CiscoCorporate resources are often not used effectively, therefore losing out on sales opportunities, because processes are poorly coordinated. By connecting people, processes and data, however, unparalleled opportunities open up, such as for instance automated marketing that facilitates and structures the collaboration between marketing and sales which that way saves both time and money.

To serve customers the best way and to achieve as many sales conversions as possible, marketing and sales cannot work alone on their respective tasks. Rather, a collaboration between the two teams is essential for success. Otherwise, the enterprise resources are not used optimally. For instance, customers that are ready to buy often aren’t properly taken care of, sales does not know all the content that can be provided to contact partners, while the marketing does not know when the sales team needs support.

The solution for this dilemma is as follows:

  • Coordination and cooperation: The world's leading IT supplier of networking solutions, Cisco Systems, for instance, makes use of business opportunities of tomorrow to improve innovations and productivity. The company started a large-scale survey within the sales departments to get feedback about their cooperation with the marketing teams. The results were used to define processes and created the basis for a transparent cooperation. The sales cycles and the potential conclusions of a sales can be defined after a proper analysis of the sales processes and the collection of relevant information needed for a sale. In fact, it’s best to examine and evaluate all existing content first and then assign it to the respective phases of the buying decision.

  • Automated processes: Sales at Cisco uses the cloud platform Salesforce for its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to control its sales and opportunity management. Once a new potential conclusion of a sales opens up, it is the task of sales to research the information available in marketing consistent with this possible deal. Through the use of marketing automation, these manual searches can be run more efficiently as these operations were defined and automated. All content and processes are represented in a professional marketing automation system and are integrated within the Salesforce platform. That way, the data is analyzed automatically, using defined business rules, and the content is sorted according to key elements such as stage of the potential sales transactions, industry, architecture or product, and associated to sales opportunities. Then each salesperson receives an email in real-time with further information about his/her potential sales transactions with suggestions for context-related content, which can be made available to contacts. Accordingly, each contact can be well looked after and all potential sales opportunities are used effectively. In addition, it can be determined directly in the Salesforce software, whether this initiative has advanced the prospects’ purchase decision.

Thanks to Marketing Automation not only the cooperation between marketing and sales can be generally improved, the success can also be demonstrated in figures: The potential sales transactions, in the case of Cisco Systems, rose e.g. by 33%, encouraging the sales departments to continue intensively with the tools provided by the marketing team and giving them regular feedback.

Without automated processes and programs, studies show, sales people spend about eight hours per week to research relevant materials and information. Now, between 1,500 and 2,000 sales staff receive personalized email alerts on a regular basis, through this being able to increase their efficiency by more than 1,000 hours per week usually spent for internal search works and an estimated additional ten million dollars per year are now available for the actual task of sales: selling products and services.

By Daniela La Marca