Batman and Robin. Agent J and Agent K. The Wonder Twins. These classic duos rest in our hearts and minds not just for the skills and powers they posses, but also for their ability to face challenges as a team, find solutions to problems and ultimately save the day! They’ve got each other’s back, no matter what. This is the relationship that a marketing professional, especially one who serves as the admin for a marketing automation platform (like Eloqua!), should start, nurture and keep with a Sales Ops professional. Sales Ops can be defined as the admin for your CRM or the person responsible for creating reports for sales teams and executives.
As owners of the platforms that enable your teams to generate revenue for the business, you have more in common than anyone else in the organization. Here are some tips for how you can work with your sales ops counterpart to assist with your marketing efforts and align your common goals:
Marketing Reports and Dashboards
Eloqua does a fantastic job of allowing you to do closed loop reporting on your marketing efforts by giving you the ability to see the ROI of your marketing campaigns. Sometimes you might need to show others of your efforts early on in the process. Why not work with your Sales Ops BFF to create reports in your CRM that show marketing’s efforts. This allows sales to see the impact marketing is having on business in real time within an application they are in everyday. Work with Sales Ops to ensure the campaign related data is coming over and being tracked appropriately so that you can create your “one view of the truth” marketing dashboard within your sales CRM.
As marketers, we work hard to ensure that only qualified leads are sent to sales. We want to ensure that those qualified leads are contacted and moving through the sales cycle. Sometimes, those leads get stuck at a particular stage of the funnel. With the help of your Sales Ops BFF, you can get an understanding, and status, of the current sales funnel (i.e., stage definitions, opportunity types, lead velocity etc.). Pushing these leads through to the next sales stage often requires a targeted nurturing campaign for the variety of sales stages within your funnel. Your Sales Ops BFF can assist you with creating triggers, fields and notifications within the CRM that will help drive and guide your nurturing campaigns in Eloqua. This will result to your “stuck” leads eventually becoming marketing & sales wins!
Sales Adoption of Marketing Automation
Empowering your sales team is easy with a tool such as Eloqua Engage or Eloqua Profiler. Being able to communicate directly with a potential or existing customer helps cultivate a true relationship. Before you get to the point where your sales team is fully onboard, it’s always best to introduce it to a small and select group. Finding these individuals and getting them prepared to leverage this newly found power might take someone who knows them better than you do. Someone like your Sales Ops BFF! Your Sales Ops counterpart is in constant communication with those who might love being early adopters of new technology to help them sell and close business and can find just the right people for your sales enablement plan. Sales Ops can also quickly add any additional features to your CRM that will allow sales to facilitate their efforts to engage potential buyers.
Clean data by far is key within any organization. Data drives our decisions. Unclean data leads to unclear and misinformed decisions. Maintaining data takes more than just tools such as those found on the AppCloud. It takes people who are making it a priority within the organization. You and your Sales Ops BFF are those individuals who should be leading the way. By being the admins/owners of the two systems that allow marketing and sales to engage buyers (Eloqua and CRM), it requires both of you to ensure that data within each system is as accurate as it can be. You should be meeting regularly with your Sales Ops BFF to discuss how you will together maintain data, alert of discrepancies, manage access to the data and how you report on the data.
I hear, and read, a lot about how difficult it can be to have sales and marketing align their efforts to achieve the overall business, and revenue, goals for the company. From my own personal experience, the alignment shouldn’t just occur from the top, it should also happen at the point where marketing data meets sales data. Where the marketing automation platform is tied to the sales enablement platform.
So, with that said, find your Sales Ops BFF within your organization. Invite them out for coffee, swap geeky data horror stories, maybe even loom a BFF bracelet for them! In the end, you just made a new best friend!
NOTE: If you don’t have a sales ops person within your organization to manage your CRM, or you are doing double duty and serving as both Eloqua admin and CRM admin, I HIGHLY recommend you seek someone to be your Sales Ops person, soon.
About Ian Ingar Brown
I am a Modern Marketer, Marketing Advisor at Oracle, Former Eloqua User (since 2005), Markie Award Winner, Eloqua Experience Speaker, Marketing Technology Geek, Professional Musician, Photographer, Videographer, Husband, Father, Son. The views expressed are my own.