Need to align your Marketing and Sales organisations but don't know where to start? Read on to discover the 5 steps to building a Sales Insight Engine.
Sales and Marketing alignment. Marketing and Sales alignment. Whichever way round you look at it, it’s still one of the biggest challenges facing B2B organisations and one which undoubtedly inhibits the achievement of opportunity and revenue potential. A project to move both functions towards singing from the same hymn sheet is not a small undertaking and is one which in my experience, that can be defined very differently organisation to organisation.
So, I hear you ask, is it reaching a common definition of the funnel? Adopting an ABM approach? Or working together to achieve common revenue targets? The short answer is, all of the above. The right answer is, it should be whatever your organisation is ready for. You can’t build Rome in a day and you certainly can’t align two critical business functions in a day either. Start small and agree achievable milestones over a 12 or 24 month period, prioritising initiatives which will promote positive change and provide value quickly.
For me, the starting point for alignment as a Marketing team is to find a mechanism of providing Sales with valuable account insights which can be converted into tangible outputs and actions. If you get it right, this mechanism becomes an invaluable resource and insight engine to drive better, more meaningful conversations with your customers and prospects.
But where do you start?
Firstly, make a list of all currently active Marketing channels and map out the technologies that support these channels and how they are integrated. This list could look something like:
- Email marketing – Eloqua or Marketo
- Social media (paid and organic) – LinkedIn and Twitter
- Content syndication – TechTarget or Cognism
- Online and offline events – ON24 and atEvent
- Intent data – Bombora or Cyance
- Website CMS – Adobe Experience Manager or Drupal
Next, identify whether one (or more) of these technologies store engagement data from all of your channels. Your MAP is the most likely source. If there are any channels missing, configure the necessary integrations and voila – you have a single source of engagement data.
The next step is the complicated part – aggregating all of this lovely engagement data and making it available in your BI platform. Don’t be blinded by data here - there will inevitably be hundreds, if not thousands, of data points at your disposal. It’s critical that you identify which ones are meaningful at this stage so the output is digestible and doesn’t become an overwhelming source of endless data points.
Once you’ve got the data aggregation and integration with BI sussed, you can get your Marketing crayons out and start playing with visualisations in your BI platform. Remember, keep it simple, digestible and meaningful. If you can pull in engagement data at a contact level through cookie association then that will be a big hit with Sales.
The final step, once you are happy with the visualisations, is to design a process for providing these insights to Sales. This could be via an automated notification or a weekly 1:1 with your counterparts.
So there we have it, 5 steps to building a Sales Insight Engine. Get in touch if you’d like to find out how CRMT can help you build your own engine and reap the rewards some of our clients are experiencing.
Written by Joanna Mills – Account Director, CRMT