White Paper. Sales and Marketing Alignment: Creating a B2B Revenue Engine

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1 Sales and Marketing Alignment: Creating a B2B Revenue Engine

2 Sales and Marketing Alignment: Creating a B2B Revenue Engine Fueling the B2B Revenue Engine Sales and marketing alignment is not new, and it has acquired a dot com era term, Sales and Marketing 2.0. It s easy to look past the hyperbole, but high performance marketing and sales people need to look at some of the newest best practices, which are pragmatic and achievable, to create a B2B revenue engine. Here we discuss how to fuel a B2B revenue engine, making recommendations on simple, yet powerful best practices that will align your sales and marketing teams much more effectively. One of the big marketing trends is content marketing, which has spawned the need to map content to campaigns, based on personas associated with target markets, segmentation, buyer behavior, and ultimately, lead generation. Step 1: Bring Personas and Buyer Profiles Together One of the big marketing trends is content marketing, which has spawned the need to map content to campaigns, based on personas associated with target markets, segmentation, buyer behavior, and ultimately, lead generation. Similarly, one of the big sales trends is Sales 2.0 and the complex sale, which requires creating buyer profiles. One small problem though, marketing and sales don t merge the personas and profiles together, and once campaigns get executed, lower quality leads and an inefficient sales process are the result. Get with your sales team right now and share your personas. Map out the buyer profiles from the sales team, and then commit bringing back to 2

3 sales a new set of personas that addresses lead generation and nurturing at different stages of the customer lifecycle. Almost immediately, you ll see an increase in results in your nurturing programs, creating a no lead left behind mindset that ensures marketing and sales each play a role in the nurturing process. Budget, and worse, time waste come from a lack of focus based on a sound strategy backed by customer intelligence. Step 2: Work Together to Eliminate Sales and Marketing Waste Budget, and worse, time waste come from a lack of focus based on a sound strategy backed by customer intelligence. How often does sales push cold calling blitzes or demand increased presence at trade shows? What about marketing s desire to drive campaigns for the sake of generating response? When your sales and marketing teams step back to bring personas and buyer profiles together, look at the numbers. Not just results from previous marketing campaigns, but what is the profile of the pipeline today? What are the trends among customer acquisition over the previous several quarters? Use this combination of customer and sales intelligence to get refocused on what works, and then work together. Use lead scoring as a way to align your two teams, and then sanity check the plan against results. Step 3: Sales Intelligence Drives Sales Enablement Sales enablement is one of the key foundations of sales and marketing alignment. But it is also quite broad, covering everything from sales tools, competitive analysis, content marketing, sales support, nurturing campaigns, and many other things. Of course, sales enablement is a linchpin to shortened sales cycles and increased customer acquisition. What is often overlooked is the role that marketing plays in contributing to sales intelligence as part of the sales enablement process. Passing along sales intelligence is an overlooked benefit of effective lead nurturing and 3

4 lead scoring. Capturing customer interaction history, particularly through the right progressive profiling questions, creates a hot bed of sales intelligence information that is tied to the customer buying cycle. Here s a simple checklist of sales intelligence items that marketing can feed to sales as sales intelligence: What was the initial point of engagement for the prospect and why? What is their history of activity and how does it compare to their customer lifecycle stage? What activity is the prospect engaging in through social media channels? What s their Web site behavior? What intelligence is being gleaned about the prospect through progressive profiling? Your content and offers do not simply apply to lead generation. They re an even more critical component in lead nurturing, particularly at stages that are reliant on sales follow up. If marketing s lifeblood is customer intelligence and marketing and sales work together within a closed loop sales and marketing environment, why wouldn t customer and sales intelligence come together? The principles of customer intelligence, insight-to-interaction, apply to both sales and marketing, creating a collaborative revenue engine. Step 4: Map the Content for Sales Here s another collaborative revenue engine approach that could be very powerful, yet simple to implement. Though marketers are challenged to map their content to marketing channels and campaigns, why not go the extra step and work with sales to map the content to the sales process? Your content and offers do not simply apply to lead generation. They re an even more critical component in lead nurturing, particularly at stages that are reliant on sales follow up. At this stage in the customer buying cycle, your segmentation and profiling information provides far more insight into the type of content and offers that are required to move a prospect to the next stage. Use sales intelligence to offer recommendations to sales to map the content as prospects progress through the funnel into deeper levels of one-on-one sales engagement. 4

