Successfully delivering sales & marketing transformation

24 July 2023 4 min. read
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Implementing transformation programs are notorious for their challenges and pitfalls, and this is no different in the domain of sales & marketing. To find out what can be done to raise of the odds of successful delivery, we spoke with Anja Varrelmann, Managing Consultant at LanciaConsult.

To start with, why do organisations embark on sales and marketing transformations?

Transformation of sales and marketing essentially focuses on helping (cross-functional) sales & marketing teams share data and collaborate to drive awareness, reputation, leads, sales and of course, revenue.

Overall objectives may vary across industries and companies, but the key is to lift the maturity of sales and marketing processes, as well as the culture.

Anja Varrelmann, Managing Consultant, LanciaConsult

What are the key drivers of such transformations?

Most common objective is to better meet fast-changing customer expectations. Customer needs and behaviours are evolving quickly and across various (and new) sales channels which has a huge impact on marketing messaging and the buying process itself. Businesses that react fast will be able to keep up and stay relevant – this is where sales & marketing transformation comes in.

Other key drivers include making the sales & marketing function more digital and technology driven (digitising processes can enhance efficiency and effectiveness), adopting a more data-driven way of working (through the use of data analytics and insights), and enhancing the customer journey (through a design-led and customer-first approach to customer journey building).

Is choosing the right technology the most important component of a successful sales & marketing transformation?

Absolutely – but it can be challenging. Key is that businesses make sure they are choosing a technology that fits their individual needs. Often it is about understanding the organisation first, their specific needs, customers and markets they operate in.

Comparing tools by their features alone will not lead you to the best solution for your purpose. Understanding end-to-end needs and processes can sometimes lead to a completely different technology tool than the one people had in mind when starting the project.

What tips do you have for the delivery of sales & marketing transformations?

The challenge is in ensuring a holistic approach which considers end-to-end processes and business needs alongside the selection of new technologies. Internal users across the business will be crucial to the success of a sales and marketing transformation. If they feel it is not addressing their needs, they will be reluctant to embrace the new technology and ways of working. They need to understand what is in it for them.

Change of technology often means change in operation and you need your people to buy-in to that change because fundamentally, winning them over and bringing them along the journey with you can mean success. Failure to do so can risk the entire transformation.

From a customer perspective, I would recommend project and design teams to put themselves in the shoes of a customer. What is the end-to-end journey for them? Customers expect connected journeys, they expect personalisation. When consumers experience the breakdown in connectivity because of internal business silos, it is frustrating and that damages their perception of the customer journey. Lining this all up is increasingly challenging as customers are now using multiple channels to connect with businesses.

Finally, invest and focus on people as much as the sales & marketing technology.

How is success in sales & marketing transformation measured? What does it look like?

This may vary across different businesses and organisations, based on strategy and what companies are specifically trying to accomplish when choosing to invest in sales & marketing transformation. A few examples of key performance indicators could be:

- Reducing the overall end-to-end process duration time
- Reducing customer churn and increasing the number of customers retained
- Reducing the average time for customer conversion
- Increasing the number of engaged and qualified leads in the sales funnel
- Driving a higher net promotor score (NPS)
- Reducing the order fulfilment time
- Time to market
- Employee satisfaction rating