- The confused relationship between sales and marketing departments when it comes to delivering on true multi-channel customer experiences is hampering brands' strategies, according to a report from the CMO Council, SAP Hybris and SellingPower magazine that was made available to Marketing Dive. Only 7% of sales leaders and 9% of CMOs view themselves as owners of the customer experience, the groups found.
- Delivering a multi-channel customer experience blurs the lines between sales and marketing relationships, with both groups understanding and cooperating on what's needed to accomplish their goals but neither group wanting to take on the lead or the risks associated, the report said. Because neither group wants to claim a leadership role, this vital revenue-generating opportunity area is being left without oversight and collective direction.
- One issue is few sales or marketing leaders think they have the tools or technology to drive an organization-wide strategy. Thirty-five percent of sales execs and 38% of marketing execs said data and customer intelligence are limited to insights pulled from within sales or marketing. Fewer than 25% of sales leaders and 39% of marketers believe they have total access to a comprehensive customer view.
In the past, sales and marketing alignment was more of a corporate challenge, with sales teams wanting leads in quantity and marketing relegated to a more creative role. Digital marketing has changed that dynamic as CMOs take on more technology-oriented responsibilities, frequently becoming the main purchasers of marketing automation solutions and other products that are key pieces of connecting company databases with CRM software. But even though sales and marketing teams are working more in concert today, the "Customer Experience Dynamics: Defining the Requirements for a Strong CX Ecosystem" study offers proof that there is still great work to be done, especially considering neither department is willing to take full control of the reins when it comes to delivering on great multi-channel experiences.
The report pointed out that both sales and marketing are working toward growth-centered goals: 37% of sales leaders are looking to acquire new customers and 21% want to increase the win rates of forecasted opportunities. On the other hand, 28% of marketing leaders are looking to accelerate revenue growth across their organizations and 20% are looking to optimize their customer experience strategy. Both generally agree on the definition of the customer experience at 61% for sales and 57% for marketing.
If they both agree on what the ideal customer experience should be, what is the best solution for filling the gap in actually producing it? The report suggests sales and marketing need to do more than better align themselves but also collaborate to "to develop and deliver exceptional, personalized and contextual experiences." Additionally, there should be a willingness to assume leadership roles in customer experience journey strategies, along with an establishment of trust to follow the lead of the CMO and the chief sales/revenue officer throughout a given organization.