Last updated: Marketing, meet sales (sales, meet marketing)

Marketing, meet sales (sales, meet marketing)


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Marketing and sales have had an interesting relationship over the years. While they effectively have the same aim – to attract customers and maintain their loyalty – their differences have eroded their potential cohesion. The Harvard Business Review has documented this:

“Marketing and sales are separate functions within an organization, and, when they do work together, they don’t always get along. When sales are disappointing, Marketing blames the sales force for its poor execution of an otherwise brilliant rollout plan. The sales team, in turn, claims that Marketing sets prices too high and uses too much of the budget…”

But what happens when the walls between these teams are broken down? Customer expectations and the transparency of the Internet have forced enterprises to reconsider their organizational structure. Many have been forced to demolish walled gardens to establish customer-centric processes. In the wake of all of this, job roles are changing at a faster rate than ever before – and technology continues to blur the lines between what used to be considered as distinctively different roles.

Work in marketing? You may have noticed an increased focus on tangible, sales-driving activity in your job. As well as generating traffic and engagement, you may have felt more pressure to generate actual sales. This is especially true online.

Work in sales or e-commerce? You may have felt a corresponding shift towards activities that were once the preserve of the marketing team. So as well as generating sales, your responsibilities are likely to include providing engagement and interaction opportunities with customers, as well as personalization.

Work in customer service? You get the picture!

A recent Forrester thought paper commissioned by hybris found that the organizational walls between different business functions are harming wider efforts to deliver integrated and consistent digital experiences to customers. Only half of firms currently measure the lifetime value of the customers, according to the 150+ digital experience providers surveyed across North America and the UK. But more specific metrics around Marketing and Sales (such as registered users and sales leads) are more commonly measured (79 percent and 69 percent respectively).

A similar picture is true for technology: “The organizational walls between corporate marketing and e-commerce teams have also kept technology solutions largely fragmented,” according to the report. This fragmentation can create even deeper chasms between Marketing and Sales – if the former runs a campaign that delivers the wrong leads, and so the latter struggles to convert them.

With these siloes in mind, it can be easy to forget the customer at the heart of the activity. However, 68% of the study’s respondents identified the management of all brands and divisions as a key tech and business priority – suggesting that organizations are beginning to recognize the need to unify commerce, content creation and content delivery.

This is not a job swap, but rather an evolution of business functions that prioritize the customer experience, while reducing the friction behind the company scenes.

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