Most businesses recognize that sales and marketing should work together. After all, the goal of marketing is produce leads, and the goal of sales is to convert leads. But more often than not, sales and marketing operate in silos.
As a result, neither side knows what the other is doing. At best, they might have a vague idea. Although the jobs of sales and marketing are directly related, goals are different and metrics for measuring success are different. Marketing doesn’t want to hand over the keys to its tools to sales, and sales doesn’t want marketing stepping on their toes.
Inevitably, opportunities are missed and dollars are wasted.
Part of the problem is the misconception that “working together” requires a merger of sorts between sales and marketing departments, with one manager overseeing a unified unit. In reality, “working together” simply means collaborating more closely and having visibility into the same data.
Thanks to the growing influence of social media on the sales process, the need for closer collaboration between sales and marketing has never been greater. Marketing is constantly sharing content and engaging with prospects on social media. Because marketing wants to control the conversation, follow company rules, and ensure consistent messaging, any perceived interference by sales can disrupt the process.
However, sales needs to know what marketing is doing so they can speak about it intelligently. Sales needs to understand the level of engagement between the brand and prospect so they can tailor their sales approach for each individual.
That brings us to the million-dollar question.
How does marketing provide sales with visibility into what’s happening on social media without giving sales direct access to your brand’s social media platforms?
Can a salesperson use their personal social media account to monitor sales leads? Yes, but they would probably end up with an incomplete view of each lead’s activity – unless the salesperson was willing to spend several hours or more each day on social media.
The more effective approach is to use a social customer relationship management (CRM) system. Social CRM makes it possible for sales to have visibility into social media activity without being directly engaged in the conversation.
With social CRM, the level of visibility goes deeper than knowing if someone commented on a post, clicked a link, or signed up for a blog. Social CRM uses lead scoring to quantify the level of the relationship between a prospect and your brand.
Marketing can continue to engage the prospect on the prospect’s preferred social media channel without ever leaving the social CRM. Sales can then pick up the phone or send an email or instant message to the prospect to start a one-on-one conversation, using the insights gained from the social CRM to strengthen the relationship and improve the odds of conversion.
Don’t let sales wander in dimly lit rooms.
The social aspect of sales is critically important to meeting business goals. But if sales doesn’t have visibility into your social media platform, you’re basically forcing them to operate in a dimly lit room. They have a general idea of what’s happening, but little details that would aid the sales process are being missed.
Social CRM turns the lights on. It allows sales to see exactly what’s happening and the depth of the relationship between each prospect and your brand. It helps them sell more effectively and speed up the process.
With social CRM, sales and marketing learn to speak the same language, share ideas, and better understand each other’s value and contributions. Finger-pointing is replaced with collaboration.
Sales and marketing don’t have to be attached at the hip, but they do have to work together. Social CRM provides a platform that allows for a more productive, profitable relationship.