Selling is just one step in the sales and marketing process! A weak link in this process is the sales/marketing interface. This is where marketing-generated leads are handed to the sales team and sadly, where important sales intelligence is lost.
Further, because the interface is typically primitive and the data flow is in one direction, the sales team cannot influence the lead engaged in the marketing channel.
The transfer stage needs to be much better. It should provide tools and intelligence to the sales team so they become more effective sellers while remaining in the context of the CRM. In this commentary, using Sitecore and Salesforce, I show the advantage of passing sales intelligence and adding bi-directional features when moving a lead from your website to your CRM.
Like a Swiss Army Knife, your corporate Sitecore website has many responsibilities. It needs to showcase your brand, provide information, create excitement, collect leads and support customers.
A virtual front door to your business, your Sitecore website can also be an important tool and communication channel for the sales team (beyond simple lead forms):
- Create Salesforce leads from Sitecore web forms
- Push Sitecore browsing behavior and analytics to Salesforce to
- Reveal digital body language and provides intelligence to the sales team
- Help qualify leads
- From Salesforce, control Sitecore during sales calls - like presentation software
- Energize live calls with visual content
- Enable live Sitecore personalization from Salesforce
- Drive digital experience for current and future visits
- Generate friendlier content to known visitors
- Monitor Sitecore activity in Salesforce to identify renewed interest
- From Salesforce, popup reminders to prospects returning to the website
- Create gated content controllable from Salesforce
- Use Sitecore portals to show privileged content to Salesforce contacts
- Use portals to reduce Salesforce licensing costs
- Expose Salesforce campaign subscription preferences in Sitecore
- Salesforce leads and contacts administer what newsletters they want to receive
Passing everything we learn about a Sitecore visitor to their Salesforce record is hugely beneficial to the sales team. In the opposite direction, controlling Sitecore from Salesforce allows the sales team to excite the prospect before, during and after sales calls. Even better, after the sale, we can deeply engage customers by providing targeted information in a Sitecore portal, all driven by the sales team. And how powerful is the knowledge of knowing what visitors, customers, and partners are interacting on your website and what they are doing?
Of course, we can fix the weak sales/marketing link in the Sitecore/Salesforce space with S4S but what about the rest of the world who use other technologies? Don't you feel lucky!