Now that CMOs have a seat at the revenue table, there is also pressure to prove ROI. Since the only true measure of ROI is sales, it’s imperative that the marketing and sales leaders are aligned around key objectives and goals to truly prove their contributions to the bottom line. Here Rishi Dave, CMO at Dun & Bradstreet, talks Finance Monthly through the matter.
While sales and marketing teams have made great strides in recent years to better align their outreach to customers, there is still a huge disconnect between the teams and, more importantly, between sales and marketing and the customer. Our recent study showed that, despite increases in new technologies and a proliferation of data and insights, 57% of marketers still find their biggest challenge to be identifying their target customer and the average sales person spends over two hours researching a prospect before making contact. Why are those numbers not improving in lock step with the growth of sales and marketing enablement technologies?
One reason could be the lack of alignment between the sales and marketing departments. And I don’t just mean the age-old disagreement of what’s a good lead and what is considered an opportunity. While those things are important, businesses in this digital world really have to consider aligning around the most foundational element the companies have – and that’s data.
Especially in an environment like Fintech, where we’re dealing with a vast, untapped or underserved community of small businesses, it’s crucial that marketing and sales are aligned on the definition of the B2B prospect – who are our best customers, and where will we find more of them. It’s not just a lead list of businesses and locations: it’s crucial to understand the key factors that will drive a positive sales and marketing engagement, and increase the chance of sales conversion. Factors such as:
- Target profile (age, size, line of business);
- Risk / credit worthiness;
- Changes in behavior (growth, decline, event triggers, etc.);
- Business family relationships.
In the best of circumstances, using analytics, existing customer profiles based on known behaviour, and unknown behaviour from alternative data sources, all brought together to the business entity level, can be used to create advanced marketing models that will target best prospects with precision.
Businesses can also ensure alignment by implementing a master data strategy across the organisation. This may sound daunting, but all it really means is making sure the data you have is structured, cleansed and connected across the company so that insights can be surfaced to the right people at the right time in order to make better business decisions. And, you can start easily by cleaning one app, like CRM, and growing from there.
With a connected view of all customers and prospects, sales and marketing teams are able to make better holistic decisions about each account- decisions which can lead to revenue growth – the ultimate proof of ROI.