Five ways to start modernizing sales and marketing

Having been in marketing for 17 years, I can attest to the traditional divide between sales and marketing.

In the early days of my career, I spent plenty of time trying to get sales to follow up on the leads generated at tradeshows and events and through marketing campaigns I had driven. My experience was that sales often thought the purpose of marketing was to run events, create collateral and buy tchotchkes.

Sound familiar?

The good news is that as digital marketing evolves, this trend is slowly changing. The latest Microsoft sponsored research from IDC in the newly released Part 3 in the Modern Microsoft Partner Series: Modernize Sales & Marketing, has shown that the most successful, profitable cloud partners are now investing deeply in modernizing sales and marketing strategies, and connecting them together.

Why modernizing sales and marketing matters

In order to reduce costs and maximize cloud profitability, it is critical that you modernize your sales and marketing to create a streamlined, integrated engine that attracts prospects and converts them into customers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The IDC research on modernizing sales and marketing, part of the Modern Microsoft Partner series, highlights the concept of a connected sales and marketing engine: several of the top cloud partners interviewed in the study highlighted the sentiment that “everyone is in marketing.”

 As a career marketer, this is music to my ears.

How to start modernizing sales and marketing teams

Ready to get your sales and marketing teams to work more closely? Here are five ideas on where to begin:

1. Build your company and product value proposition together.

Everyone in your organization has a unique perspective on customer needs and how your solution addresses them. Get your sales, marketing, and delivery teams together to create a business value proposition from those combined perspectives.

2. Create a customer journey map.

Once your value proposition is established, brainstorm the customer buying process and discuss key pieces of content you’ll need to move the customer through each step.

3. Develop a sales and marketing scorecard and set clear goals for reducing the sales cycle.

One of the benefits of digital marketing is the inherent ability to track results. Set clear goals associated with reducing the cost of the sales cycle and put a measurement system in place to track your progress.

4. Establish an all-hands-on-deck social strategy.

Task your marketing department with educating and engaging the sales team in social selling and establishing themselves as thought leaders. Aggregate content for the sales team to share easily.

5. Reward partnership between sales and marketing.

Build a culture of partnership between sales and marketing by rewarding customer wins, achieving shared goals, and collaborating. Rewards can be as simple as a free lunch, coffee cards, or a spotlight email you craft.

Download Part 3 of the Microsoft Modern Partner Series: Modernize your sales and marketing to see more best practices and insights into how you can better integrate the customer journey into your operations, establish a winning content strategy, and hire and compensate a leading sales force. You can also download the full Modern partner series on the Partner Profitability page.

Then, check out Smart Partner Marketing for partner best practices, tips, and ideas on how you can begin modernizing your sales and marketing based on your starting point and available resources.

Please feel free to reach out any time via email, Twitter, or LinkedIn with questions, feedback or ideas!