As the pressure for companies to increase top-line revenue growth continues to mount, organizations are focusing on new ways to bridge the gap that traditionally exists between sales and marketing departments. In addition to key organizational and performance management initiatives, companies are integrating sales and marketing technologies to drive performance in annual revenue, Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI), and lead conversion rates. By integrating essential sales and marketing technologies, such as CRM, marketing automation, email marketing, and web analytics, Best-in-Class companies can predict and fulfill customer needs with greater accuracy. A recent study, "The Convergence of Sales and Marketing Technologies," conducted by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), revealed that 73% of Best-in-Class organizations are currently integrating sales and marketing technologies. The study reveals the measurable strategic value in integrating sales and marketing technologies.
This integration stems from the expectation that sales and marketing departments contribute tangible value to a company's bottom line. Survey respondents identified the need to increase top-line revenue growth and improve the ROMI as the top two pressures causing companies to focus resources on integrating sales and marketing technologies, 60% and 58% respectively. Best-in-Class companies indicated that they currently utilize lead management solutions (79%), CRM / SFA (76%), email marketing (88%), and marketing automation (70%) -- and 73% currently integrate one or more marketing technologies with CRM. Furthermore, Best-in-Class companies are two-times more likely than Industry Average and Laggards to integrate marketing campaign data at the customer / account level within CRM.
"The proliferation of marketing and sales channels continues to challenge every organization to identify the most effective, efficient ways to leverage the data that is typically spread across multiple disparate systems," explains Ian Michiels, a research analyst at Aberdeen. "The opportunity to drive top-line revenue and increase return on marketing investment lie in the effective integration between disparate information sources within sales and marketing. In the future, Best-in-Class organizations will focus on building an integrated sales and marketing platform through integration and closed-loop practices."
The report demonstrates the value of combining key process organizational processes, such as formalized processes for sharing data between sales and marketing, with crucial technology enablers to provide better alignment between the two departments. By standardizing certain performance metrics, such as a shared definition for measuring ROI on marketing campaigns (36%), Best-in-Class companies are able to blend organizational capabilities with technology implementation to create the "perfect storm" of sales and marketing effectiveness.
The research educates readers on how to support ROMI initiatives through technology implementation. The report also provides that results that Best-in-Class companies achieve across key sales and marketing metrics after integrating technology enablers and compares these companies to the Industry Average and Laggards who have not yet pursued a similar strategy. A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Eloqua, Market2Lead, Neolane, and ExactTarget. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4177.
About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company
Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.
As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.
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