Integrating your Sales and Marketing Teams

Posted by Lizzy Kidney on October 25, 2018

Why it’s important for your business to integrate its sales and marketing teams.

Both sales and marketing are working toward a common goal of generating revenue and earning a profit.

For a long time, there has been a thin line dividing what “sales” and “marketing” means for a business. Some may argue that there would be no sales jobs if it weren’t for marketing teams, and others may argue that marketing would be useless without a sales team.

In some cases, there are those who think the two are the same, and we can’t really blame them when even the businesses themselves are confused.

In reality, the argument seems pointless since both are working toward a common goal of generating revenue and earning a profit. This is where the term “smarketing” comes into play.

Smarketing is the process of aligning the sales and marketing teams around common goals focused on improving revenue.

So how do you align your marketing and sales teams?

First, start with defining both team’s goals.

Marketing goals tend to be long-term, such as focusing on increasing brand awareness while sales teams generally focus on short-term goals that are usually geared to meet their monthly or quarterly quotas. By taking time to communicate and understand each other’s goals and progress, you are helping both teams to generate more revenue for the company as a whole.

You also need to make sure your buyer personas are clearly defined. Defining your buyer persona is vital for marketing success. It's important that both your sales and marketing teams have a clear understanding of who your company is targeting, so they know who to market and sell to.

After you define your goals and buyer persona, you'll need to put the great debate aside and begin integrating your sales and marketing teams.

Here are 5 tips on how you can integrate smarketing into your company in order to best focus on generating revenue and making a profit.

Tip 1: Define your Sales and Marketing Funnel

In order to get everyone on the same page, it's important to have a mutual agreement on who is responsible for each stage of the sales and marketing funnel.

The funnel is divided into three different sections: the top, middle and bottom.

The marketing team is responsible for the top of the funnel, with the middle of the funnel having shared responsibility between both teams, and the sales team being responsible for the bottom of the funnel. Within each section, it is imperative that each life-cycle stage is defined in order for both teams to be on the same page.

Tip 2: Install a Closed-Loop Reporting System

Some of the problems that occur between the sales and marketing teams are generally created because they fail to implement a closed-loop reporting system. Closed-loop reporting is the feedback loop between both the sales and marketing teams. This is when the marketing team passes information on to the sales team and in return, the sales team provides feedback on that information.

This communication helps both teams to understand what marketing efforts are working in each stage of the funnel, as well as how many leads are actually being converted into customers.

Tip 3: Define your Lead Quality  

As your teams are generating leads, it is important to keep them ranked within the funnel according to the type of lead, capability of that lead, and their level of interest. Usually in the middle of the funnel, leads can be defined as either Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) or Sales Qualified Leads (SQL).

MQLs are contacts who have shown the highest level of interest in your business and can then be passed on to your sales team, while SQLs are leads who the marketing team has defined as great fits for your business and are worthy of a follow-up.

Being able to clearly define which lead is which will help you navigate the hand-off point between your sales and marketing teams.

Tip 4:  Apply a Service Level Agreement  

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) defines what both the sales and marketing teams commit to accomplishing to support the other in reaching their shared revenue goals. A marketing to sales SLA is based on how many quality leads the sales team needs in order to meet their quota, while a sales to marketing SLA is based on how many follow-up attempts are required to generate the necessary revenue.

Essentially, both teams are defining what they want to accomplish in order to support the other. The key word here is “Agreement,” so you want to make sure the Service Level Agreement is clear and concise, as well as monitored regularly to continue to hold everyone accountable.

Tip 5: Maintain Regular Communication and Monitor your Metrics

Last but not least, smarketing requires constant communication and feedback monitoring to make sure everyone is on the same page. It’s a good idea to hold weekly smarketing meetings with both teams for everyone to stay updated on campaigns, product revenue, and qualified leads. It is also helpful to hold monthly management meetings to go over metrics for that month, and to keep everyone accountable.

It is important to remember that integrating your sales and marketing teams is an ongoing process that takes place for as long as you are in business.

We hope these tips help you integrate smarketing into your business. For more insight, schedule a free marketing consultation with our team.

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