As RevOps and CX gain traction, sales and marketing alignment will increase

By Scott Wallask

Striving for better sales and marketing alignment is an important step as companies grow larger. It turns out that the pandemic might be an ideal time to achieve this goal.

Why? There is a newfound urgency to refocus on the customer experience.

Data suggests this conclusion, but more importantly, buyers now are demanding a smoother customer experience — one that can be elevated when account executives, marketers, and customer service reps merge their efforts.

This type of alignment, with teams operating cohesively, can boost customer loyalty and improve efficiency.

“One of the most important factors in creating a scalable, repeatable revenue machine is sales and marketing alignment,” according to research firm TOPO.

Trends in customer experience (CX) and revenue operations (RevOps) show a growing desire to bring teams together. CX is the impression a buyer has about a brand over the duration of the relationship, while RevOps promotes a smoother CX by aligning sales, marketing, and customer service via shared goals, tools, and data.

Data shows spike in customer experience interest

During the initial wave of the pandemic, interest in CX topics by top-earning companies grew, according to ZoomInfo research.

The data showed that Fortune 500 firms increased their searches online for CX-inspired topics, such as customer engagement, loyalty software, and customer insights. Employees at nearly 10% of Fortune 500 companies searched for at least one of these topics from March to July 2020.

Figure 1: There was a jump in interest for customer experience topics at Fortune 500 firms. Source: ZoomInfo.

Those numbers mean teams at these high-earning firms are potentially embracing the goals of sales and marketing alignment.

CX brings good timing for RevOps

Given that CX may be more important than ever, companies have an opportunity before them with RevOps.

Many firms’ sales cycles have shortened because of uncertainty with the pandemic and economy. These days, buyers want to solve short-term problems quickly, according to analysts who spoke at the 2020 TOPO Virtual Summit.

Data helps sellers bring immediate value to customers, particularly if those buyers are working remotely and don’t have time for long sales pitches. However, that information — and the technology processing it — can’t remain in separate systems among sales, marketing, and customer service. Rather, central data sources and tech stacks must be shared, which is a central tenet to a RevOps approach.

Automation and intent data are recent crossover hits among customer service, marketing, and sales teams, according to TOPO. These technologies tie in well with RevOps.

Automation and intent data are recent crossover hits among customer service, marketing, and sales teams.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is another option to look at. “When businesses use RevOps and AI to identify insights across the customer lifecycle, they can allocate their resources to the most important business-wide outcomes, not department-specific goals,” Joel Shapiro, a data analytics professor, wrote in Forbes.

Alignment leads to better performance

Historically, tighter team coordination improves company performance in key areas. For example, companies with aligned marketing and sales departments achieve 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales win rates, according to past research from training company MarketingProfs.

And small improvements among individual teams within a RevOps environment can lead to bigger, accumulated gains for a company, Shapiro noted.

At the same time, customers tend to stay loyal to brands that build a strong customer experience, and Fortune 500 companies show an increased interest in these aspects.

A transition to RevOps will bring marketing and sales closer. In turn, these efforts will bolster a company’s focus on the customer. And if CX initiatives are already under way at an organization, RevOps may complement them nicely.

Failing to do so during COVID-19 may result in businesses needlessly falling behind their competitors.

Scott Wallask is a longtime content writer; seeking stories flowing from data with a dash of skepticism; Northeastern grad

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