Is your technology enabling marketing & sales integration?

by Samit Chandra

With more handovers occurring back and forth between marketing and sales, technology and automation are becoming increasingly essential for running and scaling your integrated go-to-market engine. One of the key challenges faced by enterprise organisations when setting this up is working out how to get the right data in front of the right staff member, to deliver relevance at the right time. 

The Blackdot Digital Go-To-Market Roadmap outlines six key steps for achieving marketing and sales integration. Enterprises can test, prove and evolve a whole new integrated execution engine by first lifting role and goal clarity, then building new marketing and sales capability and developing cross-functional planning processes. The roadmap then recommends designing lead handover and recycling and embedding an integrated operating rhythm.

The final step in the integration process involves leveraging technology for automated processes, workflows and alerts, to scale simplified ways of working.


Source: Blackdot's Digital Go-To-Market Roadmap

Hardwire technology-enabled execution

There are a wide variety of ways to achieve technology-enabled execution, and it’s highly likely that customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation and content management (CMS) platforms will form the core of your technology stack.

Once these are bedded in, you can really start to gain leverage from the enhanced role and goal clarity, new marketing and sales capabilities, enhanced planning and integrated processes implemented in steps 1 through 5.
Here are 3 best practice tips for enabling integrated execution with technology:

Tip 1 – Simplify the CRM
CRM adoption and usage in many organisations is poor, with data quality and customer insights suffering as a result. Typically, these adoption challenges stem from a CRM which is too complex, too difficult to use, or a perception that the system is intended for managing salespeople, rather than helping them in their day-to-day roles.
A proven path to solving these challenges is coupling robust change and communications management with a CRM that is simple and enables role-based customisation and user-interface – one that actually helps the frontline understand their customers better to sell more.

Tip 2 – Embed new workflows with process automation
With new and more integrated marketing and sales processes well-defined, your technology platforms can be utilised to effectively hardwire these new ways of working.
Consider how your technology can:

  • Automate and simplify processes with business rules, such as lead assignment and routing
  • Enhance workflows, such as packaging key data which facilitates effective sales follow-up
  • Utilise alerts to facilitate responsiveness, for example by alerting a salesperson if a decision maker attached to a significant sales opportunity accesses key content

Also, ensure you leverage your technology platforms to generate dashboards and insights for your key marketing and sales metrics.

Tip 3 – Closely monitor the employee experience
Whilst the ‘customer experience’ is often the primary objective when implementing new technology platforms, a positive ‘employee experience’ can further enhance customer experience. Ensure you have a holistic view of technology alignment to employee pain points. Customise technology platforms based on user role and skill level, for reduced complexity and improved experience.
The rollout of new technology platforms will inevitably result in pain and disruption for the frontline. Involve your frontline early in the roll out to solve real world problems early. This will increase user belief and adoption, and provide an opportunity for early feedback.

Deliver value in incremental packages

Realise value early and often by delivering incremental packages of people, process and technology throughout the business. Incremental delivery of value provides the opportunity to reuse, simplify or integrate processes and decouple legacy technology dependencies. It will also help de-risk future funding decisions and rollout strategies.
This tactic will help you gain buy-in from the frontline early on, by providing them with an opportunity to learn and leverage and become change champions. 

See how Blackdot can help you transform your growth engine with CRM Strategy & Optimisation and Marketing Automation Strategy.