How to Boost Contact Center Sales Revenue With Better Marketing Alignment

min read
How to Boost Contact Center Sales Revenue With Better Marketing Alignment

The contact center is where the digital buying journey and live interactions with sales teams collide. This collision often causes unintended damage to sales revenue, contact center efficiency, and marketing ROI. When consumers make complex, high-cost purchases they frequently leave the digital flow and call to get quotes, set appointments, and ultimately make purchases. It’s the most critical piece of the buying journey for many companies, and the digital-to-contact center sales handoff is also the most under-optimized part of the buying journey. 

When there’s a lack of alignment between sales and marketing, it results in inefficiencies on both sides of the fence and reduced revenue growth.

Ending the Marketing-to-sales Handoff Mentality with a Revenue Team Approach

The problem is the idea of the “handoff” itself. Marketing thinks that its job is done, and sales has what it needs from marketing to close the sale. But it’s not a handoff at all, or at least it shouldn’t be seen as one. It’s a continuation of the same buying journey with a change in channels that creates a data gap and reinforces silos.

Marketing and sales teams must work together to orchestrate the entire buying journey from initial awareness to final purchase to maximize revenue growth. Good alignment ensures that every touchpoint is consistent and effective in driving the customer towards making a buying decision.

However, this requires both parties to communicate regularly and share data on leads, conversions, and revenue. Marketing needs to know what drives customers down the funnel at every interaction and how much revenue is generated from each conversion to effectively optimize programs. Sales needs to know what programs marketing is running so they can be properly enabled. They also need marketing to send high-value leads — not just lots of leads — in order to operate efficiently and provide customers with the best experience possible.

This is why marketing and sales need to be viewed as a single revenue team. Working in concert from the first click to the final conversion, whether on the phone or online. 

How Sales and Marketing Alignment Improves Efficiency and Revenue Growth

Breaking down the ever-present marketing and sales silo can be difficult, particularly when sales teams operate in the contact center, which is often completely separated from marketing functions. But if you can share lead, conversion, and revenue data across the team and bridge that buying journey gap, you can speak a common language, establish mutually beneficial KPIs, and coordinate efforts to drive revenue growth. 

Reduced lead volume increases efficiency and conversion rates

When marketing doesn’t know the outcome of the phone leads it sends to the contact center, it does the best thing it can do — send the most leads possible to increase conversions. In reality, this can have the opposite effect by tying up contact center sales resources handling low-quality, low-value leads, reducing their ability to convert high-value leads because they’ll have less time with each caller. 

When sales and marketing are aligned on data and KPIs, marketing gets the visibility it needs to figure out what kind of leads convert and which ones drive the most revenue. When marketing can optimize programs to drive high-value leads to sales agents and route lower-value leads to convert online, sales agents can spend more time with each customer, increasing conversion rates and turning more callers into customers.  

Alignment improves customer experience

When sales and marketing are aligned on a revenue-focused lead strategy, call volume will go down as lower-quality leads will be diverted to convert online. This reduces hold times and transfers, which will make your customers happier and more likely to convert. It also enables agents to spend more time on calls with high-value customers so they are more confident in making a purchasing decision.

Additionally, 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 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 and customer experience teams may only hear about them once the damage is done and customers have gone to the competition. When these teams are aligned, you can create and maintain great customer experiences that increase conversion rates, brand loyalty, retention, and customer lifetime value.

Sales converts more leads when they’re enabled on marketing programs

Nothing is more irritating than when you call a company after seeing an offer online and the person who answers the phone has no idea what you’re talking about. When sales and marketing aren’t aligned on their programs, the result is annoyed customers who are less likely to convert.

When sales and marketing view themselves as a single revenue team with common goals, it opens the door to communication. It makes it more likely that marketing will keep sales in the loop on messaging, campaigns, and offers so the sales team is prepared to handle the resulting leads. This makes for a seamless online-to-offline journey for the customer that lifts conversion rates and makes customers more likely to spend more with you in the future. 

Success Story: How Windstream Communications increased revenue by uniting sales and marketing

Leaders at Windstream Communications saw this gap between sales and marketing, and they knew there was an opportunity to close it. Their marketing and sales organizations weren’t working as a cohesive team — marketing didn’t fully understand the sales strategy and processes, and sales didn’t fully comprehend the marketing strategy, customer profiles, and messaging in the marketplace.

“Most companies treat marketing and sales as church and state. But we saw an opportunity to change the relationship dramatically. By creating synergies across both functions, we’ve created the right environment for success. We went from greeting one another in passing to becoming joined at the hip,” said Lorezo Clark, national VP, of digital sales at Windstream.

By bringing together their sales and marketing teams, Windstream saw a 40% increase in average revenue per sales call, reduced acquisition costs, and deeper insight into the needs of their customers. 

‍“We’re a better marketing organization because we have a strong partnership with sales,” said Aaron Pierce, vice president of marketing at Windstream. “Our teams have realized that we make each other better — I think that’s the biggest win. And now, when we have a problem, we can put all the smartest people together in the room to tackle it.”

Read the full case study to see how Windstream brought their sales and marketing teams together to drive revenue growth.

Using Revenue Execution Platforms to Bridge the Online-to-Offline Buying Journey Gap

In this State of Revenue Marketing report, the #1 barrier to sales and marketing alignment cited is systems that are not optimized for alignment. Sales and marketing teams often operate on disparate systems and don’t have access to the same data. This is especially true when marketers need access to data that originates from the contact center or when the contact center needs data about the digital customer journey to serve customers.

Revenue execution platforms bridge this gap. In its The Real-Time Revenue Execution Platforms Landscape, Q1 2024 report, Forrester defines real-time revenue execution platforms as “Solutions that support company performance in a transactional revenue environment by optimizing marketing spend, pre-call preparation, in-call guidance, and post-call analysis.” In other words, real-time revenue execution platforms enable revenue teams to connect customer buying journey data across the marketing team that engages customers and the sales teams that close the deals. 

By using a comprehensive revenue execution platform, you can finally connect marketing investments directly to revenue, improve digital engagement, and drive higher-quality leads. 

It also enables contact center sales teams to access information from the customer’s digital journey to provide the best call experience possible and close more of the deals that marketing spends money on to send their way.

Learn more about revenue execution platforms here.

Download the Forrester Landscape to Learn More about Revenue Execution Platforms

Is your team struggling to track fragmented, multi-channel customer journeys? Revenue execution platforms are the missing link: they tie together online and offline customer journeys, allowing your marketing and sales teams to create seamless experiences. When you deliver exceptional customer experiences, sales and revenue growth follow.

Get The Forrester Wave: Real-Time Revenue Execution Platforms, Q2 2024 report here to learn more about the value you can expect from a real-time revenue execution platform.

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