Nearly Two Thirds Of Sales And Marketing Departments Are Still Not Aligned Around This


Steve Olenski, Contributor

June 26, 2015

A few weeks ago I cowrote a piece with Michael Williams, CMO of the Grand Prix of America, entitled The Mentality Of A CMO Is Changing To This. Well based on the results of a recent survey conducted by Televerde, the “this” in question is playing an even bigger role than anyone thought.

As Williams and I wrote in the aforementioned post “When it comes to the role of the CMO, the same type of fundamental change is occurring as the mentality of a CMO is changing to one of a Chief Engagement Officer.”

The “this” in question, the one that nearly two thirds of sales and marketing departments are still not aligned around is engagement.

The headline on the press release announcing the findings of the Televerde survey said it all: Survey Reveals 61 Percent of Sales and Marketing Departments are Still Not Aligned around Customer Engagement Strategy

The survey was comprised of U.S. companies covering the Healthcare, Finance, Insurance and Technology industries at the manager level and above.

Additional results yielded the fact that while nearly 80% of respondents value customer data from other departments, the type of data they refer to is mostly statistical information including payment history, technical data and website metrics and there is very little in-depth collaboration around customer engagement and the joint customer coverage strategy which can greatly improve the sales and marketing pipeline.

However, yet another result showed that 100 percent of respondents agree it is important or very important to communicate with other departments about customer engagement as part of the lead-to-revenue process.

So essentially you have people/respondents stating they believe wholeheartedly that customer data is important. That’s the good news.

The bad news is the type of customer data that these same respondents value is not necessarily all the data that A) they have access to and B) should be and need to be using as part of the overall engagement strategy they agree is important in the first place.

Got all that?

As the press release astutely points out, “with the rise of big data there can be too much data to sift through, making it difficult for marketing and sales departments to coordinate global customer information coming their way. Out of all survey respondents, only a little more than half say they have a solution in place to interpret customer data.”

Jim Hooker, CEO of Televerde made it perfectly clear as to the importance of bringing all pertinent data together. “The continued growth in the amount of data available means that a mash up of various sources of data, including relevant customer information from sales and marketing and other areas that touch the customer, is now critical in delivering a successful customer model.”

Hooker told me three things surprised him about the findings.

1. “First, based upon some of the comments provided, there appeared to be a lack of full automation and integration between the campaign tool and the CRM.  That is the only way to determine where a specific prospect or customer is within the sales pipeline.  Further, that integration allows the information to be shared between sales and marketing in a timely manner, so that either or both take effective action.  The data in both the campaign tool and the CRM is dynamic and never static, so that updates are made at least daily.  There were references to the use of ‘old’ data in both tools.  A total of 56 percent of the respondents indicated that existing automation leaves sales and marketing with stale information to interpret versus strategic insight.  It is not simple to set up the automation tools, and requires not only certification from the tool provider, but significant experience doing so in a similar setting.  B2C is different than B2B for example.”

2. “I expected that both sales and marketing professionals would value customer data – 79 percent did.  However, there were examples cited that talked about the use of excel pivot tables which is surprising.  Data is a major consideration from two perspectives.  One is the right contact information, and the other is the use of data to determine the effectiveness of the combined organizations.  Focusing on the latter, the state of the sales and marketing pipeline requires relevant information.  The use of this information facilitates the buyers’ journey and therefore the company’s revenue and time to market.  These benefits affect the early, mid, and late pipeline.  Over time and using automation an organization should be able to reach a predictable revenue state with speed to market.  BI and Advanced BI capability is required to reach optimal results.  Ultimately the BI capability allows an organization to market only to the right prospect and customer at the right time, and with the right information.  This would be very difficult to do with excel pivot tables.”

3. “The last surprise related to the large number of sales and marketing departments – 61 percent -that were still not on the same page.  The implications of this reach beyond sales and marketing, affecting the entire organization both internally and externally.  Internal employees, as well as, customers and prospects are receiving different messages about who the company is, what is offered, results, and on and on.  This confuses customers and prospects and when they are confused they ‘pause’ their buying process.  Further, when employees are confused it may appear that the company is disorganized.  This will affect employees, customers, and prospects attitudes about the company – generally not in a positive manner.  All in all, this affects the pipeline and the revenue.”

This article was written by Steve Olenski from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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