“Stop, collaborate & listen”

Jane Peacock, Chief Digital Fear Slayer

 March 2016

We all know that digital brought about opportunities to merge these two disciplines as the customer journey becomes more integrated from awareness and engagement (the space of marketing) through the customer connection and conversion (the space for sales). It’s no surprise really as we are speaking to one individual through that process and thus integrated seems obvious. Right?

I have worked with businesses to map this process and kick off a collaborative working group to solve this problem to the benefit of the company. But the road is not smooth. Traditional sales and marketing are not friends. There is often blame and finger pointing to find who is at fault. Who is the cause of the problem? They have historically operated in silos — often competitive and antagonistic. Just ask a marketer what they think of the sales team and visa vi.

Recently HBR shared an article that provided some interesting insights into the challenges of forcing two opposites to collaborate. Regardless of having a clear strategic direction, focus when it comes to the revenue impact, and an action plan to bring the teams together, HBR notes that there is often a “collaborative blind spot”.

Link to article here


“Businesses … forget to consider how the groups they are asking to work together feel about the request… being told to break down walls, divulge information, sacrifice autonomy, share resources, or even cede responsibility that defines them as a group…. these groups feel threatened by such demands.”

At #partnersindigital, we solve this challenge by working with each individual to understand their goals, needs and barriers. We then created a workshop environment that enables each to contribute to a solution that solves their problems and creates visibility to achieving their goals through the creation of an integrated solution that meets the needs of the business.

A client recently underwent this process.

We mapped their entire customer experience from end to end.

We all then audited the experience form the customers perspective. Is it ideal? Is it delivering on their needs? Are we creating unnecessary complexity due to our internal systems, tools and processes?

We considered the process from a customer seeking information right through to purchasing a product or service. From the marketing function through to the sales function and beyond. As beyond that step, we lead back to the marketing function again as they are then in charge of keeping that customer engaged. Their job is to increase customer lifetime value.

We then co-created the ideal customer experience. They built the vision, and they owned the result. I was there as the enabler and translater to show what could be possible. To stretch their future vision bringing my experience working on 200+ projects. Why is that important? Because you need someone in the room, who knows what is possible. Who can answer the statement “It can’t be done. We have tried before” with…. it can be done and here is a story of how it WAS done. And to deliver that story with empathy and understanding to ensure the team takes that story and is inspired by the possibility rather than deflated by their lack of knowledge.

And the solution.

An integrated experience that cut the touch points from 17 down to 9. From 3–6 days to 12–24 hours to turn around a sale.

What did that mean for sales?

Less need for administration and followup. More time adding value through face to face contact. More time doing what they enjoyed. More time away from the computer. Better tools to do their job.

What did that mean for marketing?

More insights were flowing back from sales as to how the process could be optimised — more data inputs to show the opportunities to improve and evolve the customer experience — more opportunities to increase the customer lifetime value.

And most importantly, more insights from the front line. As marketing, we need that to ensure what we are communicating meets the needs of the customer. And who knows that better than that sales team who are speaking to them daily.

And most importantly, what did that mean for the business?

Increased profitability as the process was more efficient and saved time for both the sales and marketing team.

Increased growth as the sales team could then address more leads as they had more time and the marketing team could focus on improving customer lifetime value (CLV) beyond the one-off sale. In fact their goal collectively was to increase customer lifetime value by 20%.

So imagine that impact on the business to CLV alone.

Current customer lifetime value = $2000
2000 customers = $4,000,000
Impact on revenue of the new approach.
$4,000,000 + 20% = $4,800,000
Are you setting up a collaborative space for Marketing and Sales to share value and insights?

Do you know what the integrated system could look like?

If not, I can help! DM me or schedule a discovery call now to discuss how an integrated sales and marketing function can impact on the bottom line.

Want new articles before they get published? Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.