When it comes to B2B, many leaders already know that the marketing and sales relationship is key to success. The exchange of information between these teams makes it possible to get a full view of the customer and deliver connected experiences — something 69% of them expect. But there’s a third partner you may have overlooked: service.
While sales and marketing work together to bring customers through the funnel, the customer service team can build on that momentum by offering valuable insights and connection points to help establish the strong relationships that customers crave and businesses need for long-term value. Service engagement is critical to building a cohesive customer journey.
Need proof? While 76% of customers expect consistent interactions across departments, 54% say it feels like sales, service, and marketing don’t share information. For reality to mirror expectations, these functions have to work together.
There’s a reason why we, as marketers, obsess over customer experience. More data, more insights, and shared information across marketing, sales, and service drives a more seamless experience for your customers, which strengthens your brand, increases satisfaction, and grows retention. Before I found my home in marketing, I took on several roles in customer service and sales. So I’ve experienced firsthand the success that comes from aligning these teams. It’s almost magical.
Here are three reasons you should incorporate the service team into your B2B marketing strategy.
1. Customer service gathers front-line data that sales and marketing may miss.
Today, great customer service isn’t about outdoing your competitors; it’s about competing with a customer’s last best purchasing experience — in any space. “Customers expect it to be easy to do business with a brand,” said Joy Corso, chief marketing officer at Vonage. “When the experience doesn’t meet their expectations, trust is broken. You’ve just given them a reason to question their choice.”
Service team members can easily gauge the overall health of customer relationships through their everyday conversations. They collect valuable insights on buying pain points, product satisfaction, and perceived gaps in the customer journey. Sales reps and marketers can integrate these insights into their own efforts and avoid upselling and cross-selling missteps.
But the synergies don’t stop there. When service team members have access to sales and marketing data, they’re better positioned to nurture at-risk accounts and support deals in progress.
“I’m not sure people truly appreciate the type of data you get from your customer service team. They’re a treasure trove of insights,” Corso explained. “These insights might be different from sales and marketing, but they’re equally as important to get a data-driven picture of the customer. If you can paint that picture, you can serve up solutions when you see they’re having an issue. You can serve up potential new products if you know where they want to take their business. You can triage things before they become a problem.”
Vonage CMO Joy Corso recently appeared on the Marketing Trends podcast to talk about the role of today’s CMO, the value of integrating customer service into your B2B marketing efforts, and leveraging your martech stack.
2. Technology makes it easy to incorporate service into your B2B marketing efforts.
In today’s digital world, you don’t have to rely on manual processes, in-person meetings, or even video calls to keep internal teams connected. In fact, many businesses already have a CRM in place to provide a single source of truth for customer data.
But sales and marketing aren’t the only teams that stand to benefit from this information. When you incorporate service into your martech solutions, all three groups can share, receive, and act on information in real time. When you leave service out, you’re limiting how effective your technology stack can be.
“The goal used to be getting customers to stay on your website as long as possible,” Corso said. “Now, it’s not just keeping them engaged, it’s also getting them to the right spot — helping them get from point A to point B as quickly as possible with the least amount of friction, and making sure they get what they want and need. ”
She noted, “We’re all customers, and when you have to give your information multiple times, it’s hard. There’s a beauty to it when companies get it right.”
3. Customer experience is a team sport.
At its core, B2B marketing is about putting your buyers at the center of every interaction — no matter who they engage with at your business.
Just like a rowing team goes faster when all oars are in the water, your sales, marketing, and service teams will deliver better customer experiences faster when they’re in sync on which accounts to target, how best to engage and grow those relationships over time, and what success ultimately looks like.
“It’s a team sport,” Corso said. “You burn a lot of calories when you’re not going in the same direction. Business leaders need to make sure their teams are aligned and working together to deliver the best customer experience possible.”
Hear more insights from Vonage CMO Joy Corso in this episode of The Marketing Trends podcast.
Learn more about aligning sales, marketing, and service with an account-based marketing approach with these B2B marketing resources from Salesforce.