3 Keys for Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service Collaboration
Clearly, different sales functions require varying levels of information and tools to do their jobs effectively, and not all may require predictive intelligence and analytics. But for customer-facing reps who need to be one step ahead of their customers, predictive intelligence gives them a road map of the next best actions to take with new, potential, and existing customers so that they have confidence in their engagements and can be viewed as a valuable resource. By reviewing large data sets of previous products purchased, online browsing habits, price and profit, and customer and prospect buying behavior, predictive tools can not only indicate to reps the next best recommended action but also provide a better understanding of personas and buying journeys. Sales teams will finally find themselves on a level playing field with today's informed buyer.
And the integration of marketing and customer service data will only improve sales optics on the customer journey. More data points from marketing campaign interactions or customer service calls enables more refined intelligence that helps salespeople gain an edge—whether it's through a recommended offer, a workaround, or a satisfying alternative. By modeling current and historical customer data gathered from across the organization, salespeople can leverage predictions about future trends and events, leading to higher conversion rates and happier customers.
Embrace Social Selling
Social media is now embedded in our professional and personal lives. Search tools and social media are fueling knowledge of prospects and customers alike, so shouldn't social be a focus for your sales, marketing, and customer service teams? With the ability to identify and engage target audiences, social selling has become increasingly important for successful salespeople.
There are many benefits to social selling across a sales-focused organization, including tracking customer experience, identifying potential targets, and communicating with your online community. Having a social strategy that spans your sales, marketing, and customer service teams will help you to increase your qualified leads by upward of 40 percent and also provide a real-time communication channel that customers have come to expect today.
Creating an authentic and consistent social presence will engender trust with your prospects and customers and ensure them that you are listening and acting in their best interest. With a consistent focus on social content and monitoring, you'll have the ability to turn lukewarm feelings for your company or product into potential advocates for the brand.
Sales is a unique discipline in that it requires a deep knowledge of not only the internal processes of the selling company but also the ever-changing needs and behaviors of the customer buying community. The next few years will likely become even more complicated as buyers continue to use more and more diverse channels—channels where your competitors may already have the edge. As sales, marketing, and customer service professionals, our role is to work together to encourage our organizations and our leadership to embrace technology and processes to enable these three teams to adapt for continued success in the next era of customer engagement and sales management.
Chris Benedetto is the director of marketing, sales automation, and on-boarding at Pegasystems Inc. He has 20 years of software sales, marketing, and product management experience for marketing automation, SFA, e-commerce, analytics, and supply chain software.