For as long as marketing and sales departments have existed, they seemingly have been at odds. Sales wants more leads from the marketing team, while the marketing team accuse the sales people of rarely following up on the leads they pass along. After spending ample time in both marketing and sales roles, I think I’ve discovered the cause for this common discord, and it’s likely not what you think.
The Data Quality Connection
More often than not, a lack of cohesion between sales and marketing isn’t because one department is ineffectual and the other is lazy. The reality is that friction exists because these two crucial components of the business aren’t communicating properly. Yes, Outlook is working just fine. Rather, I’m talking about the data that these two groups collect, use, share, take action on and then analyze to determine success. If this data is incomplete, inactionable, or inaccurate, the link between marketing and sales is broken, causing friction, and a lack of performance for everyone involved.
Data Quality and Marketing
Storing marketing metrics allows marketers to do what they do best; tell the company’s story to current and prospective customers. The more accurate and insightful these metrics are, the more detailed this story can be, and by extension, the more effective. The insights gleaned from everything from individual social media posts to complete email marketing campaigns all help to paint a picture that shows who the company’s customers are, what they’re interested in, what they want to buy, and how they prefer to buy it.
Obviously, this insight helps the marketing department frame their messaging to deliver the customer experience that consumers demand.
Data Quality and Sales
Of course, this information also helps salespeople when marketing passes on leads to them. Salespeople should be informed of these consumer trends to help them meet their prospective clients’ needs. That is, of course, difficult to manage if this insight isn’t available to them.
Even the details associated with lead generation are susceptible to the effectiveness of data quality efforts. Leads generated by the marketing team that don’t have email addresses, phone numbers, company names or job titles associated with the prospect render a salesperson less than prepared, and likely to be less effective, in their follow up. As a result, the marketing teams think the salesperson isn’t following up, when in reality, they don’t have the information necessary to reach out to the prospect.
Data quality’s role in the success of not just your marketing and sales team, but your entire company is passed debating at this point in the era of data-driven business. But what CTOs, CMO, and Sales Executives need to realize is data quality’s role in helping each department within a company become successful so that each department, in turn, can provide the support required to put other departments in a position to succeed.
If you want to read more about data quality’s role within marketing, we have another excellent blog post on the subject here.