Today’s selling and customer acquisition process is changing. With the evolution of content marketing, today’s buyers are not relying solely on the assistance of salespeople in the same way they have in the past. In fact, according to Forrester Research, today’s buyer is anywhere from two-thirds to 90 percent of the way through their journey before they reach out to the vendor. Today’s buyer relies heavily on thought-leadership content, product reviews, case studies and peer recommendations that marketing teams develop to attract and nurture prospects and, ultimately, drive profitable customer action. The type of content fintech companies share is closely related to what they sell, with the idea that you are educating people so that they know, like and trust you enough to do business with you, the industry expert.
Fintech organizations that are implementing a successful content marketing program are also creating a unique environment that represents an opportunity to change the historically challenging dynamics between the sales and marketing departments. Often times the sales department complains the leads the marketing team sends them aren’t good leads while the marketing team claims the sales team doesn’t follow up on the quality leads they send over. This type of disconnect results in contention between the two organizations, which leads to a less effective customer acquisition operation based on an imperfect exchange of information.
To help address this issue, our marketing automation partner HubSpot coined the term “smarketing,” which refers to aligning sales and marketing teams through frequent and direct communication between the two departments. The objective is to have measurable goals that each team agrees to meet so there's mutual accountability. Smarketing goals should be made together, and re-evaluated frequently to identify opportunities for improvement on both teams.
Today, fintech companies have the technology they need to make this easily happen by simplifying the integrated sales and marketing plan. By implementing a closed-loop reporting system organizations can easily see the data that marketing is collecting, usually in a marketing automation system, like HubSpot, and the data that the sales team is collecting, generally seen in their CRM. This enables the sales teams to report to marketing about what happened to the leads that they received, which helps marketing understand their best and worst lead sources and helps them make decisions based on what drives the greatest ROI for the business.
To be an effective marketer, every single lead, customer, and dollar must tie back to the marketing initiative that created them. Closed-loop reporting enables the marketing team to evaluate what the best and worst lead sources are and how the prospect found the organization – be it a blog post, case study, news release, webinar, etc. According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 21 percent of B2B marketers are successful at tracking ROI – a commitment to closed-loop reporting is a huge step in solving that challenge.
Implementing a closed-loop reporting solution does require creating custom dashboards that reflect your company’s specific market situation, but enables fintech organizations to create transparency between marketing and sales. These dashboards enable the sales and marketing departments to visualize the lead pipeline, the status of each lead, where leads are generated as well as identify where and when sales staffing or capacity challenges arise. This visibility enables both departments to better understand the efficiency and effectiveness of different channels and marketing programs in respect to customer acquisition.
Marketing and sales departments ultimately have the same goal, which is generating and increasing customer adoption for your products and services, and revenue. Today’s technology, such as HubSpot’s integration with Salesforce CRM, enables fintech organizations to seamlessly work together. When marketing and sales departments work in tandem with transparent data, a more efficient and successful customer acquisition process is created, resulting in increased revenue for the entire organization.