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Marketing & Sales Ever After

marcom-business-people-marketing-and-sales-ever-afterToday’s Marketing role goes beyond wide net lead capture. Nurturing long-term relationships throughout the entire sales cycle is the essential (make or break) norm. And if Marketing doesn’t do its job to support Sales’ real-time efforts at the street level, everyone loses. Skip the couples’ therapy and dig into four tactics to create a business match made in heaven.

First, let’s take stock. Here’s a boiled-down list of four things companies are most likely doing right now who’ve mastered Marketing & Sales alignment. Where do you fit in?

1. Access

First and foremost, Sales needs to engage customers. To do that, Marketing provides easy, fast access to a wide range of resources. Put simply, Sales can always reach corporate-approved campaigns to start a conversation, maintain a conversation, and wrap both up with a win.

2. Customization

Marketing provides Sales with the branded, compliant tools to tweak messaging within marketing materials on the fly, so they can react to the real-time needs of customers. Channels and franchisees also have exactly what they need to speak to regional customers at every local level.

3. Big Data Integration

Marketing establishes a basic platform in which Sales can access analytics and behavioral data and integrate into their campaigns. At every touch point within their sales cycle, Sales can send a relevant, timely marketing campaign that keeps customers and prospects swiftly moving through the funnel.

4. Fulfillment

Sales has streamlined access to internal and external print services and vendors to fulfill all collateral, event, multimedia or promotional goods. They have full faith that they are getting the best, corporate-approved rate on every transaction.

Marketing & Sales Alignment – 4 Tactics to Get There

If your marketing team has mastered one or none of these, you’re in the large majority. But before you give up and ignore Sales “help me” requests from the field, there is hope. Here are some first steps you might find helpful:

1. Access Granted

First, it’s time to get your head in the cloud. Cloud marketing asset management platforms aren’t just evolved – they’re setting the pace for modern marketing technology. MarcomCentral offers marketing portals to consolidate all of your assets and campaigns into one, centralized marketing hub. Sales teams and other users have unique logins so they experience a personalized UI and direct 24/7 access to all the branded marketing materials and resources they need.

2. Customization – Under control

This part’s tricky. Historical perception is that it’s risky allowing anyone outside of Marketing to customize communications yet retain corporate brand, legal and regulatory standards. Sales, channel partners and distributors oftentimes choose off-brand or non-compliant colors, logos and disclaimers when they can’t find what they need.

Here’s the good news: If you’re using a marketing asset management platform (see #1), Sales already has instant access to those missing pieces. Our customers upload templates for things like presentations, direct mailers, emails and sell sheets to their MarcomCentral portals. These templates can then be customized using branded, dynamic choices their marketing teams have already pre-approved. There can also be more flexible content blocks within these pieces to allow for further localization. These rules can also apply to disclaimers or other mandatory regulatory content. There is no room for rogue branding!

3. Big Data Integration – Use what you already own

Use CRM tools? MarcomCentral has an app right in Salesforce that offers all the features of our portal functionality, while concurrently arming Sales with access to all of their contact information within the Salesforce environment. This puts Sales in a tactical position to offer customers and prospects the most up-to-date messaging, at exactly the time within your sales cycle that they’re most primed to receive it. Lead data can be brought directly into MarcomCentral, and then materials can be customized, personalized and fulfilled for each contact – all within brand standards, in real-time.

Here’s the best part: MarcomCentral records back the activity into Salesforce. Sales now has a single, historical view of all activity conducted against their contacts – from communications to calls, meetings, purchase histories or inquiries, and more.

4. Fulfillment – Show Sales you care

When Sales operates outside your corporate umbrella, sometimes they pay the price. By establishing one go-to source for approved vendor access, pricing is stabilized and budgets are saved. Marketing teams that use MarcomCentral find that this frees up their teams to focus more on the business of selling than negotiating things like print production costs. It also strengthens their sense of corporate unity. Distributors and channel partners appreciate that the resources they need are clearly available and your organization looks out for their best interests.