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Marketing and sales, two departments whose successes have always been inextricably tied to each other, are beginning to collaborate in ways that are at once unprecedented and vitally needed. Instead of working to funnel customers through two separate pipelines, many companies are now taking a holistic view of the buyer’s journey, to the benefit of not only marketing and sales – but the customer as well.

How professional marketers are increasing sales:

You may have seen SAP’s recent report (PDF) stating that 80 percent of customers know what they want before contacting a vendor, and when they do reach out 74 percent of them prefer vendors who demonstrate high levels of service knowledge.

In a perfect world, every lead marketing handed over to sales would be precisely qualified, and both teams would have the time to sit down and discuss each potential customer’s outlook and needs. From a productivity standpoint, however, that’s a terrible plan. That’s why an even better system was devised.

Today, marketers have tools at their disposal that track which campaigns and programs each of their prospects have interacted with. Marketers can track even tiny details like which emails prospects have opened and which of your web pages they’ve visited.

Analytics then take over and help to qualify each prospect, and eventually the prospect is sent over to sales as a lead.

The brilliance of the whole system is that sales gets all of marketing’s data along with the lead—data provides an indisputable level of understanding for the rep who ultimately reaches out to the customer. For example, a sales rep could pull qualified leads out of upcoming marketing campaigns in favor of delivering news of specials and promotions.

How sales experts are helping marketing zero in:

In the same way that marketing’s data helps sales, analytics from sales can help marketing see which campaigns are having the best results. Because the data is analyzed and worked into reports in real time, marketers can see both where they’re having success and where they might be able to refine their message to garner better results.

Because each customer’s purchases can be tracked back to individual campaigns, marketers also gain insight into the most elusive of metrics, namely return on investment (ROI).

And here’s the best part: If your company is actually aware of these nuances, and tracking the data, you’ve become a customer-centric organization.

Your customer will see that your business understands them better, right from the first time you make contact. Your marketers have a clearer picture of what prospects are looking for, and sales knows more about an individual lead’s outlook. It’s all part of how shared data and analytics are breaking down the walls between sales and marketing, and ultimately between you and your customers.

For more on getting the most out of your analytics, grab yourself a copy of our white paper, Measure Your Impact: 5 key principles of analytics proficiency.

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