The Case for Data Unification for Sales and Marketing

In our book “Smarketing: How to Achieve Competitive Advantage Through Blended Sales and Marketing” Adam Gray and I provide a Blue Print for the merger for Sales and Marketing.While people often see that this is about people and process (which we cover in our book, available on Amazon by the way), there is also the issue of data.Many companies work in silos, in some companies I’ve worked in it’s been like children and toys. They are their toys and there is no way we are going to let anyone else borrow them.The world has changed, the buyer doesn’t care, they are using social, the internet and mobile to do their own research. The lines between sales and marketing are now blurred if not now merged.

The Merger of Data in the Buying Process

If you didn’t know Microsoft approached us 18 months ago to work with them on a number of their products within the Microsoft Dynamics 365 range. With their purchase of Linkedin, the work in merging (not interfacing) the data in Linkedin with the Microsoft CRM has begun a pace. We are not, by the way, CRM implementors, we are working around the Social Piece on how Linkedin, Linkedin Sales Navigator and Microsoft Social Engagement (MSE) work together to form a single dataset entity. So product stuff over, what does that mean from a business prospective.Microsoft Social Engagement (MSE) is a social listening tool. While this often “sits” in Marketing, while it can be used by Marketing for brand listening, it is also designed to be used by sales people. Each salesperson (all within the cost of the Enterprise Microsoft Dynamics licence) can listen for terms covering their own unique territory. This means that the sales people can use the tool to do the prospecting and it does this 24 hours a day and even when you are on holiday.We have taken this data and integrated it into a Sales Navigator workflow. Sales Navigator, being, probably, the best social selling tool available on the market. But merging the power of MSE, Linkedin and Sales Navigator you have an extraordinarily powerful dataset to drive insight and behaviour change around social selling.

That’s Not All

Not only that, we also started to build out the Hierarchy & Organisation Chart, powered by Sales Navigator, which writes back into Dynamics.Related: Your Business Needs a Social Media Blue PrintNow here at Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) we are the biggest cynics when it comes to most things “Martech” or “Salestech” – but what Microsoft & LinkedIn are doing in this space is truly changing the rules of engagement. Organisations that grasp this, drive and support the behaviour change required will reap the rewards. Now is this just “pie in the sky” no! People are already using this data as part of their social selling implementations, we are, for example, supporting RSM UK on their journey.Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) also have a day strategy session where we work with organisation to create a data strategy. In this we talk about the different types of data, 1st Party, 2nd Party and 3rd Party, we work with you to understand your “as is” environment then look at the attributes that what you could do in the future with data in terms of sales and marketing working in unison. The output is a report that will provide a blue print for your future data capabilities.Thanks to Alex Low for the inspiration and support in writing this blog.