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Even in this age of integrated digital, one of the most significant gaps that remains in corporate knowledge management is that chasm between sales and marketing teams.
On the one hand, both teams are ultimately working towards the same goal: increasing sales for the company, and making it easier for consumers to purchase. Yet, marketing will often create campaigns or make pricing decisions without consulting sales, while sales teams are off creating their own collateral and merchandising to attract customers.
Often, these two essential teams — the wheels of the growth engine — are out of alignment. When they work independently, forward movement can still come — but it takes them working in tandem for speed to increase.
Yet, many brand manufacturers find their sales and marketing teams lack the tools, communication, and processes required to ensure effective collaboration.
Imagine the difference it would make to bridge that gap, getting these powerful forces working together in tandem to increase reach and influence.
“The new way of thinking is that marketing and sales should be a more collaborative effort, and achieving this goal can dramatically improve results,” writes Fergal Glynn for HubSpot. “It’s a great concept, but bringing it to fruition can be more complex than it sounds. Without a sound collaboration strategy, attempting to overlap the two efforts often ends up disjointed and, at times, dysfunctional.”
The idea of combining sales and marketing into one department is called "smarketing" in some quarters. But there is an answer for chief marketing officers (CMOs), chief revenue officers (CROs), or chief growth officers (CGOs) to get teams to align.
In the world of commerce, the answer lies in product experience management (PXM).
PXM includes an expanding list of capabilities, including product information management (PIM), syndication, enhanced content, analytics insights, and more to deliver winning experiences across shopping platforms.
PXM helps teams create content experiences that help brands tell a story with their product content and engage with customers to drive conversion.
Today's consumers have multiple touchpoints in their shopping journeys. She might ask Amazon's cloud-based Alexa to add the book discussed on a podcast to her Amazon wishlist. She might buy a stylish new jacket from an Instagram ad. She might download an app to build her grocery list.
As a result, brands must now create a cohesive experience across the full range of available shopping channels.
The future of commerce is a single, interconnected digital shelf, and PXM gives brands the flexibility, speed, and agility needed to meet customers at every point along their shopping journey.
PXM creates a single source of truth for product data, and this content can be sent to every touchpoint and continually optimized to fit the changing requirements of each individual channel. Whether it's third-party retailer sites, a marketplace, a distributor, or the brand's own social media or direct to consumer (D2C) pages, PXM helps teams adapt to the frequently shifting customer journey.
PXM allows all teams to manage the workflow, activate across channels, engaging customers, and optimize using analytics. By allowing teams to automate tasks across multiple departments, PXM helps teams collaborate more efficiently and save time — an especially important benefit in these fast-moving times.
All relevant teams can access this content and data, helping to ensure data meets internal standards and channel specifications. In turn, this provides a smooth and consistent product experience for shoppers, no matter which digital touchpoint or retail channel they reach.
Leveraging the power of PXM helps bring sales and marketing together and to bridge the gap. The single source of truth gets everyone on the same page, accessing the same data, and collaborating to make the best possible experience to generate leads and sales.
These comprehensive insights and collaborative environments help push the sales and marketing teams towards optimized performance on all levels. PXM enables brands to deliver outstanding and seamless customer experiences — wherever they are in their shopping journey.
PXM shouldn't be the only tactic deployed for bridging the gap. Once PXM is implemented, teams should then turn to other factors to support collaboration.
Pro-tips for sales and marketing collaboration:
Sharing a cross-functional strategy and key performance indicators can help to align teams behind a bigger purpose. But only by leveraging software like PXM, and ensuring all are working towards the same goal for the digital shelf, can brands truly elevate the customer experience and bridge the gap between sales and marketing.
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