Aug 9, 2022
You have no doubt heard the term digital transformation many times and you could even be responsible for accelerating it across your business. It’s a way for companies to embed digital into their processes and culture along with establishing a digital culture.
However, when a business is going through a transformation it can encounter roadblocks that result in a disconnect between departments. But when it comes to your sales and marketing teams, they need to be on the same page to drive awareness, leads, and revenue.
So how can you ensure your marketing and sales are aligned throughout your digital transformation journey?
While the responsibility of digital transformation may have once been the preserve of CEOs or COOs, the leadership of many components of digital projects now lies with CMOs and the marketing department.
According to our research, ‘The Marketing Evolution- Leadership, Transformation, Skills, Challenges & the Future’, 71 percent of senior marketers and 61 percent of mid-level marketers are responsible for digital transformation in their organizations.
They are mainly responsible for customer experience, data insights, and delivering an ROI on marketing activities. These key areas help to drive brand awareness and enhance the customer journey across multiple touchpoints to attract prospects and deliver high-quality leads for the sales team.
"Digital transformation allows for a deeper understanding of the customer to identify specific customers and audience segments, understand behavior and anticipate actions,” said Chris Parkin, Senior Director at Adobe. “This, in turn, allows us to use data to generate actionable insights and improve customer outcomes.”
Ultimately you want your sales and marketing departments working like a well-oiled machine. In an ideal world, your marketing team should measure, understand, and nurture prospects' intent to generate highly engaged leads that can be seamlessly handed off to your sales team to close.
If prospects are not ready to complete a sales action, the process should work both ways, with leads continuing on into a marketing journey for further nurturing.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case for many. Leads can fall through the cracks or are not nurtured in the right way. So how can you improve this process for your business?
“Digital skills are required for marketers, but it’s changing just as quickly in sales. A lot of traditional organizations have to think not about the in-person or the field based, but how do they create the omnichannel of connecting with the market? I think there’s a real opportunity to float all boats and upskill marketing and sales,” Olivia Kearney, CMO of Microsoft, in our report ‘Digital Marketing Skills, Industry & Technology for 2022 and Beyond’.
There are many benefits to aligning your sales and marketing teams. It not only promotes better in-house collaboration but it allows the members of each department to learn more about what the others do. Let’s look at three major benefits to a business:
It may seem like a buzzword but an omnichannel strategy is crucial when there are so many touchpoints for a customer - online and offline - in a business.
An omnichannel strategy is all about delivering a seamless customer experience so no matter where a customer interacts with your business the journey is uninterrupted.
What does this mean in the real world? Let’s say a lead is generated through a QR code in a print ad. This code will then direct a customer to a landing page that prompts them to provide information so they can download an ebook. This lead will then be passed onto a salesperson to make contact and discover their intent or move into an email funnel for nurture until they are qualified as a lead to be passed to a seller.
Each of these interactions needs to be branded so it’s obvious who it’s from with relevant and tailored information (if possible). That’s the key to an omnichannel strategy: take every interaction into account when it comes to your customers.
If your marketing and sales teams work together it is much easier to gain important information about your prospects and customers.
While marketers often have a broad perspective of an industry or prospect, sellers may have specific and actionable insights that the marketing team can use to tailor content for nurturing. You can get customer insights from:
It’s a combination of these two areas that can paint an accurate and detailed picture of a prospect or customer. Combine quantitative and qualitative data to build out your customer knowledge and create detailed personas to ensure a clear focus for all.
According to McKinsey, over three-quarters of consumers said that receiving personalized communications was a key factor in prompting their consideration of a brand, and 78 percent said such content made them more likely to repurchase.
Not only is personalization effective in engaging and nurturing leads but it’s effective in building customer loyalty and encouraging repeat purchases. The reason for this is that people love to be valued. If your business demonstrates an understanding and care for a customer, they are more likely to respond positively.
The most effective way to drive personalization is through content. Marketing and sales teams can come together to discuss target accounts or similar prospects to create communications and campaigns that can attract and engage.
Now that you know the reasons for and benefits of aligning your sales and marketing teams, how do you do it?
Digital transformation is not just about the shiniest new technology, it’s about changing a mindset that embraces digital but also the journey required to compete in an online world.
By embedding digital into processes and ways of working, your workforce will help cultivate a digital culture. This means encouraging transparency, driving collaboration, taking calculated risks, and offering training that enhances digital skills.
It can be difficult to stand out as a business so it’s important to have a differentiator. Can you create ‘cool’ experiences or offer your prospects and clients something others can’t?
The metaverse is an area that offers a new way to connect in an immersive way. Artificial Reality and Virtual Reality are also tools to use to create a new experience such as a 360 view of one of your stores or the production line for your product. It’s about being creative and reinventing the customer experience to not only stand out but deliver an interaction that will be remembered.
“Let's start with understanding the customer need and reinventing the experience around it, not making it better, which is where organizations have gotten stuck for a while. And then let's light some fires. Let's start with little prototypes to make sure the thing that we're building is the right thing. And if it isn't, having the courage to kill it fast,” said Brian Corish, Experience Architect for Accenture Interactive in our recent podcast.
The fact is, digital transformation will not happen in your business without the cooperation and backing of your entire workforce. That’s particularly true for your sales and marketing teams as they are responsible for attracting and converting customers and so require the knowledge and digital skills to interact and influence online.
With remote and hybrid working the norm for many businesses, many professionals are choosing jobs that offer a good work/life balance. This means it’s employees who are in the driving seat and it’s up to companies to offer career-enhancing perks such as in-house training and continuous professional development to attract and retain staff.
LinkedIn’s 4th Workplace Learning Report found that 94 percent of professionals said they would remain loyal to their current business if it invests in their continual learning and development. That’s something to think about if you’re a business undergoing digital transformation.
As you can see there’s a lot to think about when it comes to your marketing and sales teams in regards to digital transformation.
But when you achieve alignment, the benefits are endless and will not only create happy and cohesive teams but also drive customer engagement, leads, and sales to help your business compete and succeed in a digital world.
Empower your marketing and sales teams by offering digital training that provides industry-recognized certifications. DMI’s business education platform offers flexible learning pathways that are tailored to the unique needs of your business and staff. Get in touch today to unlock access to thousands of lessons across 14 different digital marketing and sales topics for your staff.