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When a cannabis business removes barriers between sales and marketing teams, results will improve. Research has shown that integrating sales and marketing leads to higher revenue, increased return on investment per prospective customer, improved focus and performance, increased efficiencies, and reduced frustrations.
And these are only some of the reasons why sales and marketing integration is essential to cannabis business success! The reality is when companies integrate sales and marketing, the positive effects will be far-reaching.
Integrating sales and marketing teams and functions is a multi-step, ongoing process that starts at the leadership and strategic level. Following are five key steps to integrate your cannabis business sales and marketing teams to improve results.
Everything starts at the top. If your company’s leaders don’t buy into the importance of sales and marketing integration, they won’t model the behaviors required to convince employees to buy into it.
Therefore, start by ensuring all executive stakeholders fully understand the benefits of integration and support implementation. This could require shifts in priorities, budgets, personnel, and even company culture to ensure the integration is comprehensive and sustainable.
For sales and marketing teams to be integrated, they need to share goals and the key performance indicators (KPIs) that go with those goals. Rather than thinking of sales and marketing in separate silos, think of them as a single team on a mission to increase revenue. With that mindset, you can create a shared revenue strategic plan rather than a marketing strategic plan and a separate sales strategic plan.
The strategic planning process should also include lead definitions. What constitutes a cold, warm, or hot lead? What are marketing qualified leads vs. sales qualified leads? Everyone needs to understand and agree to these definitions, as well as to shared goals and key performance indicators, or sales and marketing integration won’t work optimally.
To ensure all leads are followed up on correctly and on a timely basis and that none are lost, there should be joint systems and processes in place to reach shared sales and marketing goals. For example, a process should be in place to hand off leads from marketing to sales (or back to marketing) at the appropriate time. Similarly, processes should be in place to ensure sales representatives have access to the marketing content and materials needed for different types of sales outreach.
In order for integrated processes to work, sales and marketing team members must have access to the right tools and systems to effectively communicate, share assets, share data, and so on. All of the necessary systems should be developed and tools should be configured up front so team members can work as efficiently as possible on a daily basis. In other words, no one should have to waste time searching for data or asking for access to documents.
Open and transparent communication is crucial to sales and marketing integration. Using collaboration and communication tools, like Slack, Trello, or Asana, can make a significant difference in how people access and share information. In addition, weekly meetings should not be missed. These meetings give everyone an opportunity to ensure they’re on the same page and keep everyone accountable to meet their deadlines. Every team member should attend, including leaders.
In addition, create a feedback loop between sales and marketing as it relates to prospective customers’ needs, problems, pain points, experiences, and so on. All of this information is essential to build buyer personas and customer profiles that can be used to target more (and better) prospects. Since the sales team speaks directly to customers, they have valuable information about these needs, problems, and so on that should be shared with the marketing team.
Similarly, information about lead engagement should be shared with both marketing and sales. Use a customer relationship management tool (CRM) to track all engagement with each lead. This includes marketing engagement (e.g., email campaigns sent, campaigns opened, links clicked, and so on) and sales engagement (e.g., results of sales calls or one-to-one email messages, information learned about prospects through these individual communications, and so on). All of this information can help both teams drive better results – but only if the information is shared.
When you’re onboarding sales and marketing team members at any level of the organization, they must be fully trained on how the integrated sales and marketing team works. This includes explaining the shared revenue strategic plan, lead definitions, the lead hand-off process, KPIs, systems, processes, tools, how to update the CRM with lead information, and more.
Without all of this information, the lines of communication will start to break down. Barriers will start to go up between the sales and marketing teams again, and results will suffer. It’s up to the leaders to ensure these two teams stay aligned so the company continues to get the best possible results from their efforts.
The benefits of integrating sales and marketing teams far outweigh the negatives, so the sooner you can integrate these two teams, the sooner your cannabis business will start seeing better results.
If you need a CRM to connect with cannabis and hemp license holders in the U.S., Canada, and international markets so your sales and marketing teams can track, qualify, and convert leads throughout the buyer journey, schedule a demo of the Cannabiz Media License Database.