Aligning sales & marketing: 4 benefits to using self-serve competitive intel
Aligning sales and marketing: 4 benefits to using self-serve competitive intel
The relationship between marketing and sales historical has been pretty contentious, unlike other departments in an organization. Sales and Marketing share a common goal: create customer value and drive company revenue.
However, the equal division of labor doesn’t exist. Expectations from each side start to bubble up, and each becomes frustrated with the other. For sales teams, they believe marketing’s messaging is misaligned with reality and is creating missed opportunities. On the other side, marketing teams are frustrated with “rouge” salespeople running with outdated content and sharing misinformation, or content lacking relevance.
Common challenges between sales & marketing
We’ve all heard the rumblings: Lost deals result from marketing campaigns lack alignment with what salespeople heard during customer calls. Inefficiencies in how these teams function together can cost an organization thousands of dollars and hours of lost productivity – resulting in finger-pointing and no resolution.
As a group of marketers, we’ve experienced this first hand, but we wanted to understand it from a sales perspective. From our discussion with sales leaders across industries, we saw four common challenges:
- Identifying opportunities and industry gaps
- Creating offers and product features that resonate
- Crafting a customer journey and experiences based on insights
- Delivering valuable information to the right people at the right time
- Driving the right amount of urgency to compel action with out being pushy
Self-serve competitive intelligence is uniquely positioned to help address these challenges and build a bridge between marketing and sales.
Here are four ways of using competitive intelligence to build bridges:
1. Opens a transparent channel for communication
Collaborative cultures are all the rage. You can’t go to a company’s website or social page without seeing “Transparent and Collaborative Work Environment” plastered everywhere. However, it’s table stakes to have tools that facilitate teamwork. Competitive intelligence is a tool that enables not just collaborative conversations but valuable conversations.
Competitive intel is not a one-way channel. It needs to come from everyone. However, the time commitment required to collect and analyze insights manually makes the loop a tedious process. Automating the collection and allows teams to act on ideas and enables sales teams to provide direct feedback.
If providing feedback isn’t quick and easy salespeople won’t do it. They want as little friction in closing deals as possible. Barriers like communication are incredibly costly because insights from calls with customers are incredibly valuable.
For example, when an organization implements OKRs, leadership sets the business priorities, but each goal or activity doesn’t necessarily roll up to their direct management. Some OKRs are going to connect cross-functionally. Users need to be able to connect with what their peers are working on to prevent frustration, duplication, and missed opportunities.
Download our free At a Glance Sales Guide to make sure your sellers have the up-to-date information and help them beat the competition.
2. Improves the timing & delivery of valuable insights
Now that a transparent and open channel exists, what does it take to use it? The timing and delivery of relevant information is often a miss because delivery can be through any number of channels. What good is information if it’s not delivered consistently through the right avenues. However, intel on your competitors doesn’t follow a regular schedule and probably never will.
So it goes without saying that the emphasis should be on sharing insights with the right people when they need it most. Automation is a fantastic tool. We automate a lot of the customer journey as marketers, delivering value to them at every stage. So why can’t we create internal automation? Sharing relevant and timely intel on competitors when it’s available builds trust between marketing and sales. The sales team can trust that when new content is created or insights are sourced, that they’ll be delivered as soon as possible.
3. Highlights market gaps & creates opportunities for growth
In doing something as simple as automating insight delivery, the ability for your sales teams to take action improves. If a salesperson can guarantee that the most relevant and recent information is either being shared or will be shared, they’re more likely to act on it. This enables them to compete intelligently.
Sales teams and people will work with Marketing to establish a baseline, send feedback, and comments back through the communication loop. When competitive intel flows through the channels, execution becomes a flywheel. The sales and marketing functions work towards the same goal in unison rather than using valuable time and resources fighting each other.
When the flywheel is in full spin, the company can shift focus to identify market trends, address product gaps, and create opportunities for growth.
4. Influences the quality of leads & win rates
The same goes for marketing teams – by communicating intel through both ends strengths the intel being used to create content, campaigns, and programs. Leveraging intel in the development of messaging, unifies the experience a customer goes through when they’re talking to marketing and salespeople.
When a prospect hears one message from party A and another from party B, it creates friction. That friction can slow down, if not halt the entire sales cycle. With the overall goal being to close deals, reducing friction is the number one priority. It improves the quality of leads, reduces the sales cycle, and increases win-rates.
Using competitor intelligence in your qualification process can lead to better deals. Reps know when, where, and how to use the intel. However, this doesn’t excuse the salespeople from completing a competitive analysis once a deal has been won.
Competitive intelligence as a tool
A unified approach makes the customer journey smoother and helps build a bridge between marketing and sales. Having a self-serve competitive intelligence tool or system creates a bridge between these two teams that have historically been at odds.
At Medrio, enabling self-serve competitive intel starts from day one. Their marketing teams incorporate CI training into the onboarding process of new employees and equip salespeople with battle cards that function as a single source of truth. Astoundingly, Medrio was able to attain 30% year over year growth. With an aggressive growth goal, enabling sellers with competitive intelligence is critical to convey its unique value, dispel myths, counter comparative claims, and overcome buyer objections.
“With the Kompyte battle cards, sellers have access to the most up to date materials. These battle cards allow them to respond to questions, RFPs, and handle even the most challenging sales calls quickly – without questioning if the information is accurate.”
~James Allgood, Senior Product Marketing Manager
Although not all tension is terrible, and it can drive creativity within an organization – real-time competitive intelligence is critical. Losing deals when the information was available is just unacceptable. The flow of competitive intelligence between sales and marketing teams should be simple. Kompyte allows users to share insights, gain alignment, prioritize actions, and focus on initiatives and product features that matter to prospective buyers.
Sign up for a free trial to see how Kompyte can change the way you compete and produce great opportunities to create and sustain a competitive advantage.
Product Marketing Director
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