It’s no secret there is basic tension built into the relationship between sales and marketing. For one thing, the marketing department complains that sales doesn’t follow up on the leads they send them and the sales department complains about the quality of the leads. Each of them blames the other when sales sag. And on and on it goes.
In theory CRM helps to heal this rift by creating synergy between sales and marketing. That is one of the reasons companies install CRM systems after all.
In practice all too often it turns out to be a damn nice theory. Sales and marketing still play the blame game and both of them blame the new CRM system for complicating their lives.
The truth of the matter is that there are synergies to be had with sales and marketing from CRM, but it’s not automatic. It takes some work and little forethought to get the benefits of the synergies between sales and marketing.
Dashboards are a prolific source of benefit for both sales and marketing. Properly set up dashboards will tell both departments what is happening at a glance.
For example, the dashboard can let everyone see how well marketing is doing at generating leads as well as setting goals. Similarly, the sales department can be measured against time constraints to contact the leads passed to them.
A lead scoring system can generate a rating for each lead and display it to everyone.
This sort of thing doesn’t absolutely eliminate arguments, but it narrows the ground considerably.
These dashboards also encourage everyone to enter information into the CRM system promptly so it can be reflected in the dashboards. Now entering the numbers has a goal and isn’t just seen as busywork.
Speaking of busywork, it’s important to distinguish between useful information and a mass of data. CRM systems are notorious for burying their users in a flood of data, leaving them floundering and trying to figure out what’s important and what isn’t.
The key here is a certain ruthlessness when it comes to deciding which data to collect and which to ignore. The general rule should be the less collected the better – within limits, of course.
Review your data requirements regularly and eliminate requests for anything that isn’t useful. It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but six months later it may seem like a waste of time.
Both sales and marketing need input on what data to keep collecting. Each of them has their own special needs for pieces of information and it’s important that both departments are consulted about what to throw away and what to keep.
At the same time, it’s a good idea to check your data and make sure it’s clean and unduplicated. This cuts down on wasted time and eliminates a potential point of friction between sales and marketing.
It’s also important to listen carefully to both sales and marketing when they complain about the CRM system. Remember most of your CRM isn’t set in stone and should be modified if possible to address legitimate complaints.
The tension between sales and marketing will never completely disappear, but with the intelligent use of the CRM system it can be greatly reduced.
About the Author
Rick Cook has been involved with computers since the days of punched cards and magnetic drum memories. He has written hundreds of articles on computers and related technology as well as a series of fantasy novels full of bad computer jokes.
Source: SANS ISC SecNewsFeed @ February 27, 2017 at 06:15PM