Transform marketing and sales into unified revenue generation

  • Posted on August 17, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Transform marketing and sales into unified revenue generation

This article was originally written by Avanade alum Timur Asar.

Your customers don’t care that your marketing and sales teams are two separate organizations. They do care about the experience they have interacting with your business, though. They’re sure to notice the disruption that occurs due to your sales and marketing teams’ disconnection. If you want your customer’s buying journey to feel seamless, your sales and marketing efforts must be a seamless system.  

At its best, revenue generation is a unified initiative of people, processes, and technology working together to complete specific objectives. That’s always been the case. What’s changed is that, as more of the customer journey – especially in the business-to-business arena – is accomplished digitally, marketing’s responsibilities have moved further down the funnel. More than ever, Chief Marketing Officers are expected not only to make a measurable contribution to the lead pipeline but also to help advance prospects through different sales stages. 

Sales and marketing responsibilities are coming ever closer together. Each step along the prospective customer’s path to purchasing is an opportunity for sales and marketing to work together. Unfortunately, in too many instances, their tools, processes, and KPIs are working at cross purposes. The result is one missed opportunity after another and the often-heard cry of, “There’s got to be a way to do this!” reverberates across the organization.

That’s often when Avanade gets asked to help. The expectation is that perhaps the next new technology can solve the problem. It is true that marketing and sales technology continues to improve and to address additional challenges. But technology alone won’t do the trick. We can help with your technology and processes, but not without understanding the strategy, the data, and the KPIs and — crucially — the people and culture on which you’re basing your revenue generation efforts. In order for any external advisor to deliver digital marketing solutions that actually help instead of making the situation worse requires a company willing to help its advisors understand their complete revenue system. And the advisors have to be willing and able to learn. Successful digital transformation of the revenue generation function is, first, a systems thinking challenge.

Once your company’s revenue generation system and strategy is clarified, there are three key actions to prepare the ground for the addition of new marketing and sales technology and revenue transformation:

  1. Align revenue team KPIs. Examine your sales and marketing teams’ goals and key performance indicators side by side and unify them. If the behavior you need is a more aligned sales and marketing engine, measure those teams by better aligned metrics.

  2. Integrate revenue tools and data. You need an integrated set of tools and a common data set to operate as an efficient, unified revenue generation team. Before you add anything new, make sure your current digital marketing and sales tools are inherently interwoven (as is the case with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and its family of enterprise products) or that they’re as well synched as possible through effective APIs that enable data sharing across apps.

  3. Rethink your response to change. If your sales and marketing teams weren’t clicking before the pandemic, these days must be especially rough.  At the absurd pace of change now, even the way companies change is changing. Best if you can be intentional about your revenue team transformation and to communicate with empathy, clarity, and extreme frequency.  Because Avanade provides change management services to our clients, we see first-hand that it’s managing change isn’t an event that happens occasionally when new tech is implemented or some other big shift occurs.  It’s day-to-day.    

With a fuller vision of the revenue ecosystem and the right external partner, new digital marketing and sale solutions can be the unifying enabler of your business, not an obstacle. Contact us directly if you would like a friendly thought partner as you adapt your digital revenue generation efforts to fit the times.

Learn how to transform your digital marketing efforts in disruptive times with Avanade’s most recent guide and checklist.

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