When applying for a traditional sales or marketing role in the future, here’s what you’ll hear:
“Congratulations! Welcome to the Revenue Department.”
That’s right, this entire concept of sales & marketing living in silos will have to blow up one day. My Spidey Senses aren’t strong enough to predict exactly when this will occur but, through some leading indicators that are fairly evident to those that are observing, it will happen within the next 10 years.
The Era of the Customer
The collaborative power of the Internet and social media was something that I’m sure none of us could fully understand. But, it has affected the way you, your clients, and virtually all of us make judgements and conduct research in the purchasing decision.
The results are nothing short of startling in terms of human progression. While a stretch to some, this will change the course of human evolution as well.
Now you can see why a leader like Prime Minister Modi of India is more popular than One Direction in that country. He’s one of the few leaders in the world that has created (and will soon execute on) a full digital transformation strategy on a country-wide basis. His goal is to deliver high-speed internet to over 250 Million Indians in villages. This is ground-breaking as more buyers will finally have access to choice.
And choice, my friends, is the ultimate goal of capitalism and free-market societies. So it’s this entire movement of choice and autonomy that’s starting to drive the integration and alignment of sales and marketing departments.
One Funnel To Rule Them All
If customers are online, reading, consuming content, collaborating with others and, ultimately, making judgements about you and your brand. Then it’s critical that this move towards digital sales happens quickly.
The more this continues, the greater the threat to organizations. By marketing and sales working to align every single facet of the buying journey together and positioning content, offers, product, etc. it increases the sanity of the entire funnel. When both sales and marketing teams are in sync, companies became 67% better at closing deals according to Marketo.
Changes Needed To Allow For This
There are significant changes that are needed for this evolution to occur. While not an exhaustive list, it’s crystal clear that these are the bare minimums.
1. Sales Leaders must acknowledge that the buying journey is now fully in place over their traditional sales process. I believe, fundamentally, this is the first step needed. In fact, 95% of buyers chose a solution provider that provided them with ample content to help navigate through each stage of the buying process, according to DemandGen Report.
2. Sales & Marketing Leaders must develop rich content sources and libraries that are fully aligned to their specific customer buying journey. These repositories must live and breathe online and sales must actively share this information at every stage of the funnel. This can’t be a “nice to have” – it must be ingrained within the sales professional’s measured activity cadence. Sales has to work hand-in-hand with marketing. With sales providing insight from clients and marketing creating the digital assets that are relevant to the client's challenges. Without this alignment, 60-70% of B2B content created is never used. The most cited reason is because the topic is irrelevant to the buyer audience.
3. Digital champions, a new role that is beginning to emerge in large organizations, will now operate in complete transparency carrying information throughout the Revenue Department with one very simple and stated goal: get the right information, to the right prospect, at the right time.
As I said earlier, the One Funnel Movement has already begun. Very large, global organizations are already starting to experiment with this concept and it’s making significant impact.
The Bottom Line
As revenue leaders, it’s imperative that all obstacles preventing this evolution be removed. However, first you must conduct an audit that helps you identify your resources and what’s preventing change.
In addition, you may need to research the marketplace to see this trend yourself. But believe me, it’s happening.
I fundamentally believe that any organization that’s striving to evolve to the digital selling revolution will see tremendous gains. After all, their customers will benefit the most by having complete autonomy in their purchasing decision, while still being able to tap into information whenever needed.
So, what are your thoughts about this? Does it sound like absolute hogwash to you or are you seeing the sales & marketing alignment take place already?