When we look at a sales funnel, we usually worry about the number of opportunities that come at the end of the funnel – that is, that they actually materialise in a sale. However, the quantity and quality of the converted opportunities are directly related to their nutrition, as well as the new Leads (potential new customers).
By this I mean that in order to have good sales, the sales teams and the marketing teams must be in full harmony, they must bet on a unique vision between teams. And this should happen not only in planning and retrospective meetings but also in constant communication and information sharing since this alignment is a critical factor for success. It is in this continuity that CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) platforms become fundamental support.
Here are 4 key points for the cohesion of information between commercial and marketing teams.
1. 360-degree customer view
One of the central points of information for both teams is what is usually called the “360-degree Customer View“.
The 360-degree customer view is not only the details of a customer file. It is also the information about all the opportunities (remembering that an opportunity is a possible sale) and the information about how many of those opportunities actually materialized in sales, how many requests for the support this customer has and, in the case of Business-to-Business (B2B) businesses, the contacts that are associated with this customer.
The marketing teams are usually the first to realize that some information is not according to what was planned. This is because there is a variation between the conversion rates of the campaigns when compared to those planned.
As far as the sales teams are concerned, they are in most cases responsible for introducing and updating most of the information that will be used by the marketing teams later on. More on this topic.
Speaking of information used by marketing teams, it is in marketing campaigns that information about customers has its most critical role.
Today, any action taken is focused on customers, not products. Campaigns are the entry point for various leads and opportunities. But I’ll speak better of quantity than quality. For the moment, let’s return to the fundamental point: how to make each communication unique for each client.
Before we customize the actions, it is necessary to segment the customers so that they can enter the right campaign. This is where marketers use customer data – which, as I said in the first point, it is essential that they are up-to-date – to target campaigns and, consequently, sales. Some common points of segmentation are: region, trend of products already purchased, degree of satisfaction, indicators from websites visited, etc.
After the segmentation is done, the marketing teams define a certain workflow to reach the sales target. In this process, we may have digital points and/or points of contact with sales teams (mostly in B2B). It is in this nutrition process that the 360º vision information is being updated.
3. Quantity Vs Quality
As I addressed in the previous point, we should focus our marketing and commercial actions on people and not on the products and/or services we provide.
Unqualified leads and poor quality opportunities are not only cold leads/opportunities, but also inappropriate leads/opportunities. And they are inappropriate because companies will waste time and resources trying to convert an opportunity that, in the beginning, they would no longer convert. And when do these inappropriate leads come out? When there is a lack of information or when the information is of poor quality.
Maintaining a strong and careful relationship with the client helps to maintain a good relationship with them. With more confidence, there is more and better information, brought by the sales teams, which in turn will feed the marketing actions. In other words, it is more important to nurture leads and increase their quality, than to bet on quantity – since what we will achieve are leads with no real interest in our company.
Finally, it is in the analytical component that both teams can draw conclusions. The marketing team usually looks for conversion rates, campaign ROI, and publication views. The sales teams look for indicators such as sales volume by customers, quantities sold, top customers, etc.
Although both teams have their reports, the most important thing to analyse is the crossover of both sides. We remind you that the commercial pipeline begins with the discovery of opportunities, and follows the nutrition path – usually used in marketing automation tools – but is also supported by sales teams, teams that carefully monitor customers and feed CRM platforms to feed back marketing initiatives.
In conclusion, the sales funnels must be worked by the marketing and sales teams together, and this is the only way to guarantee the quality of the leads, verify which are real opportunities, and improve the results of the marketing campaigns carried out. Only a single 360° view between the two teams guarantees the best results, and a CRM tool can, in fact, be an extremely facilitating element.