Connecting Sales and Marketing: Sync or Sink

Why collaboration between sales and marketing departments is key to successful digital transformation.

Connecting Sales and Marketing: Sync or Sink
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For businesses trying to achieve digital transformation, building systems of data-sharing within and between sales and marketing organizations is a critical area of investment. And organizations ignore the importance of syncing sales and marketing data at their peril — we have reason to believe that when sales and marketing remain in silos, businesses sink.

Why? Because sales and marketing are the core departments managing the data that can be combined to build a single customer profile and the touchpoints that power personalized customer experiences.

In a recent collaborative study with 451 Research and Adobe, respondents identified the most important sales and marketing opportunities for their organizations. The top answers shed light on the outcomes that digital transformation investments need to drive in order to sync sales and marketing. Companies must: 1) speed up revenue recognition by digitizing the sales process, and 2) optimize customer journey interactions by combining data from across the organization into one profile.

Most important opportunities for Sales and Marketing in digital transformation. Source: 451 Research.

Adobe and Microsoft have combined to support exactly those outcomes. Built on the foundational belief that customer data shared is worth more than the sum of its parts, our partnership has built deep integrations between applications to share data between the Adobe Experience Cloud and Microsoft Dynamics. This powers a single unified profile, so sales, marketing, and front-line employees can make decisions with confidence and promote customer loyalty. We also provide intelligent document process automation and digital signatures within Office 365 apps and Microsoft Dynamics that accelerate sales cycles and make employees’ jobs easier.

Orchestrating the customer journey

In our study, 80% of businesses said they are very interested in tracking and measuring the customer journey to understand and increase customer engagement and retention. Here, connecting sales and marketing plays a pivotal role too. The people, processes, and data in these departments control nearly every customer touchpoint. The information they have, when shared, is the key to truly understanding the customer journey and how it can improve.

Yet, we understand it can seem impossible to structure all potential customer journeys — they are nonlinear, self-directed, and cross an ever-increasing number of touchpoints. This means businesses need to invest in a digital platform that can intelligently extract data and integrate with a wide variety of back-end services to enrich the customer profile, ultimately creating personalized experiences that inspire loyalty.

Digitizing the sales process

Digitizing the sales process to reduce sales cycles and speed up revenue recognition is an essential part of the digital transformation process. Other departments within an organization can’t fully reach their potential if sales has not locked down accurate and shareable workflows. For example, if sales has a process in place to share accurate purchasing data, customer demographic information, and other attributes, marketing can use it to identify high-value segments and market to look-alike audiences.

In our study, we uncovered quite a gap in digitizing the sales process between the companies we dubbed “Digital Leaders” and companies that are in the early stages of digital transformation. More than half of the Digital Leaders have already eliminated paper in the sales process, use digital signatures within Microsoft Office or PDF, and have a sales automation system that provides recommended content based on sales stage.

Maturity for digitization of sales. Source: 451 Research.

Conclusion

The empowered customer has catalyzed the market to digitally transform and keep pace with ever-increasing expectations. Because sales and marketing each has a wealth of rich customer information, digital transformation requires that companies invest in a tech stack that connects people, data, and processes in both departments.

Adobe and Microsoft provide the ability to combine data from across any organization into a single-source-of-truth customer profile and digitize the sales process from beginning to end — all on a platform that is secure, scalable, and extensible. With expert partners, and by using the power of personalization and intelligent automation, forget meeting customer expectations — you can exceed them.

To see more in an infographic, click here, and, for the full report click here. To learn more about the Adobe + Microsoft partnership, click here.

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