ProTips: 5 things you can do when you connect marketing and sales systems

This is a guest post by Adriel Michaud, VP of Marketing for ActiveDEMAND.

In recent times, companies are using more automation and integrating more of their systems to save time and close more deals. Connecting marketing and sales gives both groups what they need to be successful:

  • Sales get better quality leads and marketing back up where they need it

  • Marketing gets better buyer personas and conversion data to sharpen their campaigns

  • Both departments are better positioned to hit goals and grow the company

So let’s check out what we can do once marketing and sales systems are fully aligned and integrated.

ProTip 1: Control automated campaigns from within CRM

Normally, marketing owns automated email communications with prospects, but sales need that same power to take care of repetitive situations they face every day. They can start drip campaigns from CRM to:

  • Recover unresponsive prospects

  • Follow up after an initial cold call

  • Remind prospects about an upcoming appointment

  • Automatically handle an after-sale process

ProTip 2: Bulk flag customers for campaigns

When sales and marketing platforms aren’t connected, marketers frequently have to export lists from their CRM, do a bit of Excel magic to filter them a bit better, and then upload the list to their marketing database. With the Zoho + ActiveDEMAND integration, you can use Zoho’s built-in filters to narrow targeting down to a specific audience and then flag those contacts to be targeted with a marketing campaign. The two systems can directly talk to each other, so the CSV file download and upload is a thing of the past.

ProTip 3: Get better sales close data to marketing

Marketing these days is equal parts art and science. The science side works great if marketing knows exactly whether the leads it’s generating are good or not. With Zoho automatically posting won deals to ActiveDEMAND, marketers are able to report on and understand which kinds of leads close at a higher rate and at a higher value. This information is crucial to developing a practical marketing strategy that works.

ProTip 4: Log marketing communications to your CRM

In a company with a well-oiled marketing+sales machine, prospects could be receiving communications from both marketing and sales. By logging marketing communications to your CRM, salespeople can easily see whether their prospect received the monthly newsletter or when a survey went out. That better visibility is super helpful for sales, and they might even start providing some great feedback to marketing on how customers are receiving the communications.

ProTip 5: Filter and process prospects before handing them off to sales

Some prospect signals aren’t quite strong enough to hand them off to sales. Maybe they downloaded a whitepaper, entered a contest, or joined a webinar, but they just didn’t deliver enough of a signal to call them a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). Rather than just shoveling anything that looks like a signal onto sales’ plate, it’s best in these situations to have marketing use automatic nurture campaigns to get more interest out of the prospect. Once the prospects are successfully nurtured, they can be sent “over the fence” to sales.

Achieving effective sales and marketing alignment is a continual process, even for well-established companies. A good strategy is to determine your goals and start implementing the steps needed to get there. Track and measure your results and continually check that you are actually measuring the right metrics. A good indicator would be if your sales and marketing teams are seeing value in the results. Adjust as required and then implement more automation and reporting as needed. Sales and marketing alignment may seem like a daunting task, but with the right platform and a solid plan, the results of your success are well worth it.

If you’ve got a Zoho account, check out the ActiveDEMAND extension for Zoho CRM on Zoho marketplace to start a free two-week trial and get rolling.

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