Sales 2.0 tools that help align Sales and Marketing

11-Jan-2010, posted ‘Sales 1.0 vs Sales 2.0: Tools That Help Align Sales and Marketing’:

“The seemingly endless turf battle between sales and marketing is among the more useless behaviors in corporate America. Fortunately, Sales 2.0 helps eliminate the conflicts by bringing the activities of the two groups into closer alignment. Here’s how:

Lead Generation

Sales 1.0: Sales and marketing argue about the quality of the leads that marketing passes to sales. Marketing might, for example, attend a trade show and hold some sort of drawing, allowing the company to “harvest” a set of business cards. Unfortunately, such practices require the sales team to weed through numerous contacts in order to find one or two who might actually purchase.

Sales 2.0: Tools such as InsideView,, Salesgenie, and Engage B2B help companies capture more and better leads. Leads gathered through lists and trade shows can be enhanced with additional information, including listings of trigger events that might make a company more likely to buy. Current leads can be compared to previous leads to statistically determine which current leads are more likely to close. And leads can be put into a nurture pipeline for additional contacts, emails, and telemarketing. As a result, leads are fully qualified before they’re passed to sales and, when passed, include enough information to help determine which leads are likely to close.

Customer Engagement

Sales 1.0: Sales and marketing argue about the sales team’s ability to close leads. Marketing believes that it’s provided sales with opportunities that should be easy to close, but sales has not followed through. What results is an endless round of finger-pointing, with sales blaming marketing for providing bad leads, even though sales never found out whether the leads were good or not.

Sales 2.0: Such sales-engagement tools as InsideSales and ConnectAndSell make it easier for sales to contact prospects and move opportunities forward. Web-conferencing tools such as Citrix, GoToMeeting, and WebEx, and social-networking tools such as Jigsaw, LinkedIn, and Plaxo provide sales with additional ways to reach prospects.

Similarly, mobile CRM applications and devices, such as the iPhone and RIM Blackberry, help ensure that sales remains in contact with customers as the sale moves forward. Most importantly, because all of these engagement activities are measurable, sales and marketing management can use analytic tools such as Cloud9 and Birst to measure the effectiveness of sales efforts, thereby ending the arguments before they start.

Customer Messaging

Sales 1.0: Sales and marketing argue over which messages should be communicated to prospects and customers. Marketing spends money on materials and advertising, trying to create a consistent brand that will grow in value over time. Meanwhile, sales rewrites and reworks those messages in order to make them more practical as sales tools. Unfortunately, those field messages never make it into the marketing materials, leaving the company with two conflicting messages.

Sales 2.0: Such sales-process tools as Kadient and Brainshark [also see ‘work in progress list of sales enablement vendors‘] create a repository of effective messages and materials while encouraging content creators to communicate with each other about what’s working in the field and what’s falling flat. As a result, sales and marketing begin to collaborate on messaging in a real-time environment, rather than simply argue about which messages make more sense.

Sales Compensation

Sales 1.0: Sales and marketing argue about which opportunities and customers should be pursued and what offerings should be sold. Marketing may wish to build a presence in a new market by developing strategic customers and partnerships or by moving a strategic product into a high-visibility account. Unfortunately, sales may not have such goals or be compensated on accomplishing those strategic goals and therefore remain focused on tactical sales issues.

Sales 2.0: Compensation-management tools such as Xactly allow management to change compensation plans quickly in order to match strategic goals. Because the sales teams are immediately informed of the changes and can determine the impact of their day-to-day activity on their compensation packages, sales can respond far quicker to changes in strategic direction. This aligns a company’s selling behaviors with its strategic marketing goals, thereby avoiding confusion and argument. […]”

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