There will be deadends, hurdles, and growing pains every time we change the status quo. But the struggle can pay off enormously when it comes to aligning internal organizations in marketing and sales (and customer service). But without looking at how it can be done most efficiently and effectively, no organization and no leadership should seek to make these changes. And change the internal processes that are non-braining. This is why digital transformation is critical for successful marketing and sales. However, it should be a primary focus so that the alignment will be more comfortable.
What Is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is, in its most basic terms, the process that an organization undergoes by integrating digital technologies into its everyday business processes.
In every company, the digital transformation process looks different. Still, in all cases, it means moving from analog to digital strategies to function more efficiently and better serve their customers. 80% of managers who have introduced digital transformation technologies say they can deliver better products and enhanced value.
Digital transformation does not just mean upgrading to a modern database. Or “moving to the cloud” your legacy paper record system (although it may include both of these things). Successful digital transformation requires a fundamental change in corporate culture, requiring employees to change their mindset at all levels. Eighty-seven percent of businesses think that their industry will be disrupted by digital, and 44 percent say they are ready to deal with those disruptions.
To grow and prosper, businesses that have embraced digital transformation are more comfortable with risk and change. Also eager to abandon old, inefficient processes (even if they have worked well in the past) and seek new opportunities.
Digital transformation means better insights from customers.
So what does this mean in terms of the alignment of marketing and sales? Well, for starters, we can track client journeys from (MQLs) to SQLs to SALs better. This enables us to see patterns and then make predictions that can help us do aligned activities. We create website / digital sales funnels and email marketing campaigns to how we can more accurately identify the actions that lead to conversions through all stages of the journey.
This makes the handoff between marketing and sales of a prospect seamless. We can more accurately serve them and allocate resources and time from the appropriate department in ways that do not put our teams into the competition. If we have the tools to measure what our prospects and customers are doing, what they may need, and what their intentions are. Instead, as we work together towards common objectives in conversions, real-time digital touchpoints and customer insights can foster a more solid partnership.
Digital transformation means the precise delivery of content.
Another theme was content throughout the Experience Maker’s Live event. Even more than before, content is the foundation of how you service prospects and clients and showcase your business’s knowledge and insights and encourage stronger customer relationships and trust.
But just producing content is not enough. You may have a hypothesis/data about what your customers may want and need. However, digital transformation allows you to know for sure what your customers are looking for. Also, it helps you deliver that content exactly when they need it.
Digital delivery of highly targeted and helpful content can make or break your success with a prospect or client, particularly in our current economy and with the limitations we face. This reckons for all stages of the customer journey. It is not just the marketing job to generate digital assets for lead generation and nurturing for sales, as sales need to provide accurate content to assist customers throughout the decision-making process.
Digital transformation means creating new methods of working.
You have probably heard the term “unprecedented times” so much lately that it makes you sick. But it is one among the best ways of describing what we are going through collectively—a widespread fundamental shift not only in how we do business but also in how we work. Most of us learn as we go, adapting on the fly, and finding out what works and what does not through quick trial and error. And while we are busy finding the new norm in our own working lives, the same is experienced by our clients. The businesses that embrace digital transformation are the ones that keep on succeeding.
This becomes blatantly obvious when it comes to marketing and sales alignment. Collaboration is essential for success, and gatekeeping can not stand as long as it may have happened before. When the usual in-person, informal channels are unavailable, organizations that can effectively move all operations online can see an increase in communication channels. But this is a good thing, perhaps. We can see how a more tightly run ship is enabled by digital marketing and sales alignment transformation:
- Less data slips through the cracks.
- Accountability is harder to run from.
- Unified systems and tools ensure that everyone is on the same page.
While digital transformation is nothing new, many of us have been forced by our current time to speed up adoption in ways that we could never have anticipated. But we should look at how it allows us to achieve significant internal milestones, particularly when it comes to marketing and sales alignment, instead of fearing change or struggling to adapt.