companies that didn’t.

As per Sirius Decisions research B2B organizations having well-aligned sales and marketing functions saw 24% more rapid growth and 27% more rapid profit increase over a period of three years.

The good news

There is an increasing desire to work in collaboration, especially being voiced by Sales. A survey of 300 Sales heads by Sirius Decisions states, “The top third of the sales cycle has gone away. Salespeople believe that the beginning of the traditional sales process has evaporated and that buyers are self-servicing their needs instead of engaging with salespeople.” This shift in buying behavior has made Sales more dependent on Marketing.

Time to get Onboard

Given the real and quantifiable benefits of aligning your sales and marketing strategy, especially in today’s digital era where consumers are well informed and knowledgeable, it is imperative to implement policies and create an environment that brings these two vital functions together. A well thought out integrated Sales-Marketing plan is what will make the difference between growth and sustainable growth negligible.

5 Myths about Digital Marketing you need to avoid right-away

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Myths about Digital Marketing

Being one of the fastest growing and ever-changing fields of study, Digital Marketing has become a house of many misconceptions and disbelief. Many clients and even digital marketers believe in some myths about digital marketing. These either once existed before or became prominent due to irrelevant information on the internet. To get the most from your online marketing efforts you need to stop believing in myths and start with a practical approach to digital marketing.

In order to get success in your work, you not only need to know what to do but also what not to. Let us get down to the most harmful myths about digital marketing that might impact your returns from online marketing.

SEO is Dead

With so many regulations and penalties associated with SEO people believe that SEO is out of the market. It is though true that black hat SEO is almost gone but a lot can be done to get to the top results of search pages. Publishing relevant content, building quality backlinks and working on other technical factors can help you achieve massive success.

More Tools = More Performance

It is true that some purchased tools can help you get great results from your digital marketing team. But remember that it the human talent and skills that matter more than any tool in online marketing. Tools are great for optimization of strategies but try to focus on core content and technical skills of your human resources and help them with some tools. Also, each tool has a learning curve and changing your base toolkit too often can lead to negative growth as well.

Digital marketing is a one-time activity

In our conversations with CMOs of different companies, this is the most common myth about digital marketing. The key to growth in digital marketing is experimentation backed by proper analytics. Once you get a working strategy you need constantly improvise and experiment to enhance it. If you stop with a one-time approach to your marketing it will soon become outdated and one day you will wake up to a disaster in your digital marketing. Keep a record of the analytics to stay updated with user behaviors and acquisition from online channels.

Social Media is on the top of the conversion funnel

This is one myth which has faded with improvements in social media acquisition systems. Earlier social media couldn’t directly lead to acquisition but now with improvised acquisition based ads, you can get direct customers from social media. Linkedin and twitter work exceptionally well for B2B business while Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are great for B2C customers.

Mobile is not good in lead-acquisition

It is true that the attention span is much lower on mobile as compared to desktop. Nobody wants to fill long complicated forms on their phone. But you can optimize pages for mobile, generate targeted ads, and make mobile-friendly web pages. In the end, maybe it is not the mobile but your approach that’s not working. Mobile optimized pages is also a ranking factor for SEO so you should give it due consideration.

Digital Marketing is a very dynamic way of marketing. You can growth hack your business with a correct approach towards marketing. If you avoid these common myths about digital marketing and start working the right way you get great outcomes from your budget. It is a continuous activity and keeps working on its improvisation to get the maximum output from your efforts.

Going Mobile In B2B: A Passing Fad Or Here To Stay?

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Our mobile devices, be it smartphones or tablets have become an extension of ourselves. They have been rooted into our everyday lives as a necessity and have changed the way we shop, eat, bank, and ultimately live. Where brushing your teeth was the first thing you did after waking up, now checking your phone has become the primary morning ritual (more than 50% of cellphone users get on their phones right after they wake up).

This drastic change has impacted not just our personal lives, but the way business is conducted as well. According to a report by Forrester, Research mobile is estimated to account for 49% of e-commerce i.e. $ 252 billion in sales by 2020. While these numbers are not purely indicative of the B2B mobile commerce market, they paint an optimistic picture. In fact, the gap between B2B and B2C mobile commerce is closer than you’d think; a Gartner study reports that B2B mobile channels generate 19.4% of digital commerce revenues, as compared to 22.6 % for B2C.

Mobile is the new virtual office

Smartphones are now our portable business centers. According to Usablenet’s infographic, on an average around 50% of B2B customers use their phone for work-related tasks, be it researching products for business, reading reviews, comparing prices, or consuming work-related content.

Additionally, 16% of B2B sites receive mobile traffic. Combine this data with the fact that 61% of users who have issues with viewing a mobile site were unlikely to visit it again, and 40% go to a competitor’s site instead, and you’ve got a compelling reason to go mobile and do it right. Think of your website as your virtual office, if in a bad shape or poorly located, it will be that much harder to attract, let alone retain customers.

