For a very long time, there has a 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 businesses themselves are confused.
In reality, the argument seems pointless because 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. It requires frequent and direct communication to hold both departments mutually accountable. But what is the best way to align the two?
How to align your Marketing and Sales teams:Define 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.
Define your buyer persona: Defining your buyer persona is a 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 having defined your goals and buyer persona, it then comes time to put the great debate aside and begin integrating smarketing into your business. Check out our 5 tips to integrating Smarketing into your business:
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 3 different sections: top, middle and bottom. The marketing team responsible for the top of the funnel, 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 lifecycle stage is defined in order for both teams to be on the same page.
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.
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). MQL’s are contacts who have shown the highest level of interest in your business and can then be passed on to your sales team, while SQL’s are leads that 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.
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 to meet their quota, while a sales to marketing SLA is based on how many follow-up attempts are required to generate the required 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 SLA is clear and concise, as well as monitored regularly to continue to hold everyone accountable.
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 in order 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.