One of the biggest trends in business organization for 2012 will be how businesses can better align their sales and marketing organizations. Businesses with mature sales and marketing organizations are seeking ways to improve their efficiency and generate more leads and customers without having to blow up the size of their teams. This is where the idea of revenue disruption can enter a business’ goals. Revenue disruption describes how changes to the way businesses organize their marketing and sales efforts can help them become dramatically more successful. One way that companies will do this is through a “SMarketing” effort, making sure that their sales and marketing teams are well aligned and communicating with each other.
By reinventing their businesses and lead management processes, companies who implement a revenue disruption strategy seek to provide better guidance for marketing on what types of leads to try and generate, and by extension deliver better-qualified leads to their sales team. These organizations will also try to use new technologies for lead management to capture better intelligence and personalize their communications with them.
New Technology For Sharing Data
One way that new technology is joining the revenue disruption game is by providing smarter listening tools for social media. New lead management platforms can automatically find the social media accounts for your leads, or you can supply that information if you have it. The tool can then watch what your leads are writing about on social media and trigger actions based on that behavior.
For example, watching for a lead to share a link back to your own website or a competitor’s website can give you information about what other products they are researching before you even have to ask. Salespeople can then pre-emptively position themselves against potential competitors and make sure that products and services are presented with the best angle. Merging what was previously thought of as a marketing product with functionality that better enable sales is helping to drive this change to a SMarketing-fueled world.
Closed-Loop Marketing Is Necessary For Success
Greater than any technological changes will be the drive for better communication between sales and marketing. Closed-loop marketing is one “SMarketing” idea that has already made a big splash. “Closing the loop” just means that sales teams report to marketing on what happened to the leads that they received, which helps marketing understand their best and worst lead sources. Marketers are then able to plan more strategically for the future by focusing on their best lead sources -- those with the best conversion rate to customer. This isn’t a technological change; it’s a cultural shift from having separated marketing and sales teams that don’t directly communicate with each other, to having a united marketing and sales group that works closely together to deliver and work leads coming into the business.
Besides better communication and reinforcement for marketing, there is another great reason to start implementing closed-loop marketing. Once you begin to measure your close rates by lead type, you can establish the profitability of different marketing and sales activities in terms of actual dollar values. There is no better statistic for executive or year-end summaries than being able to put a precise monetary ROI on your activities.
This doesn’t replace measurement by quota, lead volume or other statistics; it adds a new set of easily tracked statistics around the cost of your marketing campaigns for leads and customers. This number can be surprising, too. You may find that one of your marketing campaigns is very expensive on a per-lead basis, but that your sales team is able to close those leads very quickly and effectively, thus the marketing cost per customer is actually quite low. If that’s true, you know that pouring more marketing dollars into that channel is actually a great investment for the company. Without closed-loop marketing, that important piece of information would have escaped your team.
Start "SMarketing" For Better Communication
Organizations that want to establish this kind of collaboration between teams should also look at ways to organize a regular meeting for the members of each team. Great teamwork is more than just the free passing of data between teams and systems, but also involves combining attitudes, problem-solving efforts, and familiarity.
Depending on organization size and where employees are based, in-person team meetings may not be practical, but web-based collaboration or video chats can be useful to help people get to know each other and share resources. It is too common that marketers and salespeople have no coworking relationships, and it's a major impediment to revenue disruption success. It’s impossible for a team to really understand the problems and frustrations of the rest of the organization if they haven’t heard it explained by the people who face it every day.
Many vendors will begin discussing concepts and different methodologies for revenue disruption this year as the market leaders and sales professionals pick up steam. Does your business have integrated sales and marketing organizations yet? How does the communication work between members of each team? Tell us your story in the comments.