Ability to reach your customers where they are

Even if you were to ignore the hard numbers presented above, you can’t overlook the single biggest benefit that going mobile offers: Mobility. For both buyers and sellers, work can be done on the go: lead capturing, data gathering, and customer engagement. Your customers are always reachable on their smartphones, through calls, messages, and emails. In fact in today’s digital age, with millennials (18-35-year-olds) replacing the previous generation, they expect it. A Regalix survey found that 84% of millennials in B2B segments consider their mobile device essential to their work.

Case in point

A simple yet extremely effective use of mobile to boost business is illustrated in a case study on Marketo, a marketing analytics software provider, documented by Rob Peterson (advertising and marketing professional). He states in his article, “The company recognized webinars as a key piece in the marketing toolkit to promote thought leadership and generate leads. As with many webinars, people registered but didn’t always attend. They used a simple, recorded phone message reminder in addition to email. Although the phone reminder added $2 for every registrant, it increased conversion of people who attended from 26% to 48% and, according to Marketo, was well worth the investment in terms of sales results.”

Harnessing the potential of a simple mobile feature made a huge impact.

Don’t be left behind

The list of facts, numbers and live examples to make a case for mobile technology in B2B is fairly long, and they all point to one thing: A mobile strategy in our digital era is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity. It is a reality that B2B marketers must accept and exploit for their benefit. And with every passing day newer mobile tools, applications, and automated software are rolled out that make embracing mobile technology that much easier while making companies more efficient. Safe to say, mobile technology is here to stay.

References

Why You Should Align Your Sales and Marketing Strategy?

By:

Sales and Marketing are two sides of the same coin. In the simplest of terms, while marketing focuses on creating awareness and evoking a desire to buy a particular product/service or brand, sales focuses on converting a potential customer into an actual one. That being said, it’s pretty obvious that their ultimate goal is the same: business growth. Coming together with a common goal of increasing revenue, these two pillars of a successful business can drastically increase marketing ROI, sales productivity, and profits.

There is immense scope for improving business performance by aligning sales and marketing functions; an idea that is often overlooked due to deep-rooted misunderstandings.

Why is it then that marketing and sales teams view each other as competitors, as opposed to collaborators?

A difference in their approach is one reason. Marketing strategies are created for the long haul: building brand awareness, recognition, and retention, developing a solid foundation, nurturing leads etc. Sales strategies tend to be short-term, dealing with meeting monthly, quarterly, and yearly quotas. They need aid from the marketing team that will help them close a sale today.

Another reason for discord between sales and marketing teams is the difficulty in measuring the results of marketing activities, unlike the quantifiable outcomes of sales efforts. This often leads to marketing efforts not being taken seriously or considered important by the sales team.

Demand Gen & Inside View conducted a survey amongst sales and marketing professionals to understand the main issues faced in aligning marketing and sales. The results provide proof of the problems stated above. 49% of those surveyed cited communication as the main challenge, followed by broken or flawed processes (42%), use of different metrics (40%), lack of accurate data on target accounts (39%) and reporting challenges (27%).

Acknowledging the problem is the first step in solving it.

Benefits of aligning marketing and sales

Before stating the measurable benefits of aligning sales and marketing, let’s go over the real and potential losses that arise out of non-alignment. As per

Wheelhouse Advisors:

  • Companies are losing closing to $ 1 trillion per year due to lost sales and wasted marketing expenditure.
  • 79% of marketing leads don’t close.
  • Only 27% of leads given by B2B marketers are pursued by the sales team.

The advantages on the other hand are:

  • According to Wheelhouse Advisors companies that ran sales and marketing strategies in tandem achieved 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher win rates.
  • A report by Aberdeen Research states that companies that have aligned sales and marketing saw an average of 20% increase in annual revenue, as opposed to a 4% decrease in companies that didn’t.

As per Sirius Decisions research B2B organizations having well-aligned sales and marketing functions saw 24% more rapid growth and 27% more rapid profit increase over a period of three years.

The good news

There is an increasing desire to work in collaboration, especially being voiced by Sales. A survey of 300 Sales heads by Sirius Decisions states, “The top third of the sales cycle has gone away. Salespeople believe that the beginning of the traditional sales process has evaporated and that buyers are self-servicing their needs instead of engaging with salespeople.” This shift in buying behavior has Sales all the more dependent on Marketing.

Time to get onboard

Given the real and quantifiable benefits of aligning your sales and marketing strategy, especially in today’s digital era where consumers are well informed and knowledgeable, it is imperative to implement policies and create an environment that brings these two vital functions together. A well thought out integrated Sales-Marketing plan is what will make the difference between growth and sustainable growth.