Every business owner knows that if sales and marketing worked more closely together, more of the leads generated would be converted. But despite this, most businesses don’t have the two teams’ processes joined-up. They work in silos, not sharing information and not really believing that the other team is doing a good job.
Now that customers have so much more buying power than they did before, it’s time for businesses to transform the relationship between their sales and marketing teams; or run the risk of the digital revolution leaving them behind.
A recent article on Search CRM quoted the digital marketing CEO Phil Fernandez. While speaking at a conference, he said: “Nobody is happy about the state of marketing and sales. We need to kill the old sales cycle and create a new revenue cycle.”
What is a revenue cycle?
Simply speaking, Mr Fernandez is talking about joining up what the sales and marketing teams do so they work as a team; with everyone aware of what marketing is doing to generate the leads, which of them are the likeliest to convert and how sales are doing in closing them. This is easy with the support of the right CRM system. He calls this ‘Revenue Performance Management’ (RPM) – a process of identifying the drivers of and impediments to revenue growth, rather than seeing business as a lateral line from lead to customer, chasing short-term deals.
But even though the technology exists, the dysfunctional relationship between sales and marketing can’t be fixed overnight. It’s important that the Sales Director and Marketing Director work together too, to manage each team’s expectations of each other and also to show them exactly how joining up processes can transform results.
How does joining up processes transform what sales and marketing do?
Firstly, it gives them a continuous cycle of lead generation, nurturing, closing and recycling. If a lead that looked hot went to sales but the customer wasn’t quite ready to buy yet, you don’t have to watch that customer just falling off the radar until the sales rep calls again in three months’ time. With a joined-up process, the lead can be passed back to marketing. The marketing team can then provide more nurturing content to try and move the customer to the point of purchase.
The right CRM system makes this cycle easy to manage and, most importantly, makes it simple to extract the relevant information so that marketing and sales can both see which leads are worth spending time on. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it has compelling results. In the presentation, Mr Fernandez also included some impressive statistics that we’re sure all businesses would want to replicate:
- Companies implementing Revenue Performance Management see marketing contributing as much as 55% to the revenue pipeline. The least mature companies only see marketing generating around 17%.
- Companies using Revenue Performance Management to its fullest have salespeople spending nearly 70% of their time actively selling.