Boosting Business Success with integrated Market Management


Meanwhile, a number of approaches are available to solve the classical ´conflict´ between Marketing and Sales. However, there is much less focus on the cooperation of the two functions with their company´s service department. This is all the more astonishing as a growing number of successful companies actively market a range of services in addition to their physical products, thereby increasing turnover and profit.

Customers expect a supplier´s different functions to speak to them with ´one voice´ and that all activities are coordinated accordingly. However, reality often looks quite different: Many companies have a ´silo mentality´: Marketing, Sales and Service speak different languages, they don´t cooperate, but work alongside each other – and sometimes even against each other.

This leads to wasted resources, insufficient realization of market potentials and decreasing customer satisfaction. At the end of the day, companies weaken their competitive position and stay behind their possibilities.

Integrated Market Management is aimed at better aligning Marketing, Sales and Service in order to make the company´s market development more effective. Integrated Market Management starts with a clear and consistent market strategy which answers the following questions: Who is our target group? How do we prioritize our customers? What should we offer our customers – physical products, services or a combination of both? Which unique features of our offering should we emphasize? What is the customer benefit?

Once these questions have been answered, management has to define how the strategy is to be implemented by Marketing, Sales and Service. A precondition fo the successful alignment of the three functions is a leadership culture which actively promotes and rewards cross-functional cooperation.

At the tactical level, Integrated Market Management is based on 5 building blocks:

  • Understand Market and Customer Requirements
    Customers increasingly seek total solutions which help them increase productivity and cut costs. This is only possible if the supplier´s marketing (product management) provides the right offering and if this is implemented in close cooperation by Sales and Service.
  • Bundle Specialist Know-How in Teams
    Cross-functional teamwork does not mean that everybody should be able to do everything. Rather, it is about bundling the expert know-how residing within each of the 3 functions in order to offer the customer the best solution.
  • Determine cross-functional Interfaces and Responsibilities
    Based on a list of core activities – ranging from product development to implementing tailored solutions at the customer site -, it has to be decided who is responsible for what and how each of the two other functions has to be involved.
  • Establish Structures, Processes and Information Systems
    Once responsibilities and cross-functional interfaces have been defined, appropriate structures, processes and information systems have to be established to facilitate an integrated strategy implementation.
  • Measure Success and optimize Implementation
    A company´s strategic controlling monitors environmental and market changes - if required the market strategy and its implementation will we adjusted. Tactical controlling continuously measures deviations from defined targets with the help of key metrics (Key Performance Indicators) and initiates the necessary adjustments.


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