The divide between sales and marketing has been causing problems since the dawn of time. Since the very first time a marketing lead was handed off to a sales team and it didn’t close, sales blamed marketing for an unqualified lead and marketing blamed sales for not closing a good lead. Sales and marketing have charged through business history in silos, leaving a long trail of reduced revenue and damaged brand reputations along the way.
Since day one, the divide between sales and marketing has also caused a data gap leaving one hand blind to what the other is doing. This is particularly true when marketers drive inbound leads to telesales, as differing technologies add another barrier preventing data from being shared. This results in a bad experience for the customer, reduced close rates and revenue, and ultimately, damage to your brand.
Here are three ways that the data disconnect between sales and marketing is damaging your brand and hurting your revenue. And, of course, how you can fix it.
Poor Alignment Wastes Marketing and Contact Center Budgets
Telesales and marketing teams are working toward the same goal, so you’d think they’d share their data with each other. But they rarely do. This results in marketing wasting ad spend on ineffective campaigns and sales facing increased contact center costs from inefficient call handling. Here’s how it happens and how you can fix it.
When the marketing team is blind to what is happening to the calls it’s driving to the contact center, they do the best thing that they can: make assumptions. When someone clicks to call on a mobile ad or calls from a landing page, they’re going to assume that a given percentage convert into sales. If a campaign is driving a high volume of calls, they’ll assume it’s a good thing and double down on it. It’s basically attribution based on assumptions.
And you know what they say about assumptions: they’re a crappy way of attributing offline conversions. Okay, that’s not quite the saying, but the results still stink. Marketers that are blind to this conversion data are usually spending significant budget driving support calls instead of sales calls. This is not only a waste of marketing budget, it costs the contact center big time because they’re spending time transferring calls to support instead of handling hot leads. In turn, this creates longer hold times and a frustrating experience for customers, making them less likely to convert.
On the other hand, if a campaign is effective, the contact center can be caught off guard by a sudden increase in sales calls. This results in them having to keep customers on hold and turn away calls, tanking their conversion rates and frustrating customers.
A prime example is the challenge communications provider Viasat faced when COVID-19 hit North America. With a surge of people working and learning from home, it saw a massive increase in call volume to its call centers. An increase in calls may seem like an unqualified success. However, Viasat services a very niche market and many of the calls it was getting were from unqualified customers.
The increase in call volume impacted the service quality for prospective subscribers and current customers alike as the call center was overwhelmed and sales queues were clogged. They had to begin turning away callers and all callers were experiencing long hold times. “This was very problematic because when coupled with the increased call complexities due to customer concerns surrounding COVID, it led to a troubling ecosystem for our call center,” said David Salcido, director of digital marketing at Viasat.
Using Invoca’s Active Conversation Intelligence platform, Viasat was able to fully integrate its marketing tech stack to get a 360-degree view of the customer journey and mitigate its call volume issues while significantly increasing conversion rates. Get the full case study here to see how they solved this problem with conversation intelligence.
How Conversation Intelligence Helps Sales and Marketing Optimize Budgets
Conversation intelligence software like Invoca enables marketing and telesales teams to break down data silos and work more effectively together. The benefits include:
- Marketing gets real-time conversion data to optimize the most effective campaigns.
- Conversion data can be used to suppress remarketing to converted customers and shift to nurture and upsell campaigns.
- Marketing can quickly spot ineffective campaigns and keywords to shift bidding and creative appropriately.
- Transfers are reduced as calls are automatically routed to the most appropriate agent for the product.
- Conversion rates are increased as agents spend more time with qualified leads.
Bad Alignment Causes Brand-Damaging Experiences
Poor alignment between sales and marketing creates bad experiences that drive your customers to the competition. Our research shows that over 30% of consumers will choose a new brand if they have a bad experience on your website. And you may not even know it’s happening.
The contact center could be handling calls from customers who are calling because they’re frustrated with the online experience, leaving the contact center to answer questions and handle transactions that customers actually want to complete online. It’s a pain for the customers and far more expensive to convert them in the contact center than it is online.
All too often, knowledge of these problems will stay in the contact center. Marketing, eCommerce, and customer experience teams may only hear about them once the damage to your brand’s good name is done and customers have clicked away to a new brand that can provide a smoother experience. To create and maintain great customer experiences, you need a shared platform in place that can signal problems to all teams in real time.
How Conversation Intelligence Enables Revenue Teams to Drive Customer Loyalty
The best way to create great experiences for your customers and build customer loyalty is with first-party data from customer conversations. Here's how using a conversation intelligence platform gives teams in sales, marketing, eCommerce, and customer experience the data they need to acquire and retain more happy customers:
- Learn exactly what is pushing customers out of the online flow and into the contact center.
- Drive more online conversions and divert customers from the contact center by allowing them to do what they want to do online.
- Reduce unnecessary transfers and customer frustration by using data from the digital journey to automatically route calls to the right agent or department.
- Precisely align marketing messaging with the voice of your customers by delivering AI-derived conversation insights directly to marketing.
- Discover potential conversion moments and make it easy for customers to call and get help from an informed agent.
- Get insights into online customer behavior and align with marketing campaigns and promotions to staff the contact center for peak traffic.
Lack of Visibility Drives Down Conversion Rates and Increases Acquisition Costs
When marketing doesn’t know the results of their campaigns, they are much more likely to deliver low-quality leads to sales. This results in low conversion rates for sales and higher acquisition costs for marketing. A lack of visibility into the contact center can also cause marketing to overestimate their acquisition costs, since the conversions that happen over the phone are not being accurately attributed. We’ve found that marketers overestimate their CPA by an average of 46%.
Conversion rates also get dinged because sales doesn’t have any context about what is driving the calls from the digital side, so they treat every call the same way. It’s an inefficient way to handle calls and customers will not get the personalized attention they deserve, resulting in fewer conversions.
How Conversation Intelligence Increases Conversion Rates and Lowers Acquisition Costs
Conversation intelligence platforms provide complete visibility of the buyer’s journey to both sales and marketing teams, allowing for accurate measurement of marketing success and the context sales needs to close more leads.
- Marketing can measure its true CPA with full attribution for sales that happen online and in the contact center.
- CPA is reduced with automated, real-time keyword bidding adjustments using call conversion data integrated with platforms like Google Ads Smart Bidding.
- Contact center agents can close more leads with context about the caller that allows them to provide a seamless, highly personalized experience for the caller.
- Contact center costs are reduced as calls are routed and handled more efficiently, reducing call times.