Blurred Lines Between Digital Marketing and Sales

Being a digital business has no limits, however, not evolving your technologies, sales motions, and innovation to match customer’s shifting needs, you can suffocate your business’ growth potential. You’re not alone, we all feel the pressure. And what’s driving this need for change is the customer – their buying habits and methods for consuming have shifted – and will only continue to change throughout 2018 and beyond.

In today’s world, we can see what people from all around the world are doing, eating, buying, behaving and feeling thanks to the online platforms and emergence of IoT. Connected devices and platforms are a huge greenspace for B2B companies. For Cisco, we must focus on our customers and partners through a different lens to standout and deliver an unmatched customer experience. We still need to know the needs of these people – and we do a lot of work in regards to IoT and personas to ensure we target the right person, at the right time, with the right content.

Regardless of where you are on the digital spectrum, you need to be aware of the new technologies and WHO your customer is to create these personalized experiences. To add a layer of complexity, Gartner predicts that 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human by 2020 – say hello to personalized experiences thanks to technology. For us, that means we need to focus on strategic implementation of these technologies to maximize business value rather than purely adopting them.

2018 will not only be the year of experimental campaigns and investments in new talents and tools, but one of borderless collaboration between sales and marketing teams to make the most of these investments. Digital has turned us from focusing on customer engagement to engaging throughout the entire customer experience – no matter what business type you work in. Sales and marketing must be aligned in orchestrating customer engagement throughout the lifecycle for the greatest success.

I want to share different ways that we can leverage this connection between sales and marketing to harness and activate engagement and create greater sales opportunities:

Implement a cross-functional lens. Sales and marketing teams must  hare the same goals: drive sales, accelerate the sales cycle, and deepen customer relationships. By aligninggoals between the two teams, you will find that customer engagement is higher throughout the customer lifecycle, from landing the sale, to the adoption, renewal, and expansion stages.


Data will help you make it work. Sharing insights between sales and marketing will help to identify pain points on both sides, but also help to understand the customer better from amore holistic lens. Measuring engagement buying cycles is critical since it arms marketing and sales with intel they can use to amplify or tweak engagement methods for the future. This will help create a customized and most optimal customer experience.


Synergy can create a trusted brand persona. The sales team can bring a different layer of perspective to the table, since they’re closer to unique customer emotions, behaviors andfeedback. These insights will give marketing teams a bigger picture of how to target their audiences at the right time, with the right content, in the right place. Three questionscustomers ask when comparing competitive products and services include (1) Will this work for my business?, (2) Can I afford it?, (3) Can I trust this company? Products and offerings alone won’t drive trust. Sales and marketing must work together to sustain brand consistency, which helps differentiate and reinforce your company’s position, product and service quality.

I believe these three suggestions will truly aid becoming a borderless business, and I encourage you to bring this conversation to the table with your marketing and sales leaders. We will see many more changes over this next year, and I’m excited to continue chasing relevance together into the post digital world.