by Mary Koberstein, Integrated Marketing Practice Lead
Experiences matter. While the rise of digital commerce and marketing provides more opportunity for brands to deliver 5 star digital experiences to every customer – both consumers and businesses – it also elevates the stakes when they get it wrong. According to Salesforce, 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. That puts a much larger burden on today’s marketers who are masterminding those experiences. It also puts them square in the driver’s seat of his or her organization’s destiny.
Working across teams, domains, and channels, marketers are the organizational glue that integrates workflows and goals across departments to provide great customer experiences. In doing so, many B2B marketers face three common challenges: aligning marketing and sales, unifying customer data, and measuring results and ROI.
Challenge #1: Aligning Marketing and Sales To Increase Engagement And Conversion
One of the most common, almost storied, challenges that marketers face is creating sales and marketing alignment. Organizations of all sizes encounter the issue in varying degrees. Oftentimes sales and marketing teams don’t align on strategy, coordination, and execution of account-based marketing strategies.
As a result of this breakdown, sales and marketing data is often housed separately with little to no insight across teams causing their CRM database to be flooded with cold and dormant leads that the sales team is unable to nurture or qualify. Ultimately, the teams also end up measuring success based on different metrics.
To solve this, companies can align marketing and sales teams through joint, collaborative efforts like account-based marketing strategies, and streamline the lead generation, qualification and conversion to sales process – brought to life through Salesforce and Pardot. With unified data in Salesforce and Pardot, sales and marketing teams can agree on the key qualifiers for moving customers through the marketing and sales process, all the way from anonymous visitors to known contacts. Using Pardot’s lead scoring (measuring engagement) and lead grading (measuring personas’ propensity to buy), marketers can customize scoring in Pardot to qualify accounts and create triggers to sales reps when they’re ready for activation.
Seamless integrations of Pardot with Demandbase help supplement account data and information for activation with leads and contacts. Salesforce Engage streamlines how sales and marketing work together on account-based efforts. With this tool, sales reps can receive alerts anytime their lead engages with marketing assets (ex: emails, forms or landing pages). Additionally, Salesforce Engage allows sales teams to add their cold leads to nurture programs so marketing teams can better qualify and warm up prospects.
Challenge #2: Unifying Customer Data and Balancing Personalization vs. Privacy
Missing or siloed data inhibits a 360-degree view of the customer and the ability to provide contextual, personalized omni-channel customer experiences. It also risks data privacy infringement.
Marketers are tasked to drive personalized experiences and anticipate customer needs, beyond basic email subject line personalization, but lack the central view of customer data to effectively capture data and segment customers based on their interests, demographics, and engagement with B2B companies. The infinite number of possible customer journeys across digital channels make it difficult to identify customers in omni-channel environments, especially when B2B teams are focused on account-based efforts or customer buying teams. While customers expect personalized engagement and ‘Amazon-like’ experiences, they are concerned about privacy, data use policies, and how their data is being used.
Fortunately, Salesforce’s Customer 360 tool (currently in beta with select customers) enables companies to connect Salesforce apps and create a unified customer ID to build a single view of the customer. Customer 360 also leverages MuleSoft functionality to connect any data source or device, removing the barrier of cross-platform data unification and Salesforce’s customer consent policies – addressing data privacy concerns.
With Salesforce Customer 360 in place, marketers can apply advanced audience segmentation to identify specific customer groups to target through personalized marketing messages. Pardot activates that personalized customer engagement with the use of dynamic content blocks and Engagement Programs, while Einstein Insights (Salesforce’s AI capabilities), identify key opportunities to optimize campaigns and drive business outcomes.
Challenge #3: Measuring revenue & ROI to Report marketing’s effectiveness on the business.
CMOs are making large investments in their MarTech stack, but struggle to tie together systems and report on ROI. Often, pipeline optimization is simplistic with little tracking to determine marketing effectiveness and sales follow through. Marketers need to move from tracking impressions, clicks, and leads to configuring reports and dashboards to measure marketing and sales effectiveness, revenue attribution and deliver insights into which audiences, campaigns, channels and content are most successfully driving business results. Marketers are tasked with closing the loop on lead generation, but struggle to align the conversion point with advertising and email marketing channels.
With Salesforce B2B Marketing Analytics, marketers can break down data silos and connect third–party data to create that digital thread across channels and devices to deliver conversion tracking and accurate attribution. Aggregating marketing and sales data into one dashboard allows marketers to measure his or her effect on revenue and justify their investments in paid efforts and platforms. B2B Marketing Analytics provides the foundation for intelligent insights into customer journey performance and optimization to drive conversions from lead to sale.
At the end of the day, B2B marketers are challenged to connect the dots across multiple internal stakeholder teams including commerce, experience management, and sales and service. Integrated marketing, and the tools that enable its success, are glue that enable superior, five–star customer experiences. But it takes participation by each department to make it work. The tools will only be as successful if they were configured correctly to meet your organizations needs and if they’re used effectively. Sales has to ensure clean outreach and account data. Commerce and experience management systems have to tie back to marketing reporting systems. And leadership has to support trial and error so that marketers can test and learn which tools, messaging, channels, and content works best to drive real business outcomes.
Learn how Avionos has helped its clients get the most out of their Salesforce platforms:
- Approach integrating Pardot with Demandbase to supplement account data,
- Leveraged Salesforce Engage to streamline how sales and marketing work together on account-based efforts,
- Plan for implementation of Salesforce’s Customer 360 to enable clients to connect Salesforce apps and build a single view of the customer,
- Connected any data source or device using MuleSoft.