5 Step 5: Automating Lead-to-Revenue Management Sales and marketing alignment as a B2B revenue engine is part strategic, organizational, and, of course, technology. Automating lead-to-revenue management focuses sales and marketing on the most important goal for both organizations, revenue. Most organizations today think of their integrated marketing automation, CRM, and sales force automation system as a closed loop sales and marketing system that automates lead-to-revenue management. In fact, in most cases, what has been created is woefully limited and inefficient in both cases. Let s stick with lead-to-revenue management before we move on to the critical difference associated with a closed loop system. Automating lead-torevenue management is not merely teeing up lead generation and nurturing campaigns. It really is a single view into the customer buying cycle for each prospect. As prospects move from the top of the funnel through the customer buying cycle, the transformation of customer intelligence into sales intelligence increases the efficiency of sales. There are two critical success factors in having an effective lead-to-revenue management system that enables marketing and sales to function like a single team a collaborative revenue engine. One is the coming together of customer and sales intelligence. As prospects move from the top of the funnel through the customer buying cycle, the transformation of customer intelligence into sales intelligence increases the efficiency of sales. Remember Step One? Bringing together personas and buying profiles triggers the basis for more effective intelligence for the marketing and sales team. Creating a unified, single view of the customer accelerates efficiencies in lead-to-revenue management. 5

6 Every organization measures in some form. And ultimately there is only one single measurement, revenue goals. The second critical success factor is marrying that intelligence to mapping the content throughout the customer buying cycle. After all, it is content that is a key enabler for many prospects to move from stage-to-stage and ensure far more effective sales engagement. Step 6: Closed Loop Sales and Marketing What s the difference between lead-to-revenue management and closed loop sales and marketing environments? Closed loop sales and marketing environments are defined by the level of customer intelligence that exists to drive the sales and marketing organization. Many organizations integrated marketing automation with CRM and sales force automation systems over the last several years. Indeed this has been an impetus behind Sales and Marketing 2.0, and merely helped automate lead-to-revenue management. But what about far more sophisticated use of data involving customer service history, purchase history, and social media interactions? At this level of data integration, marketing and sales have a full view of customer interaction history in its entirety, and are far more able to apply analytics to determine the most effective sales and marketing campaigns, while measuring results. Step 7: Gauging Effectiveness of the B2B Revenue Engine Every organization measures in some form. And ultimately there is only one single measurement, revenue goals. But we re advocating a collaborative revenue engine that drives efficiencies for competitive advantage. That requires collaboration between marketing and sales to agree to the necessary metrics at each stage of the customer buying cycle. Moreover, those metrics should not only account for responses and conversions against lead sources and sales stages, but also improvements in time-to-conversion. 6

7 Step 8: Get there faster with an action plan This guide is an introduction to creating a roadmap toward fueling a collaborative revenue engine. Our recommendations take already existing processes and help you fine tune them. More sophisticated recommendations on automating lead-to-revenue management, and implementing a true closed loop sales and marketing system are best executed by using an experienced, outside partner with the necessary technologies, methodologies, and best practices necessary to help you meet your goals. Following our guide will create an action plan for the entire marketing and sales organization to begin thinking and behaving as a single, high performance team reaching sales and marketing alignment for competitive advantage. 33 Arch Street, 9th Floor Boston, MA T: F: About QuickPivot QuickPivot is the leader in real-time cross-channel marketing automation and services for B2B and B2C enterprises. QuickPivot delivers insight plus channels plus content in one marketing platform to enable marketers to listen, connect, learn, and adapt to the changing needs of customers. For more information, visit or call , or All content Copyright 2014, QuickPivot, Inc. All trademarks are property of their respective holders. 7

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