Retail Analytics

Why aligning marketing and sales is crucial

Written by Tony Loxton
Jan 27

The mutual dislike that exists between sales and marketing teams is infamous. Whether you blame this turf war on pressure to perform, or a misunderstanding of each other’s roles, sales and marketing’s prickly relationship is to the detriment of all involved. This divide is counterintuitive; after all, the end goal for both teams is to grow the business. For this to happen, both teams have to have each other’s backs.

The need for a harmonious relationship between sales and marketing is paramount to the success of your business.

The 2016 State of Inbound report from Hubspot determined that “Organisations with Service Level Agreements (SLAs) between Marketing and Sales worked more effectively, and generated better quality leads”. When both parties are held accountable by the other, overall performance increases. As Pipeliner Sales notes, “Businesses should have staff and processes that facilitate each stage of the pipeline, but when marketing and sales are misaligned, either bottlenecks appear or the pipeline stops being fed”. The same article posits that aligning sales and marketing hinges on two crucial factors: one, a “full and shared understanding of buyer behaviour” and two, “marketing support of sales strategies” (and vice versa).  

All marketing and sales activities need to be built around the buyer’s journey.

Forbes suggests that all marketing and sales responsibilities be designed “around the customer buying process”. This may sound obvious, but many companies lose sight of the fundamental principle behind generating revenue: if you want to gain (or retain) customers, their position in the buyer’s funnel should dictate the way they’re communicated with. To determine where a particular lead is in the sales funnel, both teams need to measure all customer interactions actively. (We’ll explore how to do this a little later on in the blog).

A common goal of focusing on the most valuable customers further unites marketing sales.

If both teams are honing in on the leads with the highest chances of converting, the notorious blame game that exists between the two is eliminated. A common complaint among sales staff is that marketing produces inferior leads, while marketing argues that leads they’ve spent a lot of time and energy acquiring are left by the wayside in favour of leads that aren’t ready to buy. This disconnect ultimately boils down to a lack of transparency and sufficient data. The solution to this costly case of broken telephone? Integrate all customer information. This ensures both teams have the same set of data to work from: an in-depth profile of a lead or customer that details their interactions or purchasing behaviour.

Another major difference between marketing and sales is that they run off different scorecards.

In other words, marketing’s success is measured one way, while sales’ is measured in another. Implementing a unified method of reporting further unties both teams with a common goal: to acquire and convert leads. Your teams need to measure overall progress while a lead is in the sales funnel, as well during the entire buyer’s journey. This eliminates the problematic case where marketing can’t be held accountable for sales numbers, and sales can’t be held accountable for the number of leads generated by marketing numbers

In retail, the key to aligning marketing and sales teams lies in measuring foot traffic.

A classic quip from the sales team goes something along the lines of  “All the leads we get are poor”. The thing is, when someone walks into a store, they’re technically a good lead. Instead of googling your store or shopping online, they’ve taken the time to make a trip to your store. The lesson here is that marketing needs to measure and analyse foot traffic, while sales needs to measure the way in which foot traffic translates into shopper conversion.

In-store analytics play a crucial role in uniting marketing and sales to increase overall revenue.

Tools that measure not only foot traffic, but associated metrics such as dwell time, walk bys, and repeat visitors equip both team with in depth insight into the entire buyer’s journey. This, as opposed to foot traffic counters such as lasers or cameras. The key to closing the loop between marketing and sales hinges on sophisticated in-store analytics that present data in real time, via easily-understandable visual representations.

Increase revenue by getting your marketing and sales team on the same page. Find out how Blix Traffic can assist.

Learn more about Blix Traffic for retail

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