Flexible systems instead of data silos – the basis for cooperation between marketing and sales – eCommerce Magazin


Due to a lack of cooperation in departments, synergies remain unused, which can result in losses in sales. But how is it better? Are an important adjustment screw common IT tools and a uniform database. Because if you want to prevent divisional thinking, you also have to avoid data silos. The dissolution of such data silos also has other advantages: For companies, the importance of customer centricity is growing continuously.

In order to really understand the wishes and needs of customers, an appropriate information base is essential. That is why it is all the more important to have all the information available about the customers about each Communication channels collect, merge, analyze and evaluate. This only works with an overarching tool to which employees from departments such as Marketing and Sales have direct access.

Data silos: Separate databases lead to distorted perception

Only such uniform data form the basis for a common understanding of the customer, because: If Marketing and Sales have separate databases, they each only see a specific section – and accordingly often have one different customer understandingwhich makes it difficult to coordinate with each other. Sales have information on actual buying behavior, while marketing knows the visible preferences of customers – and these do not necessarily have to be congruent. A comprehensive understanding of the customer is only created by combining these two points of view. This not only optimizes marketing and sales itself, but also improves products, for example. A common database can increase the company’s success in several ways.

But in many companies this does not yet correspond to reality, as the recently published study “The State of Sales-Marketing Alignment 2021“Evidenced by Freshworks. According to the report, both marketing and sales would like a common direction and 90 percent of the executives surveyed state that Marketing and sales goals should be coordinated – but only 44 percent believe that this corresponds to reality.

More leads through more coordination?

A lack of coordination between the two areas harbors dangers for companies, as the study shows: Inadequate cooperation results in twice as high a probability of suffering a 20 percent loss in sales. A reason for the bad coordination among each other? The lack of consistent data about customers. What kind of information the employees actually want varies depending on the area: Sales is primarily interested in leads and extensive information about the customers, so over 59 percent of the sales force would like more transparency about the activities of potential customers in the Upper Funnel, 34 percent would like a higher quality of leads and 24 percent would simply like to have more leads.

In addition, the employees in sales expect more information from the marketing area. 24 percent would like more data on brand awareness and 22 percent would like more information about competitors. And what about marketing? Here, 71 percent of those surveyed demand greater transparency about information from sales, over half would like sales to use the CRM system consistently and maintain the data in it better, as well as clear reports on the development of leads and other results from sales activities.

Data silos: who is in control of the data?

The results from the two areas show: The problem lies in the data or in the lack of insight into the information of the other. Marketing has sovereignty over data from the upper funnel, sales from the lower funnel, i.e. sales. Better linking and alignment offers great benefits. More than 70 percent of those questioned said that working together would increase work performance. Exchange of information is therefore the key word.

In addition to joint meetings, the software basis plays an important role: Modern CRM software is required that combines CRM, marketing, sales functions and all relevant data and can be used by both teams. Such a solution enables companies to overcome data silos. And with cross-team data management, a uniform basis is created – and optimal use of information is made possible.

This not only creates the basis for satisfied teams and better collaboration between marketing and sales. As a result, customers in particular can be addressed more individually and more successfully, their needs optimally met and relationships with them strengthened in the long term. This paves the way for long-term corporate success.

Also read: Customer service: In the Covid-19 pandemic, customers are more demanding and more empathetic

Freshworks data silos
Jens Leucke is General Manager DACH at Freshworks. (Image: Lina Zangers)

About the author: Jens Leucke is General Manager DACH at Freshworks. The company offers innovative customer loyalty software that helps teams win, convince and retain customers for life. The SaaS solutions offer a 360-degree view of the customer, are ready-to-use, easy to use and offer a quick return on investment. (sg)