How good is your smarketing, or marketing and sales alignment? You need both teams working side-by-side to understand your prospects and customers better.
Data and analytics are a powerful duo that helps you build and continuously assess your marketing and sales strategy.
Through data, you can see which campaigns, products, and services customers and prospects are most interested in through their behaviors and interests. You can examine various channels like LinkedIn, Instagram, your website, emails, and ads to determine what content and messaging drive interest and conversions.
Analytics show you results so you can better inform your sales and marketing team to make optimizations and ultimately drive more revenue and growth.
This blog covers leveraging data and analytics to improve your business, get more leads, and grow customer loyalty and retention.
Marketing analytics is the data that helps you understand your customers better and see what part of the customer journey they are in. Analytics also refers to the data you collect to create a marketing strategy.
Analytics helps you identify points in the funnel where they are dropping out. You can use this information to segment your prospects further and offer more personalized content and messaging.
To better serve your customers, you must learn what they want and meet them where they are on their journey. There are four common types of digital analytics. Understanding each will help you better align your current marketing strategy based on analytics.
Sales and marketing teams should work closely together. Marketing creates the campaigns to drive qualified leads and pipeline, and sales swoops in to build relationships and close deals.
Even though they should be working in tandem, marketing and sales often work in silos, unaware of what the other is doing in real-time. This results in the inability to move efficiently and quickly on new leads. According to Harvard Business Review, a lack of sales and marketing alignment costs businesses $1 trillion annually. Misalignment can also lead to lower productivity, frustration, and low morale.
A B2B study of over 400 marketing and salespeople said the most significant challenges to marketing and sales alignment are:
Open lines of communication between sales and marketing mean both teams are in sync for things like the latest prospect updates or changes in sales qualifications.
Alignment is also establishing clarity around who is doing what. For example, how deep does your sales team go when educating prospects? Do they prefer to handle this, or is marketing responsible?
Also, when teams aren’t on the same page with their data, they’re likely measuring different metrics from various platforms. For instance, sales uses one platform with a specific lead qualification metric, and marketing utilizes another. This creates discrepancies and inefficient data, making it harder to decipher precisely how qualified the lead is.
Or maybe sales adjusted their lead scoring process but didn’t communicate this to marketing. Because of this lack of transparency, marketing continues to use the old scoring model, sending leads that don’t fit updated qualifications to sales, wasting time and effort.
Audience segmentation and return on investment (ROI) are other areas where marketing and sales must come together. They should use similar segmentation rules and metrics and a shared understanding of how they track ROI.
This lack of communication can be addressed by using the same data source and creating a structure around communicating better.
When looking at the same analytical data, you can quickly get on the same page, identify areas that need improvement, and close gaps quickly.
Shared goals, expectations, and a workflow ensure sales and marketing can communicate and collaborate efficiently and productively. In addition to the data and analytics, you can create a common language and terminology that better defines the data around lead qualification and set up a system to ensure alignment around lead scoring and nurturing.
Do both teams have a clear picture of what needs to be accomplished regarding the organization’s business objectives? If so, what does that look like from a metric perspective?
Consider using tracking methods that offer both a granular and holistic approach. For example, rather than looking at engagement and conversions, you might assess the overall flow of the funnel and look for bottlenecks.
Sales and marketing teams look at the sales funnel in various ways. Both departments need to understand each other’s key performance indicators (KPIs) related to the organization’s business goals. These include total revenue, year-over-year growth, conversion rates, and lifetime value.
Your data sources for B2B marketing include:
Ensure your data sources are reliable, accurate, and consistent. Integrate them into a single dashboard or platform to easily access and analyze your data. This will give you a holistic view of your B2B marketing performance and customer journey.
Marketers have previously relied on apps, ad vendors, and third parties to provide their data.
Today, this is changing, as marketers want more control over their data. This means taking ownership of the “atomic-level” dataflows, like pageviews, referrer information, and other essential session intel.
Data independence is important for marketers because it gives them more power to make better decisions. For instance, they can audit channels and partnerships and cut what is not moving the needle while generating higher returns on spending.
Data and analytics are key to understanding your customers. You can divide leads and customers using segmentation based on characteristics, behaviors, and preferences. For instance, for customers, divide groups based on:
Profiling creates detailed descriptions of each segment, including their demographics, psychographics, pain points, and goals. For example, a business in the manufacturing industry learns that its customers are looking for ways to reduce costs, while another in healthcare discovers that customers need to improve patient care.
Once you glean specific challenges, you can create more relevant and effective marketing messages, offers, and channels by segmenting and profiling customers.
Data and analytics can help you optimize your B2B marketing campaigns and content. You can improve your click-through rates, conversions, and engagement by testing, refining, and improving your tactics and strategies based on data and feedback.
For instance, use data to see which headlines get the most clicks, which keywords drive the most traffic to your website, and which CTAs lead to the most conversions. Beyond clicks, you could also utilize data to see how long people stay on certain landing pages or watch videos before they bounce. What were those topics? Use this information to tailor future content and devise your content strategy.
Data and analytics help optimize your campaigns and content, and you can ensure you reach the right people with the right message at the right time.
The final step is to measure and report your findings. Evaluate your outcomes and impact using your data and analytics dashboards, charts, graphs, and tables. These visualization tools show you how your campaigns performed and what needs to be improved.
You can also share it with other key stakeholders. This is a good opportunity to explain the next steps, action items, and optimizations you have planned for existing and future campaigns.
Creating harmony with sales and marketing means establishing more intention and building systems focusing on common goals and providing a better experience for prospects and customers.
It can also lead to higher conversion rates, shorter sales cycles, and a better working environment for both sales and marketing. When communication flows quickly and efficiently, teams will experience less frustration and more happiness and motivation.
Get started with data to improve alignment and communication with sales and marketing. Reach out to The Automation Company to find out how we can help.