We have been looking at the advantage that the Revenue Ops approach brings to marketing teams. As the revenue ops strategy aligns marketing with other departments involved, including the sales department, it also makes sense to pay attention to what it does for sales, specifically when the organization capitalizes on a CDP.
The past was linear
In the past, marketing, sales, and customer success departments operated as disparate teams, each concerned only with the role it played in a particular stage of the customer journey. Working independently, each department developed its own direction, its own technology stack, its own departmental goals, and its associated key performance indicators.
Consolidating a multitude of streams of data was not necessary to direct an overall strategy, and businesses were able to coast along with each team doing its own thing with its preferred system and tech stack. Though they were disconnected, it was still possible to achieve business lift and meet revenue goals so long as the customer movement conformed to a predictable, linear sales cycle.
The future follows the customer
But, as sales people have discovered, the sales cycle is no longer linear. Businesses today have to deal with a new type of customer journey, one that no longer starts with the seller’s marketing. Business customers today are proactive about educating themselves, checking out businesses online before speaking to the sales reps.
In addition, most sales rely on repeat business, particularly, the increasingly-popular subscription-based business model. Consequently, businesses today cannot just bank on the linear approach of marketing efforts to be followed by sales and then by customer success teams, each with their own goals.
It is this shift in the paradigm from a linear progression of marketing to sales to customer experience to a cyclical view that underlies the emergence of the hybrid funnel. Retaining and converting existing customers shows better ROI than acquisition marketing alone. To capitalize on that approach, you need the data integration capabilities of a CDP.
A Customer Data Platform or CDP is a fundamental tool for businesses that adopt a revenue ops mindset. David M. Raab, Principal of Raab Associates Inc and Founder of the Customer Data Platform Institute explained in the Zylotech Revenue Ops Whitepaper:
“Revenue Ops requires coordinating activities across many departments that use many different systems. The essential first steps in doing this are to combine data from those systems into a complete view of each customer and to make that view available to every system that needs it. This is exactly what Customer Data Platforms offer. CDPs are a critical foundational technology for any Revenue Operations strategy.”
However, while the CDP will link up all the relevant data that centers around your customer, by itself, you also need the power of AI for automation to enable your system to take in and act on all the data flowing in. For sales teams, an AI-empowered CDP provides the key to more strategic planning with the power to respond to real-time data.
That can make a huge difference in the success of sales including better routing, territory planning, and forecasting. Because it enables sales people’s actionable insight based on deep patterns and trends, they are able to see beyond the obvious for signal of receptiveness for cross-selling and upselling opportunities.
Ariella Brown is a Zylotech contributing writer.
If you liked this post, check out our recent blog post: How machine learning solves your customer data quality issues.