Modern B2B marketers rely on useful CRM data, lean lead management processes, and a robust feedback loop from sales teams to drive marketing impact and ROI.

Unfortunately, marketing teams typically don’t have the expertise or support from Sales Operations to identify, remedy, and sustain the CRM data, processes, and feedback loops that are needed. 

So let’s review three common situations that contribute to the disconnect between Marketing and Sales Operations:

  • Lack of alignment on who is responsible for CRM – Sales Operations and marketing blame sales for entering bad data into the CRM. Sales will blame Sales Operations for not understanding how salespeople get work done. Marketing blames Sales Operations for not sourcing and maintaining data needed to segment customers and prospects. Sales Operations blames everyone but themselves (sorry Sales Ops pals). In the meantime, CRM data quality is on a steady decline.
  • Salespeople are not trained on proper Lead Management – Most salespeople are laser-focused on avoiding activities that won’t help them achieve their annual goals. Lead management processes in most CRMs today are relatively straightforward to use and manage. However, salesperson lead management typically requires a bit of tribal knowledge and understanding of a few nuances that can make or break a marketing team’s marketing ROI goals. As well, marketing and sales operations teams typically don’t have the resources to train tens or hundreds of salespeople how to use the CRM, and no one else takes responsibility for the effort. So when salespeople receive leads, they are skilled in managing the effectively, so it easier to ignore or postpone lead follow-up.
  • Lack of appreciation of the details between marketing automation and CRM tools – The convergence of marketing automation and CRM tools has resulted in a complex web of interdependent process and data integration between systems. Often we find that these interdependencies are ignored or overlooked due to siloed organizations. Marketing teams understand the marketing automation tool, while Sales Operations understands the CRM, with limited or haphazard interlock on metrics, essential processes, and how to measure ROI.

If you are going to “break the code” to get Marketing, Sales & Sales Operations on the same page, you’ll need to consider these fundamental actions:

  • Set-up a Data Governance function. The type, amount, sources, quality, and uses of CRM and marketing automation data is growing exponentially. A single person typically can’t be responsible for the health of your CRM and marketing data. It’s best if you identify the right number of people needed to help understand, rehabilitate, and maintain CRM and marketing automation data quality.  Data stewards should include cross-functional roles that understand the process, not just data.
  • Conduct a cross-functional workshop facilitated by resources that understand marketing, sales, sales operations, CRM, and Marketing automation tools. Invest heavily in workshop planning, structure, and outcomes. Don’t spend Workshop time starting from scratch. Instead, come prepared with a prioritized list of items for the team to tackle — Set 30-60-90 day plan, and then another workshop.
  • Unite Marketing and Sales Operations under a single leader if possible. A single leader will help align metrics and compensation to drive common goals and outcomes. Breaking down silos and forcing teams to work together closely delivers results, strengthens morale, and allow the teams to learn from each other.
  • Bring in external resources – Your teams don’t have headroom to do much more than their current job. External resources with the expertise to accelerate improvements and guide the teams to the next level can pay big dividends, primarily through fewer mistakes and dead-ends.
  • Develop a high-level transformation plan – This stuff can get complicated and suck the life and time out of an organization. Set aspirational, yet realistic milestones for your teams that can be achieved in quarterly sprints, and hold them to it.

CRM and Marketing Automation tools receive about 30% of sales and marketing technology investments, and they are the foundation of the “technology stack.”

 

To achieve the desired ROI from the investments, you need to get Marketing and Sales Operations on the same page. Then they need to prioritize data governance, proper processes, and feedback loops that foster continuous improvement.

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