Sales Intelligence in Internet Marketing

April 13, 2013 by Juha Merinen

The highly underestimated combined effect of professional sales intelligence and systematic approach to inbound internet marketing may just be the key success factor for any business. The missing link in creating superior holistic alignment between sales and marketing teams has to be found in all success hungry organisations. For Small and Medium-sized Enterprises looking to grow and scale the business abroad this is a “Do or Die” action point.

Sales and Marketing success only comes when each side works together toward shared goals

The seamless alignment of the key business strategies and processes like customer, sales, marketing, internet and communications and turning those into a truly cooperative action toward shared goals will make the difference.
The “million dollar question” is – how to do this? To start with, let us analyze this by looking it from a structured
sales process and lead generation perspective.

By simplifying quite a bit the traditional phases of a typical sales funnel we can state it consist of following steps:

  • Suspect, Prospect, Qualify, Develop, Close and Customer

All the above phases normally should include very specific objectives and activities – combined with pre-set definitions and criteria for harmonized probabilities for analyzing the status and planning the next steps of the
deal on hand. In the best case scenario the company has even integrated the customer process e.g. evaluation, decision making and purchase processes into its internal sales processes.  However, this is not the case in all the organisations as we quite blindly still believe that our internal processes are the ones that need to be focused on and improved.

The significance of sophisticated inbound internet marketing in internationalization

It is all about generating sales leads and converting them into customers. Simple as that – or is it? How do you align sales and marketing for quality leads? This is where the human factor steps into the picture. Traditionally sales and marketing teams have been living a life of their own in their well-built silos, having close to nothing service level agreements between the two. In the worst case scenario these two business critical functions are not even sharing
the same objectives – not even mentioning the integration of customer driven activities supporting each other.

Sales needs all the modern internet marketing elements like lead generation, blogging, social media, search engine optimization, lead management and nurturing and naturally; analytics for improvement towards the future. Similar
to sales and customer processes, modern internet marketing has to be fully aligned with the other business processes.

The winning formula will be to create a joint sales excellence in inbound marketing – by innovating agile and tightly aligned one-company-way approach.

The Must-Win-Battle: Sales Engine Optimization

I strongly believe that the best way to win the game is to change the rules. When it comes to sales intelligence it is
all about making a strategic decision to optimize the whole sales engine to be a winning team. Discussion about what is company´s social media strategy, how to maximize internet visibility or how active we are out in the field is quite irrelevant. The real effect comes when all customer activities – based on the corporate strategy – are focusing only  on the essentials from the customer perspective and supporting each other in a timely manner.


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