The Greeks pioneered a battlefield formation called a phalanx. You’ve probably seen phalanxes in movies like 300, Troy, and Black Panther. It’s when soldiers, armed with long spears and interlocking shields, come together to form a tight-knit grouping of warriors. They fought and moved as one, always shoulder-to-shoulder and focused on a singular goal: to defeat the enemy and protect the group. Over the centuries since Ancient Greece, hand-to-hand combat has been increasingly replaced with commerce, soldiers with sellers. But the need for coordination and alignment hasn’t diminished. In fact, the struggle continues to be quite real for creating and sustaining alignment between sales, marketing, and operations teams. At our core, we’re all driving towards one north star: growth.
So then why does it have to be so complicated? Too often we find that sales and marketing teams are struggling to fly in the same direction; marketing teams are pushing hard to drive inbound leads to their sales team, with little insight into what happens after they’ve been thrown over the metaphorical “fence”. Did the sales team follow up with the leads? If they say they did, why isn’t the activity logged in the CRM?
But what if the source of our woes was not, in fact, our obstinate sales or marketing counterpart, but instead, an operational gap? As with many of the most common sales and marketing technologies, they have evolved to fill some kind of operational void—before Salesforce, pipelines were managed in spreadsheets, before marketing automation we were using Mail Merge. And before the introduction of Sales Engagement, salespeople were trying to hack the outbound sales motion with Salesforce tasks and post-it notes. Sales Engagement platforms are changing how sales teams of all sizes sell, but with that comes confusion within the operations function as to where it may fall in the sales stack. In this guide, you’ll learn why Sales Engagement does not replace your CRM or marketing automation system; how you can leverage the strengths of all three systems to solve your operational gaps while building alignment and trust between your teams; how to automate mundane tasks and allow sales teams to focus on what they do best—the art of selling. We’ll also show you step-by-step instructions for building a system to handle your inbound leads in less than five minutes.
Differentiating Between Marketing Automation, Sales Engagement, and CRM
How many different software solutions does your company use? Probably a lot. In fact, according the Netskope, Enterprises use an average of 1,181 cloud services. And it’s causing an epidemic of software fatigue. With so many tools to stay on top of, it’s tempting to make the most out of what you already have. Yet most of us realize these tools exist for a reason. Think about how overwhelming your inbox would be if your IT department said, “We don’t need Slack. We already have Gmail!” That being said, the strengths of different operational systems can be confusing. So we’ve broken it down so you can understand the strengths of the three main marketing and sales technologies: marketing automation, Sales Engagement, and CRM.
Why Marketing Automation shouldn’t be used for Sales Engagement
Marketing Automation should not be used to build or execute the tasks of a Sales Engagement platform. But when leveraged properly, these two technologies can help drive sales and marketing alignment. Marketing automation is not a substitute for a Sales Engagement platform because:
1. Personal Engagement: Marketing automation is ideal for generating leads, but not for working them, i.e. reply detection is a key part of fostering a 1:1 communication.
2. Skills Gap: Marketing automation is too technical and dangerous to onboard new sales reps quickly. Marketing automation often takes special training and certification to reach proficiency or expert level. Most Marketing Operations teams would not want any sales rep in their system to create their own nurture programs. This leaves sales teams at the mercy of Marketing Operations’ prioritization and process management.
3. Omni-channel Engagement: Marketing automation lacks the flexibility needed for truly personal conversations. Typical marketing automation providers don’t support multi-channel task types like outbound phone calls or LinkedIn actions
4. Deliverability: Marketing Automation sends emails from a third-party server, instead of directly from the sales reps’ inbox. Doing this will increase the chances that the email will get caught in spam filters.
How to Leverage the Strengths of Marketing Automation, CRM and Sales Engagement to Follow Up with Your Leads In Under 5 Minutes