“Tech Vendors Are Disconnected Across Three Silos,” so said the headline of a recent Forrester blog. It claims that “the customer problem solving process; the vendor selling process; and the marketing process for communicating solutions” for technology vendors are disconnected. I’m inclined to agree with this; however, the problem extends beyond processes and most assuredly beyond technology vendors.
The blog advises vendors to align methods and messages across customer service, sales, and marketing to create a “cohesive go-to-market strategy.” This is great advice yet only solves half of the issue. Before methods and messages can align, organizations must offer the same level of information access and real-time data to all departments within an organization. If business units do not have access and visibility to the same go to market strategy, they cannot share a cohesive message to the outside world. The lack of visibility across all data silos (CRM, ERP, file shares, websites, etc.) limits the ability for all business areas to view a cohesive story to share with others. Everyone must have access to the same “game plan” around customer problem solving methods, selling methodologies and the marketing message in order to share a cohesive and consistent go-to-market strategy.
In many enterprises marketing pushes information to sales, customer service pulls information from customers, and never the twain shall meet. Organizations must realize the importance of having customer service, marketing, and sales working harmoniously in a collaborative environment having access to the same information. The only way to accomplish this is through information optimization—“ensuring that all the organizations information is readily accessible to each employee, partner and customer who need it in a form that is contextually relevant.”