The interplay between sales and marketing has always been a critical factor in achieving success & business growth. While both teams share the common goal of generating revenue, their approaches and objectives often differ, leading to misaligned efforts and a fragmented customer experience. This is where the concept of sales and marketing unification comes into play.
Unification goes beyond mere alignment; it’s about breaking down silos and creating a cohesive, integrated team that works seamlessly to attract, nurture, and convert prospects into loyal customers. It’s about embracing a shared vision and understanding of the customer journey, ensuring that every touchpoint reinforces the brand message and contributes to a positive customer experience.
Why unification is more than just alignment
Aligning sales and marketing teams is essential for achieving consistency and reducing friction, but it doesn’t address the underlying issue of disparate goals and perspectives. Unification, on the other hand, fosters a culture of collaboration and shared ownership, transforming both teams into a unified force driving revenue growth.
3 reasons why unification is a more significant goal than simple alignment:
Shared Accountability: Unification creates a sense of shared accountability, where both teams are invested in the overall success of the customer journey. This shared ownership drives a more proactive and customer-centric approach to sales and marketing.
Continuous Optimisation: Unification breaks down silos, enabling real-time communication and feedback loops between sales and marketing. This continuous exchange of insights allows for rapid optimisation of campaigns, messaging, and targeting strategies. Marketers are familiar with “optimisation”. You know what to do.
Enhanced Customer Experience: Unification ensures a seamless and consistent customer experience across all touchpoints. From initial marketing interactions to post-sale support, every interaction reinforces the brand message and builds customer loyalty.
Achieving Unification: A journey, not a destination
Unification is not a one-time event; it’s an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort and commitment from both sales and marketing leadership. It involves breaking down organisational barriers, fostering a culture of open communication, and implementing technology that facilitates collaboration and data sharing.
Here are some key steps to achieve sales and marketing unification:
Establish a Unified Vision: Clearly define the shared goals and objectives for sales and marketing, ensuring that both teams understand their roles and contributions to achieving the overall business strategy.
Break Down Silos: Eliminate physical and metaphorical barriers between sales and marketing teams. Encourage co-location, joint brainstorming sessions, and regular cross-team communication.
Embrace Technology: Implement technology solutions that integrate sales and marketing data, enable real-time collaboration, and provide insights into customer behaviour and campaign performance.
Empower the Teams: Provide sales and marketing teams with the training, resources, and support they need to work effectively together. Encourage feedback and continuous improvement.
Measure and Celebrate Success: Establish clear metrics to measure the impact of unification efforts. Regularly celebrate successes and share learnings to reinforce the value of collaboration.
I’ve expanded on these points with a marketing automation filter:
Establish a Unified Vision: It’s easy for the marketing team to push ahead with multiple campaigns, tactics etc. However, meet with the sales team on a regular basis, understand their goals and look for effective ways to support their vision.
Break Down Silos: One of the best examples I saw years ago, was where a Dutch client merged the sales and marketing teams onto the same floor, literally sitting amongst each other. It helped break down silos and enabled each other to appreciate the work they did.
Embrace Technology: The technology used by both teams must be integrated. The most basic level is the CRM integrated with the marketing automation platform. In today’s world, this has to be a given.
Empower the Teams: Platforms like Oracle Eloqua contain a range of Sales Tools helping Sales have access to the most current and on-brand assets. (Read the Oracle Press Release below about Guided Campaigns)
Measure and Celebrate Success: Combined dashboards, sourcing data from the entire buyer journey is possible. Combing analytics from marketing campaigns and CRM opportunity management provides a full picture to the team.
Unification: The path to sustainable growth
Sales and marketing unification is not just a buzzword or a passing trend; it’s a fundamental shift in how businesses approach customer engagement and revenue growth.
By breaking down silos, fostering collaboration, and embracing a shared vision, companies can create a unified force that drives sustainable growth and customer satisfaction. In today’s competitive landscape, unification is not just a choice; it’s a necessity for businesses that aspire to thrive.
Oracle enables marketing and sales teams to accelerate revenue with Eloqua guided campaigns
The following is an excerpt from a press release following the Oracle Cloud World event in Las Vegas in September 2023. Oracle Eloqua clients are well positioned to support the idea of sales and marketing unification with Eloqua Guided Campaigns.
“New application features to eliminate time-consuming coordination for marketers and deliver conversation-ready opportunities directly to sellers.
Oracle CloudWorld, Las Vegas—September 19, 2023
Today Oracle announced new Guided Campaigns features within Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX) that help improve efficiency and collaboration between marketers and sellers. The new features can guide marketers through a simplified campaign builder to launch hyper-targeted, high-quality campaigns designed to generate pre-qualified and conversion-ready opportunities for the sales team.
Marketing and sales teams often operate with different goals and philosophies, and this misalignment negatively impacts revenue. To align marketers and sellers on the same priorities, Oracle Guided Campaigns simplifies how users build and launch campaigns – from audience selection to engagement tactics, content selection, and measurement. The application now enables marketers to launch brand-approved campaigns targeted at high-value customers with a high-propensity to buy. Sellers receive pre-qualified, conversation-ready opportunities with buyer intelligence they can act on.”*