Magazine article CRM Magazine

Convergence of Sales and Marketing Technologies Leads to Higher Productivity

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Convergence of Sales and Marketing Technologies Leads to Higher Productivity

Article excerpt

For many business-to-business (BtoB) marketers, overcoming deeply engrained, manual processes remains a major roadblock to achieving success. Worse, many still work in a vacuum, utilizing multiple marketing tools that aren't linked to sales effectiveness systems such as CRM and SFA. But ultimately the largest challenge is timely access and coordination of customer data across the customer lifecycle. This hinders sales productivity, leading to longer sales cycles and lower conversion rates.

For many companies, bridging the gap between marketing and sales technologies is a top concern with a clear business impact. According to a recent report by technology research firm the Aberdeen Group, "The Convergence of Sales and Marketing Technologies," the top two pressures driving the integration between sales and marketing technologies are the desire to:

1. INCREASE TOP-LINE REVENUE GROWTH AND;

2. IMPROVE RETURN ON MARKETING INVESTMENT.

While early-adopter "Best in Class" companies have already achieved quantifiable results for their integration efforts, the vast majority of companies (approximately 80 percent) do not currently integrate sales and marketing technologies. The disparity demonstrates there is much work to be done in this area.

FIRST STEP ON THE PATH TO INTEGRATION

So where do companies start? An important first step for many companies is lead management automation to more effectively bridge SFA and marketing campaign management systems. This helps drive higher quality leads, and ensures that sales can quickly act on those leads and close more deals. Better integration also helps reduce data replication, eliminate manual processes and decrease the strain on internal resources.

MEASURABLE RESULTS MAKE AN IMPACT ACROSS THE ORGANIZATION

According to the Aberdeen report, Best-in-Class marketers drive sales effectiveness by providing information about marketing and customer interactions within CRM /SFA systems at the account/prospect level. By automating this connection, companies can achieve more effective customer profiling. Lead scoring and priorities can be assigned based on multiple factors, which could be as simple as answers to qualifying questions. This results in better qualification of leads, improved closure rates, and ultimately increased revenue. …

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