How Integrations Fuel Marketing and Sales Growth Objectives
by Ardath Albee, on Nov, 24, 2020
Your marketing and sales teams have the best of intentions to hit company growth objectives but are hampered by misalignment, lack of visibility, and fragmented buyer experiences. Integrations play a key role in reversing those missteps to keep revenue growth on track.
Integrate is a verb and defined as combining one thing with another to make a whole. Therefore, it’s important to consider the integration of people (marketing and sales) along with the importance of integrations in your technology stack which together enable integrated workflows or processes.
Recent research by Gartner indicates that 60% of Martech leaders expect moderate to severe budget cuts due to the uncertainty from Covid-19. Considering that marketers use just 58% of the capabilities of their tech stack, assessing the opportunity availed by integration can help mitigate the risk when faced with budget reductions. Getting more from what you have and proving the outcomes contribute to sales growth can help maintain—and even expand—budgets during economic uncertainty.
Marketing and Sales Integration is More Valuable than Alignment
Walker Sands’ State of Marketing Technology 2019 report found that more than half of respondents say that their sales and marketing teams are siloed. The issue of misalignment between marketing and sales is not new. What’s troubling is the discovery in the research that 58% of respondents (both marketing and sales) don’t believe the silo is a problem.
In other words, this lack of coordination has been going on so long that many on both sides are numb to it and have given up on solving the problem.
The good news lies with those teams looking to support one another. Forty-five percent are already using sales tech, including sales enablement, and a quarter more are planning to do so. These marketers are in pursuit of the ability to prove contribution to revenue growth.
To do so successfully, organizations should look beyond alignment (a position of agreement) to integration which focuses on the cooperation of marketing and sales functions to improve the buying experience. When the focus is on buyers and helping them solve problems, rather than on executing siloed functions, everyone wins.
Integrations Optimize Your Marketing-to-Sales Tech Stack
Once you’ve assessed how marketing and sales can help each other help buyers, look at how your systems can work better together in enabling the execution of better buying experiences.
Instant access to information and content that enables buyers makes a solid contribution here for sellers. Walker Sands cautioned organizations about consistency. When sales reps create their own content out of frustration when they can’t find content or find value in the content they do find, the result is your marketing and sales teams pushing two sets of messaging to buyers.
Another consistent issue is that sales reps fail to update the CRM on a regular basis, leaving marketers in the dark about the status of opportunities. Marketers often lament that they struggle to prove contribution to revenue because they lose sight of buyer activity once they transition a lead or account to sales.
A Sales Hub serves as a bridge between systems that fills in the operational gaps that get in the way of providing relevant buyer experiences. Integrations with your marketing automation platform and CRM help to provide that elusive view across the continuum of the buying process.
Visibility is one of the most valuable outcomes from integrations—along with efficiency and the automation of manual tasks.
- Which content sales reps’ use
- What content buyers’ view
- The impact of that content on deal cycles
- The real-time status of every opportunity in your CRM
- That compliant and current content is used by sales
As marketers, that knowledge transforms our ability to prove contribution to revenue. Sellers also gain value by being able to provide better buyer experiences from one place, send follow-ups to buyers in a couple of clicks, and know in real-time when buyers engage.
Integrations Allow for Automated Workflows and Seamless Transitions
With your marketing-to-sales functions and tech stack integrated, you’ve now got the visibility and insights to build momentum in the buying process. Using a Sales Hub as a bridge connecting people and systems now allows you to streamline workflows while creating continuous engagement.
Buyers don’t care if they’re interacting with marketing or sales; they care whether they’re learning what they need to complete all the jobs and tasks associated with solving a problem. Coordinated execution across the buying process helps them move forward. Progressive momentum also builds trust that your company can provide the expertise they need to get the outcomes they want.
Activity monitoring, alerts, and triggers between systems keep things fluid and provide more relevant experiences for buyers. While you need the right content and a solid understanding of your buyers, integrations provide a level of orchestration that is difficult to achieve amid silos.
- Bi-directional data sync means your CRM is updated with seller and buyer activity
- Buyer engagement with content can trigger an email in your marketing automation platform with “see also” content offers
- Alerts notify sellers when buyers engage with the content they’ve shared so they can follow-up in relevant ways at the right time
And all involved benefit from the consolidated view of buyers, customers, and sellers that was only possible in the past by logging in and out of numerous systems and then manually compiling the data. That’s if the data was even available.
Take an Inclusive View of Marketing and Sales with Integrations
The world may be an unpredictable place. But that doesn’t mean marketers, sellers, and buyers can’t effectively work together to make business objectives obtainable.
Integrations go a long way toward making the adage “knowledge is power” a reality. When you apply the concept of integration to people, processes, and technology across marketing and sales, you’ll have what you need to prove contribution to your organization’s objectives for sales growth.