Integrating your Sales and Marketing Software? (part one)

Sales and marketing technology When I read Chris Ryan’s excellent new playbook, B2B Business Growth Playbook: How to Drive Sales/Marketing Fueled Gains I was supposed to be doing something else.

One of my clients was presenting at a Tech Incubator for IOT practitioners. These new and seasoned entrepreneurs were all discussing which marketing tools to integrate into their start-up budgets. The consensus was, you need some form of CRM; a good marketing automation tool for your outbound; and something for your sales team to use to keep track of suspects, prospects and get a handle on customer retention.

Right as the room was getting heated in their discussion, I was in the corner on my laptop, taking notes, and I had an “ah-ha” moment. The Playbook that I had open on my screen during the meet and greet time earlier (when I should have probably been meeting and greeting with the rest of them) had direction to spare about the burning question on every marketer’s mind:

When, why and how should I integrate my sales, marketing and customer software?

The answer is to explore the opportunities for growth between your sales and marketing activities, ideally right where they “touch” your prospects and customers. Then, figure out how to integrate all of these activities in your day-to-day processes. After that, to paraphrase a famous general (or maybe Kevin Costner) if you build it (the integrated process) the tool will come. At the very least, make sure that it’s your processes that dictate the tool—and not the other way around.

Let’s look at just one part of the Playbook that examines the sales process to see what I mean. In my next post, I will share what heavy-hitters like Marketo and Gartner have said about the matter. IN the meantime, think about these principles when identifying your integrated needs:

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“The goal when deciding on your sales and marketing model is to drive the highest average transaction amount with the lowest possible transaction cost. If you already have a well-developed sales model, it is good to challenge it occasionally by asking these types of questions:

  • Have I identified our most profitable target segments and is our current sales model the best way to reach them?
  • Can we create a two- or three-tier model to add additional revenue?
  • Can we add a recurring revenue model to the existing sales strategy?
  • Should we replace all or part of our direct sales model with a channel strategy?
  • Are there low-cost ways of reaching a larger audience?
  • Is our pricing strategy leaving revenue on the table?
  • Is our marketing and sales model fully optimized at every stage?”

Are you using business growth questions like those above to challenge your processes “on the regular”? This habit ensures that your sales (and marketing) models dovetail with what works—and what your customers and prospects need. This comes first-before any tools assessment. If you’ve cultivated this habit, you’re halfway there.

Tune in next time to discover how to save time and money using middleware—and what gurus from Marketo and Gartner recommend you do before you even begin writing an RFP.

Patty Tomsky

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