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Software Integration is Key to Uniting Sales, Marketing and Operations Departments

Listen to GreenRope CEO, Lars speak with Clark Buckner at TechnologyAdvice about setting up a proper vision and process for successfully implementing technology that can unite not just sales and marketing, but your company as a whole. 



TECHNOLOGY ADVICE: One of your big themes is not being afraid of integration. What are the keys to avoiding that fear? 

LARS: It's funny when you talk to consultants in the CRM space. They'll always tell you that the goal -- the holy grail -- is to get sales and marketing to talk to each other. But it's always easier said than done. Oftentimes you have conflicting goals and different ways that they measure themselves. Marketing may be measured by ROI on lead generation, and sales is measured by their conversion rates. A lot of times, those numbers aren't always driven by the same thing, so you have two different software pieces that are working to measure and produce that. This means you are going to get people that are not on the same page. So we try to create a system where that's integrated into a single software package. So the marketing directly influences sales and vice versa, by having all of those tools in a single system. Because we're able to help companies run more efficiently by breaking down those barriers, we really help them better understand the business model and they just run more efficiently. 

TA: What do you think are some of the positive outcomes of unifying the technology?

LARS: Three main things.

  1. Efficiency: I think that anyone who has worked in a company where you have different software packages that different people are using always struggled with, "How do I get my data out of one platform and into another?" We're used to exporting data out of one system, then maybe putting it into a spreadsheet, then having to mess around with that spreadsheet and then import it into another one. And so it takes a lot of time. If you have software that was automatically integrating, you wouldn't have to spend that energy on moving that data around.  
  2. Insight: When you're able to see on a dashboard what's happening in sales, marketing, and operations, as a manager you have a much better understanding of what your business is doing. You're able to measure more metrics in real time. And you can see what's working. What's not working? How is my sales team doing? What's the important thing that is actually driving my sales? And so it really focuses on that insight. If you're able as a manager of a company to have more insight into what your business is doing, you're able to guide the ship a little bit better.  
  3. A deeper understanding about your customers: With an integrated system you can go and see what's actually driving sales. What are the close rates? What does the funnel look like in real time? How does it relate to the different marketing efforts. Can you do A/B testing on your emails, on your website track, on your social media? Can you set up automation and drip campaigns and workflows to make sure that there's a consistent marketing experience? So all of these different pieces are all tied together, but they won't tie together unless everything's in one platform.  

TA:  How do you normally start that conversation and start moving towards the sales and marketing team’s adoption of a new way of working?

LARS: The first step really comes down to having a vision. So that really has to come from the top. Your leadership has to see the value in why integrating these different components together is so important. They have to be able to explain to the whole company there's a reason why sales and marketing and operations need to talk to each other.  

Once you get that buy in, then it's all a matter of getting the ‘how’ figured out. When you look to purchase CRM software or marketing automation tools, really take a close look at the value that the integration of information is going to bring to the entire organization. It's not just sales, it's not just marketing, it's operations and it's management and leadership and insight. When you take a holistic view of all of that, you're able to create a better vision for the whole organization and that really, that's our vision too.

TA:  How often do you anticipate a failure of an implementation if a businesses doesn't get that buy in on the front end? 

LARS: That number is pretty close to a 100 percent. When you look over at industry statistics, it's somewhere in the 60 percent of CRM implementations fail overall. When you're trying to build a salesforce automation, it's in the 80 percent range. 

When you have huge failure rates like that, it tells you that a lot of the ways that we think we should be doing business are either out of date or they just don't work with the way people work. It really comes down to having a relationship with your software -- the idea that your software actually is giving back to you. People don't like to be in relationships that are one way. They don't want to feel that all they're doing is putting data in just because their management tells them they have to. 

So what we found is that the more we can get more people to buy in on using an integrated marketing solution and sales solution, the more they're going to get data back that helps them do their job better. And when that happens, they're able to work more meaningfully, more efficiently, and they're able to grow their company, and grow their influence in their company— and in their industry — because they have access to all the right information. 

Listen to the entire show above in order to hear the full conversation, or download the show to listen later. You can subscribe to the TA Expert Interview Series via Soundcloud to get alerts about new episodes. You can also subscribe to just the CRM category. 



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