Align Sales and Marketing with CRM Insight

together, you need an agreed-upon target account list. By using the data in your CRM system, it's possible to scale, automate, and socialize what was previously a highly subjective process driven by intuition. Your CRM system contains detailed information about both your prospects and your customers, providing a wealth of insight into your best customers, your most promising prospects, and, ultimately, the net new leads that are most likely to close.

2) Adding Marketing Data into Account Profiles

Once marketing and sales have agreed on the list they're going to target, it's critical that they're able to share information about those accounts as quickly as possible. By integrating critical marketing data into account profiles in your company's CRM system, sales is able to access this information almost instantaneously, when they need it most. Most teams are used to seeing campaign information in Salesforce, but there are tools available that can go beyond that and integrate directly into CRM, empowering sales to work more efficiently and strengthening the two teams.

While each organization needs to decide what's relevant to them, generally, the more insight sales has, the better. For example, if sales has information about which accounts are being served content via an advertising campaign, it can help them make decisions about how to prioritize and customize pitches and conversations.

3) Optimizing Throughout the Buyers' Journey

Once sales has all that information, both teams can better understand how they're performing throughout the cycle, not just when it's over. That means that there is ongoing, actionable feedback between the two teams that can be incorporated immediately. Marketing tends to have a standard set of tactics and strategies for moving prospects and leads through the funnel. However, we all know that the buyers' journey is not linear. The problem is that we often don't dig too deep into how that journey varies. When sales and marketing are both using the same set of data as their source of record, it's easy to respond to variance in the journey and optimize activity. For example, if sales sees that there's a high-scoring lead that isn't visiting the Web site, they can recommend that marketing include that account in an email or advertising campaign. Or, if over time, high-scoring leads aren't converting, both teams both should be tweaking the original scoring model and their tactics.

Ultimately, the CRM system can provide not only better alignment, but also greater freedom when it comes to exploring and leveraging innovative strategies and technologies.

Peter Isaacson is chief marketing officer at Demandbase.

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