How Big Data Can Help Align Sales And Marketing

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In this opinion piece, Derek Judge, senior director for alliances and channel APAC at MapR Technologies discusses how Big Data can help align sales and marketing, resulting in improving effectiveness.

The key to a successful business usually resides in the alignment of sales and marketing practices. However, the incorporation of Big Data is often forgotten and might slow down businesses from reaching their goals.

With Big Data into the alignment process, organisations can improve their marketing campaigns as well as achieve better targeting to upsell and cross-sell customers. More and more organisations now understand the importance of coordinating marketing and sales with Big Data to make the process easier and more effective than ever.

Seeing the big picture

Big Data allows organisations to gain a complete understanding of their sales and marketing functions. Simply having access to Big Data doesn’t automatically mean that sales and marketing will improve. But rather when this data is analysed and these insights are examined, management will be able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their sales and marketing functions. By understanding where any potential issues lie, the company will be able to shape the way in which decisions are made as well as aligning the two departments to create cohesion.

As sales and marketing rely upon each other, both processes run more effectively if Big Data is employed. The utilisation of Big Data allows management to gain a ‘big picture’ analysis of what is actually occurring. As it can be argued that good marketing leads to good sales, Big Data allows for this process to run smoothly with 58 per cent of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) saying that search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, and mobile marketing has been made more effective through Big Data and this effectiveness then filters to sales.

Counting your pennies

In addition, the optimisation of pricing strategies for marketing and sales also highlights how Big Data helps in the alignment process and improves effectiveness. As pricing plays a significant role in the profitability of any organisation, using Big Data allows marketers and salespeople to appropriately price their products and services in ways that will yield the most positive responses.

Furthermore, optimisation of pricing strategies through Big Data allows sales and marketing teams to collaborate long term as pricing is never simply a constant and changes as the political, economic and social climates of the area change. While sales and marketing are different areas and depend on different types of data, the collective nature of Big Data allows for patterns to be explored in an efficient manner as well as assisting in the alignment of the two areas.

Measuring the immeasurable

Big Data is revolutionising the ways in which companies are attaining greater customer responsiveness in sales and marketing. The sheer volume of data available to marketers and salespeople is enormous and priceless once this data has been sorted and analysed. Big Data allows for qualitative data -which was previously considered immeasurable – to be measured and analysed. These insights ensure that both respective departments are able to interact smoothly with customers.

Analytics also increase marketers’ ability to get beyond campaign execution and focus on how to make customer relationships more successful. By maintaining a high level of customer responsiveness through Big Data, both sales and marketing professionals are able to increase the profitability of the business through the creation of effective marketing campaigns and sales initiatives. For example, the web retailer Amazon uses Big Data to upsell and cross-sell products by suggesting complementary or additional items with the pitch, “If you like this product, then you’ll like this one.” In this way Big Data facilitates a deeper level of interaction between customers and sales teams as well as an alignment between sales and marketing.

The value of sales and marketing alignment has been evident for the last few years and the addition of Big Data to this equation means that organisations have a new way to effectively manage their sales and marketing processes.

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