25.06.2018

In 2017, Salesforce published an excellent article on the latest trends in sales, marketing and customer service in the UK, stating:

“The best sales teams are getting better connected, and more proactive. The best marketers are busily mapping journeys and doubling down on social. And the best service teams? They’re zeroing in on customer needs even before they take a call. In short, today’s Sales, Marketing and Service trailblazers are all moving in the same direction: towards the customer.”

When customers select their contact points – where and how they want to receive service – or the information they want access to at various points along the customer journey, it seems pointless to maintain a clear demarcation between the various functions that offer customer services. While one customer is ready to move on to discussing an offer after a meeting at a trade fair, another wants to carry out online comparisons before contacting your customer service staff prior to the purchase decision. In this digital era, a segregated approach to offering customer services will result in a poor customer experience and lost deals, denting the company’s brand through unsuccessful encounters.

Having separate service functions can be harmful as it hinders information flow within the organisation and leads to sales and marketing speaking a different language, with neither party knowing what the other one is doing.

In the old-fashioned marketing approach, the two functions have separate goals, which is reflected in a poor service experience for potential customers.

Is there any sense in keeping these functions separate then? No, there isn’t.

Joint focus on the customer

Instead of preparing separate sales process models and annual marketing schedules, why not shift your focus to your customer’s purchase path, customer journey and annual schedule? How and where do your potential customers move, and what are they working on? You will notice that every team’s contribution is required and that their tasks often cross boundaries, as one customer may need customer service information to make a decision while another wants to meet your sales expert who has written a particularly inspiring blog post. In the modern multi-channel world, the customer is in the driver’s seat and your job is to ensure that your company has a shared story – a shared ‘why’ – and that the value you generate for the customer is realised in practice.

“What would you lose if you stopped thinking about sales and marketing as separate functions? I think you’d just be letting go of a restricting mindset.”

If all the company’s teams work together to gain and retain customers, doesn’t this mean that the company’s incentive system should be overhauled? If only the sales team are entitled to receive a commission, it’s in their best interest to sit on the customer information and ‘own the customers’, a mindset that is untenable in the modern organisations of the 2020s.

  • Aren’t the services offered to customers and customer satisfaction everybody’s business?
  • Isn’t the blog written by your R&D expert that sparks interest among other professionals in the field and creates new contacts part of your company’s sales push?
  • Isn’t a lead nurtured by the marketing team all the way to a deal worth payment of a commission?

Today, customer encounters require intelligence, customer-oriented thinking and the desire to offer emotionally intelligent services. Whatever the job title on your business card, it is your job to ensure that you gain new customers and retain the old ones.

I believe that we will see a hot romance between marketing and sales. #marketing and #sales are an item. Click To Tweet

How close is your company to witnessing a love story between marketing and sales?

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