Sales teams now have to deal with the customer of the digital age, who wants to go through the sales process without the help of sales. Marketers have to do much more with fewer resources, and new measurement tools mean they are more accountable for their efforts.
There are basically two options for how to proceed in this situation. You can keep trying the same tactics that worked when telemarketing and tradeshows ruled the B2B sales world; or, you can adapt.
One of the main reasons sales and marketing need to be aligned is that successful lead generation now requires a blended effort between the two. Lead generation now requires both a clear view of the sales funnel and a well-strategized content marketing strategy for nurturing. Unfortunately, it seems this is something many companies are still struggling with:
- 68% of companies have not identified or attempted to measure their sales funnel
- 65% of companies have no defined lead nurturing process or toolset
- 79% of marketing leads are never converted to sales
- Only 56% of companies have a system or toolset in place to qualify marketing leads
The best way to handle all of these issues at once is by leveraging a marketing automation platform in conjunction with a CRM tool. With marketing automation, you gain backend visibility of your prospects and their digital behaviors, giving you insights into when and how a prospect should be nurtured. Using this information, you can then implement an intelligent content marketing strategy based on buyer lifecycle stages and monitor engagement. Marketing automation also has tracking and reporting features that allow you to measure the ROI and effectiveness of your sales and marketing tactics.
When everyone is working with the same data and working toward the same goals, sales and marketing can finally stop their war and start working together. In fact, automation users have a 53% higher conversion rate from marketing response to marketing qualified and a 9.3% higher sales quota achievement rate (Salesforce.com).
To learn more about the value of marketing automation in the B2B sales process, you watch this quick video that explains why Salesforce bought Pardot for $2.5B. Or, you can download our “Marketing Automation Implementation Checklist.”
To learn about the marketing automation consulting or sales pipeline management services we offer, you can check out our services page.