Businesses—like individuals—get one chance to make a first impression, and it had better be the right one. Those first few seconds of an interaction are of absolute importance since they can determine whether a business relationship will become a long-term success or a non-starter.
Unfortunately, many businesses find it extremely difficult to share this essential customer data between their marketing and sales departments in order to give the latter a clear picture of each customer before that all-important first interaction. This results in broken sales funnels costing companies millions of dollars in lost revenue from leaving a negative impact on customer relationships.
Further, several organizations have yet to realize that even basic details analyzed across a customer’s online journey can be instrumental in assisting sales teams to better meet the needs of that customer. We believe that sales teams need to be given the following information to help them increase their close rates and improve customer engagement:
- Time of interaction: This information can help sales teams determine the best time to reach back out to the client.
- Geographical insight: Knowing a customer’s location will help sales teams understand the client and his needs better.
- Persona and keywords searched: A customer’s search history can help sales teams determine exactly what he is looking for and how he landed on the company’s website.
- Content consumed: Having visibility into the whole customer journey will allow sales teams to better tailor the conversation to that customer and deliver complementary content rather than repeat information that the customer is already privy to.
- Number of visits to web page prior to conversion: This insight will help sales teams determine the customer’s level of interest in the company and his stage within the buying journey.
- Device used for search: The device used can shed light on the urgency of the need. For example, a customer accessing information on their smartphone might need the product or service immediately. However, determining the exact information the customer has already accessed from other channels may prove to be challenging.
- Predicted conversion rate from this marketing source: This knowledge can help sales teams prioritize their outreach to focus on the highest conversion opportunities.
With this information in hand, sales teams are able to better determine the stage of the buying journey a customer is currently in and establish whether a lead is ready for conversion or has been passed on prematurely. This is especially important since more than 70 percent of leads are lost because they are sent to sales before they are ready to buy.
Timely transfer of information between sales and marketing is not a one-way street. There are critical sales operational metrics and dispositions that can drive tremendous efficiencies in a marketing department’s online advertising spend.
Finally, the cross-pollination of information between sales and marketing should become embedded in the cultures of all organizations, helping brands to not only reach, but also exceed their sales goals by making sure that they are really meeting their customers’ needs.