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What High Performing Sales and Marketing Professionals Do Differently (And What You Can Learn From Them) recently released their 2016 State of Marketing report, filled with valuable insights on what separates the top marketers and sales teams from the mediocre and the just plain bad. High performers were noted as “’extremely satisfied’ with the current outcomes realized as a direct result of their company’s marketing investment.”

Sounds like something we all want, right? So let’s take a look at what revealing tidbits the report uncovered.

Who Are the Top Performers?

In the report, Salesforce surveyed B2B, B2C and B2B2C teams from around the world. Only 18% of those surveyed considered themselves “High Performers”, the vast majority (68%) falling into the “Moderate Performers” pile who were either very satisfied or moderately satisfied with their outcomes – meaning more work needs to be done, but they’re on the right track.

If we’re being honest, it’s likely that most of us fall within this range too.

So with that being said, here are the key takeaways that separated the great from the good:

The Best Marketing Teams are Cohesive, Adaptive and Strategic

That means they don’t just have a plan, but have mapped out and are actively monitoring their customer experience journey – a journey that hits every touchpoint of interaction a customer has with their business, from retail to mobile to social and everything in between.

And once they have it all mapped out, they watch it; carefully seizing on opportunities and adapting as technology, trends and other indicators shift.

Notice the correlation between adopting a customer journey strategy and actively mapping it, among the high performers

And if you think the “customer journey” is some woo-woo sales babble that marketing leaders use to puff up their importance, you’d be sadly mistaken. Just look at the remarkable effects such a strategy has had across the board:

Marketing leaders report astounding results in every impactful sales metric when using a customer journey strategy

Top marketing teams also embrace technology – some of which are self-described as being heavily invested in it. They aren’t relegated to a sort of “sales silo” where their work is independent of other departments, but rather they leverage the technology across multiple departments including IT, customer service and even executives.

This kind of marketing cohesion isn’t just a reflection of good teamwork, but it creates a single customer profile that’s accurate across every stage of the sales cycle. And what’s more, it branches out to feed into and sustain other areas of vital importance too, including better collaboration and better omni-channel experiences as well:

With a highly adaptive, collaborative team, omni-channel efforts are embraced, not dreaded

And while we’re on the subject of technology and teamwork, it’s important to note that:

The Best Marketing Teams Aren’t Afraid to Leverage All the Tools at Their Disposal to Get Results

Now, that doesn’t mean adopting new technology for the sake of a trend or just because it’s new. But it does mean that high performing companies are willing to make the necessary investments to stay ahead of the customer experience curve:


It also means taking full advantage of existing tools like CRM software and up-and-coming advancements such as predictive intelligence and personalization options.


What’s more, no option is off the table. These flexible, forward-looking companies are keenly interested in things most people would look at as pure gadgets or fads, such as the Internet of Things, wearables, proximity marketing/beacon technology and so forth.

Remember, the internet was once viewed as a fad as well.

Perhaps most importantly, the companies using these tools and technologies aren’t doing so with reckless abandon. They have the full faith, confidence and approval of their respective executives. When teams feel truly supported (both on an executive level and financially), the effective growth and ROI is far-reaching:


And in embracing new tools and technology, it should go without saying that:

The Best Marketing Teams Leap at Opportunities on New and Growing Advertising Platforms

Remember when social media was where you went to chat with friends or broadcast about your lunch on Twitter? It certainly wasn’t conducive to shopping. Times change, and today’s social and mobile networks are serious revenue drivers for top performing marketing teams.

Mobile marketing initiatives hit triple digit growth from 2015-2016

Marketers who embrace these changes and shifts aren’t content to rest on their laurels – especially when it comes to previously challenging aspects like wringing ROI out of mobile marketing – a goal that has jumped nearly 150% from one year to the next.

And it’s not just a single mobile strategy or tactic that’s gaining in popularity. It’s all of them.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Top marketers are squeezing every drop of value out of everything from exclusivity and loyalty promotions to proximity marketing to partner onboarding. They’re not afraid to leverage every possible cutting-edge mobile strategy in an attempt to gain more customer mind-share.

Top marketers take advantage of a variety of mobile sales techniques

Even email, that old standby that the social and mobile generation would love to forget about, is still chugging along and still producing a significant return on investment:

Email marketing still produces considerable ROI

Starting Your Own Marketing Improvement Journey

So what’s the bottom line here? In order to position your own team at the top of the peak in marketing effectiveness, do you need to pounce on every shiny marketing object that comes your way and rally the troops at every sign of sales ineffectiveness?

Not at all – and doing so would likely be disastrous.

What every great marketing team does, and what no report can truly capture, is understanding their customer. Not just in a numbers way, but in an experiential way. They don’t just acknowledge the pain points – they actively work to fix them, using all the tools, techniques and people at their disposal. Their team is a highly-oiled marketing machine that’s powered by flexibility and seizing on each new marketing shift with glee – not apprehension.

At their core, they’re not afraid to make mistakes, because they understand that growth only happens when you know what doesn’t work, and can focus on what does.

Now it’s your turn. Does your team use these methods in developing their own campaigns? Or have you seen areas that could be improved upon? Share your thoughts and stories with us in the comments below.

About the Author: Sherice Jacob helps business owners improve website design and increase conversion rates through compelling copywriting, user-friendly design and smart analytics analysis. Learn more at and download your free web copy tune-up and conversion checklist today! Follow @sherice on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ for more articles like this!