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How well integrated CRM can drive Digital in a B2B environment?

As B2B organizations that are high up the value chain or have very long sales cycles start to explore digital channels, the promise of better measurement, more accurate targeting and high efficiency is not being realized for most companies.  Whilst the pinpoint accuracy achieved by many ecommerce-based companies and retailers may not be a realistic expectation, I have yet to work with a company that wasn't able to make significant improvements in this space.

One of the most common issues that prevent B2B companies from realizing their full digital potential is a lack of closed loop between sales and marketing, often the result of siloed sales and marketing organizations and systems. Two quick wins in these situations are:

1.     Integrate your web analytics and sales crm tools
Tracking digital activity into the sales funnel of a crm tool requires a well designed integration of your web analytics and crm tools. The ability to trace customers from web activity (Campaigns, A/B testing, Referring sites, SEO, etc) into a formal Lead Management system is extremely valuable. By maintaining tracking codes through the sales funnel, both the quantity and quality of sales leads generated from all your digital marketing efforts can be measured at each stage, from raw lead through nurturing to closed sale. This visibility enables big improvements in Media Mix Optimization for the marketing team, as they can now measure results from each channel, campaign and site improvement.

2.     Create a single sales and marketing funnel that uses collaboration and shared goals
In situations where the sales cycle is very long, it is often still possible to rank the quality of a new lead and estimate potential revenues early on.  Most sales teams do this instinctively, if not formally, and creating business process to capture this data is a relatively simple change management task.  When sales teams are ranking leads, designating their status (needs more nurturing, abandon, ready for closing, closed, etc.), and your systems can maintain the integrity of the analytics tags on each lead, the marketing and sales funnels can be joined.   
Creating this clear, single view of cause and effect throughout the cycle lets both sales and marketing teams learn how their work affects one another and, most importantly, how they can benefit by collaboration.  By setting shared goals, such as increasing the number of qualified leads, the marketing team is motivated to study analytics in the sales funnel and take sales advice and the sales team is motivated to ensure tracking and Lead data are entered accurately so marketing teams can optimize their efforts- delivering sales more and better leads.

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