With cloud solutions becoming more commonplace in companies, departments are enthusiastically integrating these technologies into their processes to provide more streamlined internal operations as well as a better customer experience. However, when the line of business users try to integrate these solutions on their own, bypassing the assistance of IT departments, surveys show that 45 percent of departments ran into roadblocks with set-up and needed to turn to their company’s IT department to assist with properly setting up the solution, whether for security concerns, set-up issues or other problems. The biggest culprits of this process are often the sales and marketing departments, as their goal is to get set up and integrate the system into their daily work as soon as possible.
Technology has become very engrained into these departments. Sales will use technology, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), to track their activity and account information, while marketing will use both CRM and marketing automation systems to assist in managing campaigns and customer interaction. While technology has become embedded, it does not mean that these groups know how to choose the system that will best integrate with their current system and how to most efficiently install it.
To streamline technology practices, IT departments need to strengthen their relationships with other departments, as their experience and expertise with these systems and proper installations will simplify the timeline and eliminate any confusion. The IT department must now become its own internal marketing department, promoting its services for system installation and deployment as an alternative for working directly with vendors for an out-of-the-box solution.
Through building these stronger lines of communication and relationships with the line of business users, like sales and marketing, IT departments will be able to ensure that technical projects are completed faster and more successfully with fewer headaches. Adding IT’s voice into the mix will lead to stronger systems being integrated. Once IT’s knowledgebase is used to select the system that will best mesh with current practices, IT is better able to answer questions that sales and marketing wouldn’t even think to ask, and will know how the greater technical picture looks as well as which product will not only fill the sales or marketing department’s needs, but also best integrate with the technologies they already are using daily.
Today, with so many new technology options for companies, IT managers should focus on overall business strategy rather than fussing over the details of bits and bytes, just as their counterparts in marketing and sales dwell on opens and clicks or dollars and cents, respectively. By understanding the big picture of what makes their business grow and separates them from competitors, the IT, sales and marketing departments can be an unstoppable team.
Building these partnerships won’t happen overnight; it will take patience and diligence. However, having the IT department seen as a partner in the future of technical endeavors will leave the organization stronger as a whole.
About the Author:
TopLine Strategies delivers the complete integration and development of sales, marketing and customer service technologies that enable corporate clientele to improve revenue streams and strengthen customer interactions. Our project management and consulting is designed to achieve timely delivery, 100 percent user adoption of the technologies we implement and deliver measurable returns on investments for our clients.