Business are striving for ways to better integrate communications between their sales, marketing, and customer service teams using new technologies that will allow businesses to grow and strengthen their current relationships over the upcoming years. Value-added resellers (VARs) that understand the statistics and strategies that customers are using in order to do this will find significant success. One statistic that can be used with clients is, according to Aberdeen Group, that “highly aligned organizations achieved an average of 32 percent year-over-year revenue growth, while their less aligned competitors saw a 7 percent decrease in revenue.”
VARs have a great opportunity to educate their customers about organizational alignment in 2016 and beyond, because only 8 percent of organizations surveyed claimed to have already tightly integrated sales and marketing, according to Forrester Research. As businesses place a stronger emphasis on their customers’ overall satisfaction, more organizations will be looking for resources in order to help them integrate more facets of their business, from divisional data to integrated solutions.
VARs should develop effective strategies to help their clients operate effectively and to thoroughly understand their customer base. They need to help their clients chart the journey that their customers take from beginning to end, from start to finish, across all divisions and points of contact, in order to gain an overall view of customer contacts. The end goal is to understand each individual customer in order to know who they are, where they come from, what they downloaded, what was purchased, and why they initially contacted the business. According to recent research, about 76 percent of businesses say that they do not yet have a method for providing a single customer view. There are several ways to do this, and here are some ideas that VARs can present to their clients in order to help them develop a single customer view:
Marketing Automation Platforms
Marketing automation platforms help businesses attract prospects by efficiently marketing their products and services using a variety of channels, including email, social media, web sites, blogs, and forums. Compelling and relevant content is used in order to attract prospects and guide companies to a better understanding about where a prospect came from, what attracted them to the business, and what content caught their interest. This information is then used in order to sell or service the customer with a keen understanding of their interests and imperatives. Recent research shows that 35 percent of companies with marketing automation systems are able to gather intelligence on a regular basis for the sales teams from their content marketing endeavors, as compared with 19 percent of companies that do not use marketing automation systems.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems
CRM solutions help manage customers by consolidating all information and communication between sales, marketing, and customers or prospects. VARs should suggest integrating CRM systems with marketing automation solutions so that new contacts generated through inbound marketing endeavors can be immediately forwarded into the CRM system, providing complete information. This way, sales and service employees will gain a crucial understanding of where prospects originated, making the sales process more comprehensive. Research has shown that the use of CRM systems can increase sales by up to 29 percent.
Multichannel Contact Center Applications
When representatives speak with their customers, they need accurate and prompt access to customer and prospect information. Without this information at their fingertips, clients may not get the service they need, issues may not be properly resolved, and sales opportunities may be missed. Advanced contact center solutions integrated with a communication platform provide multichannel communications that can include access via voice, email, text, online chat, or IVR/self-service, allowingcommunication between representatives, customers, and prospects through whichever channel they prefer, using a single interface. Upon completion of an interaction, updated notes and details will be automatically sent back to the CRM system. A complete record of each customer’s experiences provides representatives a full, single view about all of the customer’s interactions. Depending on the outcome of an interaction, additional required steps will immediately trigger in either the marketing automation platform or the CRM system.
VARs have an excellent opportunity to educate their customers on the importance of integrating these tools into their business in order to provide a single view of each customer or prospect that can be seen and updated by any employee. Fully understanding customers leads to superior customer experiences, a focus that improves any organization’s profitability.
What strategies does your company use in order to sell integrated communications systems? Please comment below.