Aligning Sales and Marketing During Times of Crisis
COVID-19 is forcing UK businesses to work from home, meaning sales and marketing can become misaligned. Here's how to align your teams in times of crisis.
Published: 30 Apr 2020
5 minutes read
Many businesses find that aligning sales and marketing activities can be difficult even at the best of times. Given the current situation, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the majority of UK businesses to work from home, this task is more challenging still. It’s still possible to ensure that your sales and marketing is aligned in the current climate, but to do so may require businesses to embrace adaptation in the way they work.
Like most businesses, at Axon Garside we have also faced this challenge. As a result, we’ve listed some of the best ways to ensure your sales and marketing teams and processes are aligned during times of crisis.
Communication is Key
First things first, the bread and butter of aligning your sales and marketing is constant clear communication. This can be difficult, especially when everyone is working from home, which is why businesses need to start adapting using technology.
If you don’t have one already, a company wide instant messaging system is vital in these times. Systems such as Slack are quicker and more efficient than emails - allowing for instant, easy communication across teams! These systems also allow you to create different rooms or groups, for example you can create a channel for your sales and marketing departments to discuss and share progress and news. In the current climate, this is invaluable to ensuring activities are aligned, as it allows for workers to share crucial information and updates.
Instant messaging systems allow team members to handover sales call notes, communicate information about leads, and share activity updates in a much quicker and more convenient way than emails. Essentially, the convenience of these systems means that your sales and marketing teams are more likely to communicate this information as and when, which can ensure leads are capitalised on. Further to this, you can use a CRM to store all information about prospects in one useful place. If you have a system that updates in real-time, you never need to worry about info being out of date, or calling a prospect without the right knowledge - it's all in one place, instantly.
Manage time effectively
In times of crisis, not only do businesses have to deal with their workforce being separated from the office, but also the economic effect that can send clients and customers into panic stations. As a result, many businesses are finding that workloads are fluctuating, and that employees are having to do different tasks than usual, or spending longer on tasks than they normally would. This can have a significant effect on the outputs of your sales and marketing teams.
A task and time management system provides a straightforward way of ensuring everyone’s work is documented and workloads are visible, which is essential in times like these where everyone is working separately. Systems such as Teamwork allow workers to allocate tasks along with estimated times, allowing people to plan their activities and reallocate appropriately, ultimately helping ensure your clients work is being done on time and by the right people.
A time management system also means that deadlines are understood by each team and that everyone is on the same page on what needs to be done, by who, and when. This means that marketing teams can have visibility on what sales teams are doing and vice versa, so that they can adjust their own auctions and decisions based on this. Ultimately, this leads to a better understanding of how to align their outputs to generate results.
Follow a process for time management
One of the most important parts of aligning your team when working from home is making sure that everyone is marching to the same beat. Ensuring a standardised process for time management is in place is a vital aspect of this.
Implementing a standardised time management processes can be difficult, especially if you have a lot of workers in your business. And it’s more difficult considering the current situation, however the current need to work from home is also why implementing and following a process is more important now than ever to ensure that everyone’s time is managed effectively and accounted for.
Use a CRM as a centralised point of truth
When everyone is working from home, it can be hard to tell what’s going on outside of your team. As a result, unless there is a system in place to provide visibility for your team’s activity, processes can easily get misaligned and potential opportunities for sales or marketing can be missed. One of the best ways of remedying this visibility issue is by using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
Cloud-based CRM systems provide businesses with the ability to see all the activity of the various teams in the business, as well as ensure that customer data is stored securely, and that your customers are being cared for, no matter where they are.
But more than anything else, CRMs provide one of the most crucial aspects of sales and marketing alignment - accountability. If you’re using the right CRM properly, you’ll be able to see the sales marketing activity of each team and each worker in your business. The best CRMs record every email sent and every action taken by everyone in the business. This is invaluable, as it allows you to see the output and activity of everyone in your sales and marketing teams, which in turn allows you to identify where the teams are misaligned.
Are your sales people not following up on marketing leads? Your CRM will show you. Similarly, CRMs also log where opportunities are being capitalised on and converting. In short, CRMs are an essential part of providing visibility and accountability, aligning your sales and marketing teams in the process.
One of the best CRMs on the market is Hubspot CRM. Not only does Hubspot offer a variety of packages to suit your unique business needs, they also offer a free version of their CRM for businesses just getting started.
To learn more about the differences between CRMs, including what sets Hubspot apart, download our informative guide.