Micheline-NijmehYears of experience as a senior marketing executive within the sales industry have given LiveHive CMO Micheline Nijmeh unique insight into the relationship that exists between sales and marketing organizations. First at sales behemoth Salesforce.com and now at sales engagement leader LiveHive, Micheline has seen first-hand the challenges facing marketing and sales teams – from understanding what content resonates the best to acquire a lead, to tailoring follow-up to close the deal.

Following LiveHive’s partnership with Act-On Software last week, I spoke with Micheline about how this partnership will increase alignment between sales and marketing, and its benefits.

Q: What made LiveHive want to build this partnership?

A: Marketing teams have great insight into how prospects engage with content on the web. But the moment marketing hands over a ‘marketing-qualified lead’ for sales follow-up, visibility into how prospects engage with content breaks down. And yet, marketing continues to ‘nurture’ these prospects with messages based on their previous web behavior – but not based on how they are now engaging with sales reps. We partnered with Act-On to remove this misalignment between marketing and sales. By integrating marketing automation with our real-time sales engagement analytics, we allow marketing messages to be aligned with sales, and also give marketing specific feedback about what content resonates the most.

Q: How can marketing teams benefit from the joint Act-On and LiveHive offering?

A: Marketing plays a role in the whole buying process. With this partnership, marketing can now refine messages and content based on customer behaviors throughout the whole buying process – versus just at the beginning. This insight allows marketing to provide more value to sales, as they will be better aligned and able to provide more consistent messages.

Also, with LiveHive integration, marketing can acquire new leads through sales. As soon as sales documents are re-shared by a prospect, new leads become pushed into Act-On’s marketing list. All of this data is automatically synchronized with salesforce.com, providing marketing and sales a unified, real-time view.

Q: How can sales teams benefit from LiveHive’s deeper insights?

A: Marketing has had digital insights for years showing how visitors on the web engage with their content. But, the moment sales takes over and begins engaging with the prospect, this visibility vanishes. Sales reps have been in the dark in terms of knowing how prospects interact with their content or how their messages resonate. Is the prospect opening my presentation or proposal? How much time is a prospect spending on a particular page or feature description? By giving them real-time digital insight, they have the visibility they need to shorten their sales cycle, and improve their forecasting with tailored messages based on how a prospect is engaging with their content.

Q: How can LiveHive help with simplifying a complex sale that reaches multiple departments?

A: A complex sale usually involves many decision makers. Sales professionals can leverage LiveHive’s advanced digital listening capabilities to see when email content is viewed; what pages are looked at and for how long; and get profile information for recipients of forwarded documents. By understanding how sales content is being shared across the organization, sales people can quickly identify decision makers involved, their interest level, and how far along they are in the buying process. Empowered with these real-time insights, sales reps can better forecast and qualify leads.

To learn more about LiveHive’s integration with Act-On Software, read the press release here.