A growing preference among customers to move through the buying journey in their own time using their own preferred channels has given brands a smaller window of time to engage with them. Sales and marketing teams need to work more closely together to better understand their audience and convert leads, but new research from Oracle reveals many UK brands have yet to make this adjustment.
According to Oracle’s From Metrics to Outcomes report, fewer than half of brands combine data from multiple sources to inform their marketing and sales strategies and just 44% regularly examine their customer data to better understand their audience.
This is because companies are still held back by divisions between sales and marketing teams. Forty percent of brands say changes in customer behaviour have made alignment between sales and marketing teams more important. Indeed, more than 40% agree there is a trend towards greater collaboration between marketing and sales and believe lead conversion is more successful when both departments are aligned.
And yet, roughly one third of brands still struggle to link their sales and marketing activities:
- 34% admit their sales, marketing and customer service teams work completely independently of each other
- 31% of sales teams say they struggle to meet key metrics while aligning with the needs of marketing, and vice versa
- 33% say their current systems and technologies make it difficult for sales and marketing to collaborate
- 30% say their corporate culture makes it difficult for sales and marketing teams to align priorities
The tendency among customers to take the buying journey into their own hands also makes it harder to attribute sales success to any one department or activity. Thirty percent of brands say it would take a complete organizational restructure for them to deliver a joined up customer experience.
Daryn Mason, senior director, CX Applications at Oracle, said: “Customers rely on a mix of online resources, marketing materials and third-party research to inform their purchases, so determining which tactics directly led them to buy takes a more nuanced assessment. It’s time brands align their teams internally and move them away from insular KPIs like impressions, and towards value-based metrics that reflect the way people engage with them through digital channels.”