Merging the Silos: Reflections From Sales 2.0
by Orrin Broberg, on Sep, 29, 2014
As the overused saying goes, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” I’ll tell you there are a few things that I’m happy are staying in Vegas -- the Disneyland-level buffet and coffee lines that make me wish there was a way to pay for the fast track. Caesar’s palace is a LOT of walking and there is a ton of foot traffic (that does make for some excellent people watching). But I’m inclined to break the unwritten rule of Vegas for the moment and share what I learned from attending the Sales 2.0 Conference this year: Sales and marketing can, and have to, work together.
This year was the first time that sales and marketing were brought together at Sales 2.0. This historically all-sales conference is sending us a message, and we should take heed. Sales leaders aren’t the only ones who believe in the combined power of sales and marketing. In fact, according to a recent study by Accenture, 34% of CMOs say that marketing, sales and customer service will merge into a single function in the next five years.
A big takeaway for me was that while many organizations know they need that collaboration, they don’t always know how to facilitate it. And that’s understandable. It’s a relatively new concept surrounded by new ideas and new technology. But that problem is an easy one to solve. In order for sales and marketing to collaborate effectively, you need technology. Specifically, leveraging mobile technology can be the fastest and most efficient way to align these two functions. After all, that same Accenture study reveals that 35% of CMOs say that mobile will account for 50% of their budget in the next five years.
A mobile sales app can help make the point of contact between salespeople and prospects more impactful. The salesperson uses the app to show documents, videos or presentations to their prospect. Then, analytics from those interactions run up to the marketing manager, who can get insights about which materials are working and being viewed. They can understand what salespeople are using to engage with their clients in follow-up messages, and what materials perform the best in that context. Mobile apps like Modus have taken the siloed, one-way communication between marketing and sales and merged it into one smooth and comprehensive process. Marketing no longer has to wonder if the sales team has the newest presentation and materials and ability to access them. Concerns about individual updating, outdated information or not knowing what’s being shown can be a thing of the past.
Big organizations and small organizations both see the need to have sales and marketing work closely together to get their messaging validated and confirmed. The analytics that are collected by an app help salespeople give feedback to the marketing department about what works in the field and what doesn’t. That shortens the distance between idea and execution. When you have control of your branding and messaging, and consistency across all media and touchpoints, you have the keys to a scalable sales process and operation. And when you have consistent and reliable messaging, it leads to higher quality customer engagement.
I go to many Sales 2.0 conferences , and it’s safe to say that this one was a different experience than the rest. Watching the increasing collaboration between sales and marketing unfold is a fascinating process. And as for that old “What happens in Vegas…” slogan, I don’t think they’ll mind me sharing this particular bit of information.
If you attended any sales and marketing conferences this year, I'd love to hear what themes arose. Feel free to drop me a line at @OrrinBroberg.