Alignment between marketing and sales should no longer just be a buzzword everyone’s using. In today’s market, when clients dictate changes faster than ever, alignment has become necessary.
Alignment can mean many things, depending on the company itself and the industry it’s in, but most often it includes the development of complementary business processes and choosing goals and metrics that complement each other, so that all departments within a company can work on a common customer relationship management strategy. Ultimately, they’re the reason companies exist – without quality customer interactions and caring about their satisfaction, progress is impossible.
But in practice, there is often no unified strategy, goals or tactics, which not only leads to communication difficulties between departments, but also has a negative impact on business results. Sales and marketing departments are not and should not be isolated islands, but should cooperate on a regular basis. When united, there is a noticeable return on investment in marketing, an increase in sales productivity, and most importantly, a general increase in revenue.
Getting there is a lot simpler than you might think 🙂
Why is marketing an important support pillar in managing customer relationships?
Though it is sometimes neglected in strategic planning, marketing plays an important role in a sucessful customer relationship management strategy. Here we highlight only three key things where marketing is essential for a good customer care strategy:
1. Gathering deep and systematized information.
Marketing thrives on insight into the clients’ needs, behaviors and problems – that’s what makes a personalized approach possible. Good marketing depends on customer segmentation and high-quality feedback through multiple channels – most companies use on average four different channels to interact with customers, and for most of them, e-mail is one of the most important communication channels.
Without quality segmentation and knowing clients’ needs, e-mail campaigns – as creative as they might be – will have difficulties achieving the desired results.
2. Empowering employees with relevant, timely insights..
It’s also important to keep track of the entire customer journey, the entire experience of a particular client’s interaction with your business, product or service – a purchase is only the top of the iceberg, which also consists of all the moments before and after purchase.
What is equally important is to turn this information into a unified, reliable overview that salespeople can use to better manage the sales process and to customize their approach by creating personalized offers. Without marketing insights into customer interactions, such an overview cannot be created.
3. Planning for long-term.
Commitment to customer satisfaction should be the priority of every company. Companies that recognize the need for quality customer relationship management often add a CRM solution to their business. If the solution is customized to the company’s specific needs and their business processes are well defined, then CRM plays an important role in linking marketing and sales, as well as other departments. In that case, marketing and sales have a good way to plan business well and to track results. To observe any weak points and to adjust their strategies in time. To react quickly and meet customer needs at the right time. And that is what separates winners from the rest.
2017 was significant for many companies when it comes to analytics and insights into customer needs and wishes, and creating a better customer experience for their customers, as well as developing long-term relationships with them. These trends will continue in 2018, with an emphasis on:
- The benefits brought to marketing by artifical intelligence to create a personalized experience for its customers.
- Connecting multiple teams better – marketing, sales and support will connect even more, to enable an integrated customer journey. According to some research, as much as 64% of marketing managers believe that organizational changes and better co-operation within the company are needed to improve customer journeys for their customers.
- Integrated data which will help marketing departments better undrestand customer behavior on different platforms.
- Smarter advertising containing the right messages, communicated at the right time and through the right channels to well-targeted groups.
- Personalized e-mail campaigns adapted to mobile devices.
Source: Adweek, 30.1.2018. by Jon Suarez-Davis
And in the end…
Managing customer relationships is more than a nice-sounding term. It’s a mantra that defines a company’s focus to meet client needs through a combination of reactive and proactive interactions. Marketing is a necessary link between a quality customer and sales strategy and one of the key players in achieving each company’s goals. If you want to build a quality brand, long-term relationships with customers and grow from year to year, connect your teams and grow thanks to their diversity.