The most critical resource in our lives is time. However, the passage of time is out of our hands; seconds keep ticking away. Yet, how efficient we are at using our time determines whether or not we can do things better. When we spend time inefficiently, we take away from what we can truly accomplish. The question becomes: “How do we do things better to save time?” When we run a business, it’s important that we answer this question.
The interest in Sales, Marketing and customer service best practices starts when a business begins to grow. Suddenly, communication between departments is much harder to get right. When we have a smaller team, we can improve sales rep performance by working with them 1:1, improve marketing by teaching them how to produce better leads, and teach the customer service department how to better communicate with customers. But this isn’t scalable as we grow, and we become prone to inefficiencies.
According to Forrester Research, aligned organizations achieved an average of 32% annual revenue growth while less aligned companies reported an average 7% decline in revenue. When Marketing, Sales and customer service are collaborating from a central platform, they become more efficient, and don’t waste time on tedious, repetitive tasks. Let’s explore the ways we can improve work efficiency between Marketing, Sales and customer service with the aid of a centralized platform like Agile CRM for these three teams and their business processes.
The Importance of Alignment
DataMentors found that customers are willing to pay more for positive experiences — and for those companies who are delivering on this, research shows that the typical growth rate is double the rate of their competitors. Customer service has to be a natural extension of Sales, and Sales has to be a natural extension of Marketing if we want to streamline and make our small business more efficient.
The secret to being a successful company is fairly simple: Understand what your customers need, and deliver on it. Beyond this, creating a positive customer experience is equality important. After acquiring a sale, we have to keep the interaction alive. How do we make this happen? We do it by aligning Marketing, Sales and customer service.
Alignment happens when information is shared across the company. And when the three departments have access to data from a single place, this becomes possible and it saves time.
The importance of having a central place where all data is stored means having transparency. We have clear visibility into where every touchpoint has been made… What stage the lead is in… And what journey the lead took to get to where it is now. When we can positively answer these questions, we become more efficient in our business processes and activities.
Let’s look at the following tactics that will help our Marketing, Sales and customer service departments become more efficient, and more collaborative with the right technology.
By ensuring that the three teams are on the same page, it becomes critical to set common sets of definitions of what each stage of the sales funnel means. Everyone should know what the definitions are for each sales cycle stage. This enables businesses to map out the customer journey. Having clear communication between the three departments works when we work from a single platform that stores all customer data and touchpoints. Agile makes this happen.
2. Collaborate on marketing materials
It is said that Sales doesn’t use 60% of marketing material. Why? Because there is no central location where it is all stored. Without marketing material like email content, it becomes harder for sales teams to communicate with leads after they have become sales-ready. Furthermore, without access to history for customer service, it may be harder for service reps to understand each customer and their needs. Creating key company-wide marketing material, and making sure everyone has access to it at any given time results in efficiency. An all-in-one tool can do this.
3. Data integration
A major problem for many small businesses that are gradually growing is that their teams are working in data silos. Sales doesn’t have visibility to what interactions marketing have had with a customer, leaving customer support without an understanding of the conversation that took place before. By integrating data, it becomes possible to move beyond working in silos. And what technology can make that happen? An all-in-one CRM Agile CRM provides a shared record that all three departments can use. It becomes possible to move from data silos to a single repository made of data that’s accessible to all teams.
4. Weekly meetings
When we hold weekly prospect and lead review meetings with Marketing and Sales to review the quality of leads from a previous week, it becomes possible to ensure that everyone walks away knowing exactly what to do in relation to lead generation and customer management. When we involve customer service into the mix, receiving feedback about the customer experience post-sales reveals key insights into what may have been overlooked. Customer service becomes empowered to answer questions about customers and provide insight into Marketing and Sales efforts.
5. Unified goals
Keeping the lines of communication open between Marketing, Sales and customer service is critical for small businesses, and in order to improve work efficiency, there must always be a plan of having shared goals across the company. With shared goals, teams become more integrated and collaborative. And, ultimately, more efficient.
With the advent of marketing and sales technology came the realization that both teams can become substantially efficient when they are aligned. This isn’t a new concept. However, the conversation has been moving more and more towards the necessity to include customer service into the mix. And, for that to happen, technology has to be able to integrate these three teams together. However, we haven’t seen successful integration like this in other platforms. There hasn’t been a robust, all-in-one solution that creates a seamless transition for leads from Marketing, to Sales, and customer service. If you have realized that this is a necessity for your business, Agile CRM could be the tool to improve work efficiency in your company.