While there has been lot of discussions around the need for single view of customers across an enterprise over the last few years, 2008 seems to be a year when this trend could gain a lot of momentum.
Aberdeen Group surveyed over 250 companies to identify the strategies, capabilities and enablers that Best in Class (BIC) companies are using to improve sales and marketing alignment.
Some highlights from the report:
- Best in Class organizations plan to invest in analytics at 1.4-times the rate of the Industry average and 1.7-times the rate of laggards.
- The customer is the core of BIC companies’ plans to alleviate the pressure of increasing top-line revenue. Eighty percent (80 percent) of the BIC grate lead qualification and measurement efforts between sales and marketing, compared to 55 percent of laggards. Further, 25 percent of the BIC are preparing to better meet customers’ product configuration or personalization needs.
- BIC firms are developing processes around the customer’s needs. As customer knowledge and expectations rise, the BIC are adapting. The BIC are 1.9 times more likely than laggards to formalize processes for generating customized proposals, and 1.4 times more likely than laggards to set standards for knowledge sharing between sales and marketing.
- Sixty percent of the BIC currently have cross-functional teams, with an additional 15 percent planning a change.Over one-third of laggards have no plans to implement cross-functional teams. Working side by side facilitates knowledge transfer and increases operational efficiencies. The BIC are also adding operations roles to support sales and marketing. Currently 40 percent of the BIC have these resources in place, and 75 percent of them plan to increase their investment in dedicated personnel next year.
To me it looks like many companies will be putting together a lot of plans around setting-up cross-functional, collaborative teams to enable customer-centricity in their organizations. Also, the need for technology to get a single view of a customer’s journey across the enterprise is becoming more important to extract value/ROI out of marketing investments they are making, is getting a lot of focus amongst CXOs.