Artificial Intelligence Marketing Blog
November
29
2016

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by Geoff Farris
CRO

How AI Can Close The Gap Between Sales and Marketing

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Strong collaboration between marketing and sales teams is critical, but the goals of the two departments often don’t align. Can AI bridge the gap?

No matter its size, a company cannot consistently generate and retain new leads without effective collaboration between its marketing and sales departments. Unfortunately, there are now more ways to reach the modern consumer than ever before, and the growth in digital specifically has changed how consumers want to be engaged — passive and irrelevant content that might have been sufficient before simply isn’t effective anymore.

As the goals of marketing have changed, it has become progressively more difficult to align them with those of sales teams, explains HubSpot. Unfortunately, this disconnect is taking place during a time when effective collaboration has never been more important. So how can companies facilitate inter-departmental cohesion?

Mind the Gap between Sales and Marketing

The disconnect between sales and marketing is often a result of the two departments’ differing priorities. For example, marketers might be more focused on content that educates the consumer and avoids directly addressing the brand, whereas the sales team wants to highlight brand-specific information, like reviews and testimonials.

According to a Gleanster report, there are a few basic practices that separate the top performing companies — those that “that achieve superior performance in revenue growth, response rates, and lead-to-sales conversion” — from all the rest. Not surprisingly, chief among those practices is effectively connecting marketing and sales teams, which the “Top Performers” tend to excel at.

What’s the secret to the success of these collaborative companies? Among other traits, Top Performers are four times more likely to adopt marketing automation tools. Still, 81% of those top performing companies believe they could be doing a better job of using customer data to bridge the gap between marketing and sales — even at the highest level of marketing proficiency, this is no easy task.

Building a Bridge

Because sales and marketing can use such distinct data to measure the efficacy of their work, a key first step is finding common ground. Agreeing on key performance indicators (KPIs) is a great place to start; however, the vast amounts of data unique to each department make it difficult to unite around the same KPIs. Each team must spend a tremendous amount of time and money collecting and interpreting the information relevant to their efforts — whether it’s click-through rates, conversion rates, revenue growth, or any other number of possible performance markers.

This only further deepens the divide between sales and marketing, but AI can do a lot to minimize the time and effort it takes to manage so much data. Albert™, the first AI marketing platform that tests, tracks, and analyzes information from across channels while simultaneously making that information accessible to every department. Moreover, AI integrates seamlessly into existing tech stacks, including a sales team’s CRM, immediately transforming it into a viable marketing tool.

Opening the Door for Collaboration with AI

In the same way, AI can help sales teams more effectively utilize leads generated from marketing. By taking into consideration unique customer preferences and pairing that information with learned consumer behaviors, AI can maximize both the reach of a marketing campaign and the likelihood of a conversion. In fact, according to IDG Enterprise, 86% of IT decision-makers say that once they have registered for a piece of content, a knowledgeable vendor follow-up impacts the chances of a sale. It is therefore critical that marketing and sales are aligned and up-to-date; AI ensures both.

Ultimately, AI’s most valuable contribution is freeing the two departments from the tedious and repeatable tasks that limit their collaboration in the first place. AI automates those time-consuming processes involved in monitoring the consumer journey, giving sales and marketing the space they need to develop a harmonious relationship.

To learn more about freeing up your marketing and sales team to focus on higher level problem solving download the recent white paper, How to Deliver Exponential Results to your Business.

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