Why it's Important for the CMO to be Friends with Sales and CSM
by Maryna Sharapa, on 11 June, 2020
It seems that a CMO always pays more attention to building a relationship with the CEO than with the head of the sales department or the customer success management (CSM) department. Ten years ago, the idea that we have our own work in marketing and they have their own work in sales or CSM may have been benign. But today, this mindset is destructive.
The valuable connective role of the CMO and marketing department
No matter how many people there are in your marketing department, what they’re doing is a magical secret to all your other specialists. For the CMO, it’s crucial to establish the authority of the marketing department, showing and explaining to everyone in the company the results of their collective work and, in particular, the role of the marketing department. To do this, the CMO needs tons of information.
Today, marketing roles and functions are changing. Marketers’ responsibilities aren’t limited to handing out fliers and chatting over some beers at conferences. Marketing is the knowledge center and the sales engine of the company all at once. It’s up to marketing to become the voice of the company and build corporate credibility. That’s why each byte of data can multiply your revenue if you invest it in marketing.
Marketing is a compass for the company as they navigate the outside world. The marketing department knows what your competitors are doing, how the market is changing, and even how the next president of the company will affect the business (or at least they should be thinking about it). Also, marketing puts the company in the game — this department is responsible for positioning the company on the market and for telling everyone about the company and its products through PR and advertising. In other words, the marketing department moves the company toward its goals. The function of marketing as an ambassador to the outside world is crucial, both for top management and other departments.
But marketing also conducts internal research and advises on product development. Market data is of no use without knowledge of the product. The marketing department’s knowledge of a product must be perfect to clearly present product messages to the target audience. Also, marketing is typically a source of interesting insights for product development, as the marketing team knows a lot about competitors’ bells and whistles, what your audience might like, and your partners’ growth vectors. There’s no point in developing a new feature if all your competitors have already developed it and none of your customers will buy it from you.
By the way, establishing a friendship between marketing, sales, and CSM is fruitful for the whole company:
- Sales can give unique feedback about objections from leads, problems with installations or trials, and a lack of advertising, educational materials, or product understanding. This information can be used to improve landing pages and to create scripts for persuading leads in voice calls, emails, etc. Sales gives feedback. Then marketing takes that feedback and creates materials connected with pain-relieving features of the product and gives those materials back to sales in a form that can be practically used. This is especially true for the enterprise segment. Also, marketing helps sales better understand the product to be more confident in persuading customers.
- Sales gives feedback on why customers buy your product. That helps marketing understand the truly attractive features of the product and adjust the advertising strategy, shifting the focus to what matters most for the customer.
- CSM tells marketing how customers use the product and where the biggest value is for the customer. A company’s idea of their product’s value might differ greatly from the value perceived by customers. And thanks to communication between CSM and marketing, companies can find out how their product helps customers.
- By maximizing product value for customers, the development, marketing, and CSM departments can be more successful at retaining customers. People stay with loyal companies that provide good service.
- If marketing needs customer feedback or success stories to post, CSM can get them easily if they have close relationships with customers. It also works in the other direction: When marketing runs a practical webinar, CSM can personally invite customers to improve their product skills.
Each feature of your product can be described from a different perspective by the product development, marketing, sales, and CSM departments. The speed at which data is exchanged between departments determines the success and timeliness of decisions and actions. Get all of your departments working in harmony for a competitive advantage. Strong internal relationships will lead to a deeper understanding of what must be done for your company to succeed.