Aligning Sales and Marketing to Maintain and Grow Your CRM

September 21, 2023
Aligning Sales and Marketing to Maintain and Grow Your CRM
We’re Better Together: Marketing and Sales

On the outside looking in, most would assume these departments work closely together. It makes sense, right? When you’re growing a business, they should complement each other.

For those of us on the inside, though, we know alignment between these teams is easier said than done. Whether sales and marketing teams consist of 2 people or 200 people, they often find themselves siloed, not communicating frequently enough, and operating off disparate information.

When this misalignment seeps in and takes hold, lead generation suffers, marketing personalization becomes a challenge, email bounce rates and unsubscribes can increase, and automation triggers can be clogged with outdated customer data.

Sounds messy, doesn’t it?

Sometimes when we hear about the division between sales and marketing, one or the other is made out to be the villain. So, let’s be clear: marketing and sales teams want to support one another. It just takes consistent time, continuous effort, and clear processes to work in tandem. 

Any time you have multiple teams sharing a centralized system, having recorded and repeatable processes in place is essential to ensure that information is organized and streamlined, without unintentional roadblocks standing in the way of sales, marketing, or service teams individual and collective goals. 

Luckily, we have solutions to help your teams streamline your CRM.

6 Steps to Align Your Internal Teams and Your CRM

1. Identify All Customer and Prospect Data Sources

Ok, this can be a doozy. But putting thorough and comprehensive work in here is crucial.

Gather everyone together, all stakeholders, and everyone who touches your database from your sales and marketing teams. During this session, create a master list of where all your customer and prospect data is coming from. This list is likely to be lengthy and may include some previously overlooked sources.

Think about…

  • Marketing Imports
  • Sales Imports
  • Chatbots and Chat Flows
  • Static Forms (Contact Forms/Resources Form Fills)
  • Pop-Up Forms
  • Web Integrations (like a SFDC integration or Gravity Forms that may be mapped to your database)
  • Prospects
  • Third-Party Lead Gen Software
  • Deals and Pipeline Contacts
  • Accounting and Billing Contacts
  • Facebook Messenger Contacts (Inboxed Messages and Connected Inboxes)
  • API/Syncs
  • And more!

2. Pinpoint Current Automation and Processes in Place

 Next, identify any automations or triggers currently in place related to property mapping. Audit any triggers that are happening to ensure all stakeholders are aware of the order of operations currently in place. When sales and marketing are not in sync, there will likely be gaps in your processes or automations that just aren’t working the way they should. 

Note any duplicative or segmented mappings in the current team processes (for example, the marketing team may have one field for Role/Title and the sales team may be using another.)

For more information on how to manage duplicated data and consolidate information, check out our blog on deduplicating and cleaning up misaligned data.

3. Establish Teams and Contact Owners

In preparation for building your action plan (more on that in a few moments), ensure contact owners and teams are established in your CRM. This helps to segment and assign owners in your action plan and ensure that automations are in place correctly from the start.

Identify and export any contacts without a contact owner, and work collectively with your stakeholder team to determine whether they should align with the sales, marketing, service, or operations team.

If HubSpot is your CRM, you can learn more about developing workflows and assigning contact owners by function and team here.

4. Audit All Website Forms and Assets Entering into Your CRM

Remember the information flows that were mapped in step one?

Take this time to review all your form fills and data points gathering information and populating your database. Are your forms collecting the right types of information? Do you have internal notifications going to the appropriate stakeholders? When you see errors, gaps, and inconsistencies during this process, address them now. Then you’ll be ready to develop and launch new triggers. 

While your teams have a bit more control over manual imports and exports, you'll need to ensure that integrations and forms are working for you and your teams, not against you. In the audit process, think through triggers, mappings, and follow-ups.

Remember, some of the healthiest databases utilize consolidated and consistent data points and store segmentation points on the contact records themselves. This makes it easier for future users to easily compartmentalize records.

Relying on siloed lists alone for segmentation to keep track of sources or contact-related data isn’t an effective or scalable long-term strategy to manage and cleanly segment your CRM.

5. Build and Implement an Action Plan

Now that you’ve ensured you’re collecting the right data, and you’ve established criteria for contact owners, it’s time to implement an action plan.

Review and audit all properties. If you’re using Hubspot, you have the option to export all property fields and manage them.

We suggest creating a property for communication type and establishing logic via active lists. This practice will help your team manage and sort marketing and non-marketing contacts. Based on your team’s unique structure, assign roles by type and contact owner. A good standard set of communication roles may include accounting contacts, prospects, customer bases, marketing blog subscribers, networking contacts, and IT/customer service contacts.

From here, the marketing team can segment and exclude those who should be removed from your campaigns to preserve your email-sending domain reputation and better organize and segment your data.

Hubspot offers marketing and non-marketing contacts through its CRM. You can learn more about this here.

6. Maintain a Routine for Sales and Marketing Alignment

Whew! We did start by saying it’s easier said than done, didn’t we? But you can do it!

The key is establishing clear processes, checkpoints, and maintaining consistent communication between service and operations, sales, and marketing. Establish a recurring time for team leads to meet, share wins, and discuss challenges. Create a system to flag uncategorized contacts and companies so that leads don’t fall through the cracks.

According to HubSpot, the information in your database deteriorates on average 22.5% per year!

Combing through your contacts, core properties, workflows, sequences, and data points every quarter will keep your CRM as up-to-date as possible. The more you do this, the less there will be to audit each time!

Tip: Create active lists that track and compile contacts that are missing key data points. For example, it will flag if an email, role, or contact owner is unknown. If you’re auditing on a regular basis, these missing data points can be addressed quickly.

Discover 5 Useful Tools for Lead Generation

Once you’re confident in the quality of your existing data, you can begin to strategically build and supplement with more marketing tools that will integrate with your CRM! You can learn about 5 of our favorite lead-generation tool recommendations here.

Author Bio

Valarie is an Account Manager at Stratagon who loves data-driven strategic decisions, quick wit, and helping people better understand and communicate with their audiences. Valarie is passionate about measurable growth in her team's campaigns and her ever-growing collection of houseplants. Connect with her on LinkedIn!