One of the common pain points we hear when we talk to prospective clients is that their sales and marketing teams can’t seem to find a way to work together smoothly. They each have different goals and ways of doing things, and in turn, have a hard time understanding the role the other department plays. Often the sales team says that marketing isn’t providing the right type of leads, while marketing says that sales doesn’t understand how to handle the leads correctly. Smarketing is the concept that will help you build the bridge you need between these two areas of your business.
Smarketing is the process of integrating the sales and marketing processes of a business. The objective is for the sales and marketing functions to have a common integrated approach.
But what does having the same objective and approach look like? According to HubSpot, this means that you need to align both sales and marketing around the same goals and personas.
How to Align Around the Same Goals
Aligning your sales and marketing around the same goal may seem like an impossible task. Your sales team is money driven, while your marketing team is focused on the brand and number of leads. How do you build a bridge when one side wants to build it out of money and the other out of people? It just doesn't work.
One of the best ways to align around the same goal is to work backwards from sales. Here’s a great example that HubSpot created:
Start with your shared goal: REVENUE
Revenue Goal: $10,000
Avg. Deal Size: $1,000 – Current Revenue/Current Customers
Avg. Lead to Customer percentage: 2% - Current Customers/Current Leads
Leads Needed: 500 – Customers Needed/Avg. Lead to Customer
By aligning both sales and marketing goals around revenue, your sales team has a dollar amount to strive for while your marketing team has a number of leads they can work towards. You now are able to work together and know exactly what you need from each other (marketing needs to deliver 500 leads and sales needs to close 2% of them) to reach the overarching company goal.
How to Align Around the Same Personas
Aligning around the same personas involves knowing what they need in each stage of the buyer’s journey and when they are ready to buy. If you aren’t familiar with personas – check out this quick read. By aligning around the same personas, marketing knows what type of content to produce and sales can help provide that last “bottom of the funnel” offer to close the deal.
Some things that will need to be agreed upon between your sales and marketing department include: who your buyer personas are, what each stage of the sales & marketing funnel look like for each of your personas, what a sales-ready lead looks like, and what the handoff process from marketing to sales is for those sales-ready leads.
Once you come to an agreement on these elements, you’ve tackled the most difficult part.
How to Make Sure it Works
Now that you’re both working around the same goals and personas, how do you make sure it’s effective? The first thing you should create is a closed-loop reporting system. The benefits of closed-loop reporting include up-to-date contact info and status updates for marketing, learning what marketing efforts are working and which aren’t, prioritizing leads and making warmer calls for sales, and increasing both Sales and Marketing’s ROI. HubSpot is just one of the many tools you can use for this closed-loop reporting and allows you to see every interaction with your customers when your sales team utilizes the HubSpot CRM.
Another main area that needs to be developed and maintained is open communication. Sales should feel free to let marketing know what is working and what isn’t, and marketing should be able to pass along leads and follow up to see where they are at in the sales process. Sales could also pass along pain points and questions they find many of their customers have. This will allow marketing to develop materials that will answer those questions and send even more highly qualified leads back to sales. Pretty cool, huh?
So now that you know how to build a bridge between your sales island and your marketing island, I hope you take this blueprint and start building ASAP. You’ll be amazed to see how your newly joined island will flourish and grow.
To learn more about how you can join your sales and marketing teams together with inbound marketing, get in touch.
Dan believes that marketing has one purpose: to generate sales leads. He is certain the best marketing tactics and sales people are decision-making facilitators, not yes getters and being customer-centric is the only way to be successful in the long run. Dan started Leighton Interactive in 2009 with a vision to help high-growth companies attract and close more ideal customers.
A perpetual student of sales and marketing, Dan focuses on two things: finding clients with problems Leighton Interactive solves and talent with the expertise to solve them.