July 11, 2023

Two Ways AI Can Help Realign Your Marketing and Sales Teams

Mariah Petrovic
Two Ways AI Can Help Realign Your Marketing and Sales Teams

Great marketing and sales teams deliver the right message at the right time to the right people. But doing so requires alignment between the two teams. Sales and marketing teams that stay aligned and communicate effectively have a synergistic effect on one another. They create leads and close deals, maneuver challenges throughout the sales cycle, and re-market to satisfied customers.

Of course, this level of alignment isn’t the reality for most organizations. In fact, 90% of sales and marketing professionals report misalignment between these two teams. [1]One of the most common reasons these teams become misaligned is that marketing lacks visibility into sales activity. They operate in silos, using two separate datasets. When the two departments most directly responsible for revenue growth lose touch with one another’s reality, it’s easy to see how confusion and conflict can develop.

But why?

#1: Missing, inaccurate, or siloed data

75% of companies say inadequate outreach driven by poor data has been responsible for lost customers.[2] In fact, bad data costs U.S. businesses over $611 billion annually.[3] These losses result from misalignment due to missing or bad (old, incorrect) data. 

It’s no secret that sales reps dislike plugging data into customer relationship management tools (CRM) because it takes them away from what brings home the bacon! Contacts and sales activity are lost in spreadsheets, calendar reminders, and a sea of sticky notes. But missing data creates challenges beyond lapsed leads and sales managers chasing reps to log their calls. 

Marketing teams rely heavily on contacts and account data in the CRM. When data is missing or inaccurate, customers get mixed and overlapping messages from the sales and marketing teams, and relationships between the two teams become strained - not to mention the impact on customer experience. All of this can result in a massive impact on the bottom line. 

The solution

One way to realign your sales and marketing teams is to hand off time-intensive data entry to AI.

Integrating AI into your existing sales platform relieves your GTM team of their administrative burden. It gives them more time to focus on the satisfying, revenue-generating activities that you hired them for in the first place. AI-driven workflows automatically (and accurately!) capture your sales team’s phone calls, zoom meetings, calendar information, and emails, and then add that engagement data to the correct CRM accounts.

Contacts are continuously enriched with up-to-date personal information, address changes, and other crucial data like persona and seniority in a company. That way, your marketing team is able to keep your brand in front of the customers who are most likely to buy. 

Ensuring both teams have visibility into the same data-rich insights has numerous benefits. Some of the top benefits are:

  • Marketing gleans insights from complete sales team activity data to run persona-specific campaigns that are compliant with customer acquisition rules and regulations.
  • Marketing aligns with sales to understand their true buyer groups and validate key personas. This allows them to engage the right influencers, decision-makers, or detractors within key accounts, increasing pipeline velocity. 
  • Marketing proves its contributions using objective data to track campaign ROI and conversion rates. 
  • Clear documentation of contacts and engagement data eliminates influence disputes, improving team efficiency and preventing relationship strain. 

When sales and marketing teams rely on the same accurate data, they break their solos and act as one efficient, revenue-driving machine.

#2: The leads funnel is broken

Email marketing ROI is a highly impressive $36 for every $1 spent, which is why so many marketing departments are allocating more resources to it. While it’s crucial to establish consent before marketing to any potential lead, many departments are missing out on existing customers who do not give Consent (GDPR) and Express Consent (CASL).

A narrow interpretation of consent laws limits marketing teams to a small pool of marketable contacts who have signed up for events, downloaded content, or asked to be contacted. At the same time, sales may communicate with the largest and most qualified pool of prospects without marketing ever having access to these contacts. 

As a result of this narrow pool of marketing contacts, marketing departments will buy lists to generate more leads. Marketing would have been better off dedicating time to nurturing warm leads or existing clients already being worked by the sales team. This misalignment drives a cycle of missed opportunities for both the marketing and sales teams. 

The solution

According to Gartner, the typical buying group for a complex B2B solution involves 6-10 decision-makers, but sometimes up to 20. No sales rep (that we’re aware of, at least) can keep in contact with this many stakeholders on every one of their deals without some serious backup. 

AI-driven automation is the answer.

An AI-backed sales tool surfaces trends and insights on the most influential personas to past closed/won opportunities. Any contacts and activity automatically synced to the CRM using AI (see previous section to understand how) are available for the marketing department to use for outbound marketing and ABM programs, tactics, and messages to the optimal audience.

Instead of siloed activity, sales, and marketing can work together while AI automatically handles the grunt work. Sales reps do what they love to do–communicate with customers, and close deals–while AI-driven automation handles the data. 

The marketing team can support the sales team using accurate, reliable data for their campaigns. As a value-adding parter, marketing can help move the sale cycle along by dropping relevant content at each stage of the deal to further educate, remove objections, edge out competitors, and ensure that customers understand the value of the solution from the get-go. 

No more tiny pools of leads to work from. No more expensive (and ineffective)  list buying. 

No more misalignments.

Cruising to Alignment - And More Closed-Won Deals

While it’s common for marketing and sales teams to get misaligned, it costs money and harms customer relationship management. Misalignment often happens due to marketing relying on incorrect or missing CRM data. Automated AI-powered data capture takes the administrative burden off of the sales reps in the first place, while providing visibility to marketing.

With updated sales activities and enriched contact records, marketing departments can feel confident using accurate data to run persona-specific campaigns and focus on warm leads. 

By harnessing the power of AI, your sales and marketing departments can stay aligned and drive more revenue than ever before.

To learn how the marketing and sales teams at ThoughtSpot leveraged People.ai to increase campaign ROI for all ABM activities, click here.

——————————————

[1]https://hbr.org/2021/12/are-your-marketing-and-sales-teams-on-the-same-page

[2] https://www.eweek.com/enterprise-apps/crm-data-health/

[3] https://www.demandgen.com/dirty-data-what-is-it-costing-you/

Learn all of the ways People.ai can  drive revenue growth for your business