marketing and sales alignmentWhen your car needs an alignment, you know it. The tires are wandering, the steering wheel is vibrating, and other telltale signs that indicate something needs to be tweaked are appearing. When it comes to sales and marketing alignment, it’s not much different. The machine feels “off.” Miscommunication—or complete absence of communication—is rampant; leads are slipping through the cracks and other “glitches” that keep business from running as smoothly as it should rear their ugly heads. Having a way to integrate your sales and marketing team—and even your support team—can solve a lot of problems your organization is facing: the key is using the right technology to make it happen.

Sales-Marketing Alignment

One of marketing’s main goals is to drive quality leads to sales. But when marketing and sales aren’t aligned, marketing can feel like it is lobbing leads over the fence to sales, with no idea what happens to those leads. Is every lead being worked? Is the quality of leads high? What campaigns are driving the most opportunities and revenue? And sales can feel like they are being inundated with leads from nowhere, with no context as to where marketing found them or how to frame their initial conversation.

First, marketing should always keep sales appraised of new campaigns. Second, sales and marketing should agree on the definition of a lead, and marketing should institute filters to only pass people that qualify as leads to sales. Third, sales should always be aware of where each lead came from. And fourth, marketing should be able to see which campaigns generated the most leads, opportunities, and revenue.

Three pieces of technology can help you do all four:

  • Marketing automation tools like Marketo and Eloqua can help filter web leads and content downloads using registration forms and behavioral scoring. These tools can integrate with your CRM system so sales will know where every lead came from before calling, and marketing can follow each one through the salescycle.
  • Voice-based marketing automation (VBMA) tools can do the same for phone leads using IVR (interactive voice response) technology to score callers before passing to sales. VBMA tools also have call tracking technology that tell marketing which of their campaigns are generating leads. VBMA can also be integrated with your CRM to track each phone lead through the sales cycle. What’s more, when someone calls in, sales will see what campaign or keyword search the lead came from before taking the call. Knowing where a call is coming from can be a significant help to a sales rep trying to close a deal.

Sales-Support Alignment

A commonly overlooked disconnect is that between sales and support teams. Support may receive common concerns and questions from confused or fed up customers who are frustrated or even ready to cancel, but if sales never hears about it, the rep is 1) at a disadvantage when management is wondering why that rep’s accounts don’t stick, 2) going to continue not addressing that particular customer concern when they’re closing sales. They may be unintentionally leaving out a key bullet in company policy when pitching to prospects, but the problem will continue until support makes them aware of the error with detailed call history data. Using VBMA call activity reports, sales can see how many calls their accounts are making to support, and the length of those calls. Sales can also access audio recordings of the calls to hear first hand customer complaints and be able to formulate a plan to repair the relationship. Nothing slips through the cracks.

To learn more about how voice-based marketing automation technology can align the wayward tires of your sales, marketing, and support organizations, read the free Definitive Guide to Voice-Based Marketing Automation. No registration required.