Organize Sales and Marketing around the Customer Journey: Gain common purpose, integration and measurable results

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Organize Sales and Marketing around the Customer Journey: Gain common purpose, integration and measurable results

The roles that sales and marketing play in an organization and their relationship depend on how company leadership decides to manage and enable cooperation between these two functions. A recent CMO Survey© evaluated how firms structure the sales and marketing relationship. These were the results.

  • 72 percent indicated that marketing and sales are independent departments
  • Just over 10 percent (10.3) identified that marketing reports to sales (sales leads)
  • Seven percent responded that sales is within marketing (marketing leads)

In a large majority of companies, organizational design introduces a collaboration risk that needs to be managed. Unmanaged, interdepartmental conflict is common. Poor marketing and sales dynamics are often evident in respective departmental business processes that don’t work well together, and sales and marketing technologies that are not effectively integrated. The result is that companies are missing significant opportunities to drive top-line performance. More importantly, invaluable feedback coming from these two disciplines is not shared, preventing an organization from tuning in to their market and opportunities. All of this collectively impacts profit performance, revenue growth and strategic positioning. 

How does any organization move beyond the different missions of sales and marketing teams toward interdependence and breakthrough revenue results? First, embrace the high-level sales and marketing differences, then find the critical dependencies. The high-level differences are listed below.

So where is the nexus, the critical dependencies, between sales and marketing that drives cooperation and results? If a company can organize around the critical dependencies that bring sales and marketing together, then the business processes, specific workflows and enabling technologies can be defined and optimized. The result will be highly integrated sales and marketing teams and a clear pathway toward breakthrough results.

The sales and marketing teams’ common interests are found by getting organized around the customer journey. The first step in the process is to break down the customer journey into the following business processes, which include discovery to lead, lead to cash, customer support to cross-sell and up-sell, customer to advocacy and advocacy to reference.

Specifically, this means marketing and sales should be organized around the stages that customers go through as they travel from first impression to transaction to advocacy. These stages include exposure or impression, impression to engagement, engagement to building knowledge, opinion and confidence, decision or purchase intentions, purchase of company’s products and/or services, support experience and sharing the buyer’s journey experience (advocacy).

These stages are different depending on the nature of the product or service, competition and associated industry. Detailing these steps, defining the business processes and workflows, and assigning marketing and sales responsibilities at each stage will enable a company to begin the effort to optimize the customer journey. As a result, both the sales and marketing functions can work together to meet customer needs during each stage of the journey, supporting the customer’s progress from stage to stage.

By first embracing the high-level difference, then organizing around the customer journey, sales and marketing can define and optimize critical processes together. The result will be highly integrated sales and marketing teams and breakthrough results. To learn more about the measurable benefits of interdependent sales and marketing departments, and their related systems, click HERE for our latest infographic.

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