3 Reasons to Integrate Your Software
Where and when should money be spent in order to grow a business? Should more salespeople be added to the team? Should new technology be implemented so that additional work can be handled? The answer is often controversial with a mixed response from stakeholders. For this reason, it is common to wonder, "Do I need to use marketing services to grow my business?"
1. Breakdown Silos
As many people have experienced, department silos stiffen team collaboration; I have found this to be especially commonplace between sales and marketing groups. The larger the organization, the more likely groups can become separated if this potential problem is not considered. For this reason, it is also important to acknowledge how investing in technology connects (or disconnects) people in the big picture. By connecting datasets that exist independently in each department for the same products, leads, contacts or accounts, technology helps to alleviate many of these silos and accelerate teams for an increased number of big wins.
2. Improve Pipeline Visibility
Pipeline visibility is improved by connecting SaaS technologies like Bizible, CMS platforms like Salesforce, and others like Google Analytics or Pardot. Not all technologies can be integrated, which is why it is critical to methodically assess which technologies are the right mix for your company’s unique needs from the beginning. By connecting platforms like these, new data sets provide a clearer picture as too which efforts are driving the most value and an insightful depiction of your customers’ decision-making processes that most often lead to the successful purchase of your product. By connecting information, forward-thinking companies equip teams with improved computer-enabled power, efficiency, knowledge, and speed.
Offline marketing strategies remain an important part of the marketing mix for most companies, but the lack of data these campaigns provide makes initiatives like improving CLVs, difficult to achieve. There are methods in offline marketing to track where some of your audience comes from—whether it be a print ad, or a booklet—but there are substantial limits on the information you will have to make the right improvements. For example, when you send an email blast or start a new campaign using digital ads, you can clearly see the path the customer takes immediately after clicking the ad, how long they stayed on your website, and what other pages, topic, or offers were of interest to them.
Implementing the right tracking system is an essential step to reveal both the path a potential customer took and credit the correct marketing channel, so that you can know which marketing efforts are actually delivering the most effective results. For example, one technology combination may include a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool in combination with an analytics platform and an automation software to run campaigns. Depending on how many campaigns you are running and the number of users interacting with your sales team and marketing campaigns, tracking can be a difficult task, but with the right software, it’s a breeze.
Collecting the right sales data in combination with detailed marketing metrics will essentially help leaders to make educated decisions. Important questions can then be addressed including, “Who is the ideal customer? Where are they now?” And, “How and when do we reach them?” The ability to accurately forecast these details at the right time will further assist to define your long-term plan—thus, providing the competitive advantage required to take the lead.
This year, Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) everywhere are attempting to improve a Customer’s Lifetime Value (CLV). CLV is the net profit obtained from a businesses’ relationship with a customer across the past, present, and future. A recent article by Michael Schrage at the Harvard Business Review explains, “…serious customer lifetime value metrics should measure how effectively innovation investment increases customer health and wealth. Successful innovations make customers more valuable.” By improving visible business intelligence, it is easier than ever to envision how an increase in CLV is possible.
3. Align Sales and Marketing for a Bigger Impact
Although CRM systems like Salesforce have been in use by businesses for some time now, there’s still room to optimize the customer journey a step farther. By tracking the specific touch-points a lead interacts and realizing patterns across the entire pipeline (instead of only a portion of it), you can more quickly determine how to allocate budget money and continue to make more educated improvements.
With the right tracking technology and integrations in place, you’ll be able to get more powerful insight into your biggest accounts, such as how best to market your most popular products using their interests and full pipeline activities, as well as how best to speak to the customers’ needs. You’ll also be able to tell which customers might be interested in other products, who will likely respond in a positive manner to an email campaign, as well as what existing efforts are a waste of time. You can start by tracking your customer’s behavior and the items they download from your website. Once they fill out an online contact form, with an automation tool in place, you’ll be able to provide the information they’re actually interested in via a personalized email that they will really read.
Equipping your internal teams with software will aid in tracking conversions, align sales and marketing information for a better unified picture, and to evaluate the best multichannel strategy. Technology integrations play a critical part in out-playing competitors strategic efforts and cultivating a healthy culture of internal collaboration.
Most businesses—especially in B2B industries, identify their main goal as getting website visitors to submit a form that contains a leads contact information and industry or product interest. This focus is a great place to start, as it will permit your team to begin sending nurture emails to those prospects. However, before you kick-start a new plan, as a first step consider evaluating which customers prefer face-to-face interactions versus other first touch data points. Segment groups by looking at their preferred method of contact. Following, teams will be able to more intelligently build customer profiles (a.k.a. personas) and envision the customer’s journey. It is this kind of information that will enable the business to choose the right plan going forward. Think about it; An engineer and a senior financial executive may not follow the same informational path to become a sales opportunity. It is important to differentiate a customer’s unique path before determining the timing and method by which to connect with them across their journey with your brand or product.
It used to be hard to know what customers were doing before their initial contact with a sales team; Having the appropriate tracking in place will help to identify your customer’s activities earlier in the pipeline and improve your brand’s marketing investments across digital and traditional sales and marketing efforts. If your B2B company is not tracking its customer’s interactions, now is the time to improve your strategies. Implementing the right technology can quickly improve your ability to identify the best places to make the investment, save time and expenses associated with face-to-face meetings, as well as improve the businesses’ customer orientation– And who wouldn’t want that?
"Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter." — Izaak Walton
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