Competitive advantage: how to achieve it through alignment between marketing and sales

Research co-created by Resultados Digitais, Mundo do Marketing, Rock Content and B2B Sales brings data on the maturity of digital marketing and sales in Brazil. Check out 4 insights for your agency to get ahead!

For nearly three years as team member of Blue World City and for six months working with accounts that requested cancellation of RD Station and almost invariably also the contract with agencies, The experienced team of agro farmhouses can guarantee that one of the most common statements is: I didn’t see results. This perception was proven by the Maturity Survey of Digital Marketing and Sales in Brazil, an initiative by Resultados Digitais, Mundo do Marketing, Rock Content and B2B Sales.

More than 1,000 teams were approached and 41.8% of respondents said they had difficulty proving their return on investment in digital marketing. Looking at the glass half full, we cannot forget that 94% of them chose digital marketing as their growth strategy, that is, the demand, opportunity and investment exist. But then where is the account not closing?

Your Agency’s Role in the Blue Ocean

The study consolidated data that confirm a very recurrent feeling in this service area focused on customer retention: the lack of alignment between marketing and commercial and the generation of recurring demand for new business for the customer. By realizing this crucial issue for the success of a digital marketing project, your agency can gain a competitive advantage, moving from being just a service provider to achieving the position of a client’s business partner.

One of the ways to make a difference is evident, as, according to the survey, the challenge for 69% of companies this year is to convert contacts into customers. Is your agency prepared to help in this process and make a difference?

The numbers only reinforce that going beyond clicks, likes and views become essential for marketing agencies that want to retain customers and increase their profit margin (both yours and your client’s). Therefore, I bring below some tips for your agency to get ahead, gaining a competitive advantage and contributing to the locking of your client portfolio.

4 tips to promote alignment between marketing and sales and achieve competitive advantage

Learn about the business model and commercial operation

Yes, it takes vision beyond reach! From the moment of a briefing meeting and throughout the life of a client with your agency, knowing the market context in which they are located and what makes their business grow or shrink is essential for the marketing work to be more assertive and gain relevance. To avoid possible “snares” and not have to cry over spilled milk in the not-too-distant future, your agency needs to have this mindset since the pre-sales, seeking:

  • Define the Ideal Client Profile for your agency, in order to more easily identify the leads with the greatest potential to become successful clients with the service you offer;
  • Consolidate a lead qualification process, that is, carry out the search for ICP, using the channels that they deem most interesting. Also, applying inbound marketing to the agency itself, why not? Thus, it reduces the acquisition cost and also ensures the entry of more aligned customers.

With inbound marketing applied to the agency, it is possible to understand a little better about the prospect’s commercial operation and how the demand generation structure works, while he is still a lead. Those that turn out to be too immature should be discarded or nurtured by marketing, if there is potential.

Did you know that only 9.5% of companies have Marketing, Sales and After-Sales tools fully connected in a strategic way and that most companies have less than 5 salespeople (42.6%)?

These are factors that can impact your marketing operation and the presentation of results that prove the ROI of the project. Inbound marketing allows you to know this reality beforehand and, with this, your agency will be able to act preventively in the entry of misaligned clients, as well as in prioritizing those who have a more favorable context to deliver success.

Validate an SLA and qualify leads

Digital marketing is widespread and the Digital Marketing and Sales Maturity Survey in Brazil brought us data that leave no doubt about it. However, the big question is in relation to the delivery of satisfactory and real results with its use. That is, the guarantee that marketing really makes a difference in your customer’s pocket and escalation.

Almost half of the companies (44.5%) do not have delivery agreements between the Marketing and Sales areas. So, how do you know when a digital marketing project is doing well or poorly? Remember that, in the end, the contracts that will be renewed will be those that actually consolidate as a generator of revenue and not a source of cost.

As indicated by the survey, only 30.9% of respondents work with qualification or Lead Scoring, acting in the generation of recurring demand for the sales team. If your agency is not in this group, I regret to inform you that you are losing competitiveness in this blue ocean.

Consolidate process

It is clear, then, that your agency must see the client’s commercial area as an ally in delivering marketing success. As we know that there is an ideal client but very rarely a perfect one, be warned: the challenge will be great. There will be commercially immature clients too, and your agency can go a step further and help structure this by reviewing or building processes, workflows and playbooks. Does a dog work? From the! But, it is an investment to make your life easier in the future, believe me.

The difference your agency can make is huge, as in addition to training, training and best practices in consolidating the process between marketing and sales, it can also bring important technological references to optimize sales. According to the survey, 41.3% of teams still use a mix of basic, non-integrated and sometimes manual tools, such as spreadsheets, in this operation. Imagine what an integrated marketing automation tool and basic CRM can do!

Align, track, metric, realign

The challenges between marketing and sales, even though they have gained a layer of intelligence with the use of new technologies that help measure results, are also a matter of corporate culture and habits. The change in mindset in companies that historically generate demand in terms of volume, but that are not able to differentiate those contacts that have greater purchasing potential will not occur from one month to the next.

Therefore, adjustments will always be necessary, whether for an internal issue of the company or for the context of the market where your customer is inserted. Therefore, I recommend that your agency consolidates not an efficient and relevant reporting process for your client, but also an agenda that favors constant strategic alignment and monitoring of project performance.

Conclusion

We have to celebrate the fact that more resources are being allocated to digital marketing and expanding the growth opportunity for agencies in Brazil. But, without forgetting that conquering your place in the shadow presupposes making a difference. In other words, take a step forward, in that 40% of these companies generate demand, but do not have a well-defined agreement between marketing and sales on what could be considered an opportunity, and say: I’ll help you and we’ll grow together.

The success and retention of your client portfolio will be, in the medium and long term, linked to your agency’s competence to turn opportunities into sales on a recurring basis, through digital marketing projects, and consequently, to prove the ROI of your area.

Share with us what your team has achieved in this regard and what were the main lessons!