Today, invest in Digital Marketing seems to be the main approach in any company in the world. However, it is important to pay attention to other strategies as well to improve your results.
In this way, we can say that, for a long time, marketing and sales teams were considered opposites — and, in some cases, even enemies!
It is not unusual to see these two teams conflicting. But in the end, everyone is in the same boat, right?
Studies indicate that companies that realize this and promote integration between these two departments present much better results. By doing that, they start what is called a smarketing strategy.
Having said that, the goal of this post is to explain the following points:
Read on and find out how to line up your marketing and sales teams for good!
What is Smarketing?
Smarketing is a strategy that promises to align marketing and sales to achieve better and more scalable results through constant communication and goal sharing.
Sales + Marketing = Smarketing
While the marketing team focuses on attracting prospects, converting them into leads, and nurturing them with relevant materials, the sales team approaches these leads in individual conversations to close a deal.
Understanding and working positively to develop smarketing in your company is very important. According to Hubspot, organizations with well-aligned sales and marketing teams can reach an average of 20% annual growth.
When smarketing works, the teams can increase the results of any company. Alignment is not an easy task, but when the path is uncovered, the organization achieves great results.
The strength of smarketing is that it works for any company. Whether you are the CMO of a multinational or the Sales Manager of an SME, know that any type or size of business can achieve incredible results when the sales and marketing teams work together.
How to align sales and marketing teams?
It may seem difficult to put the two teams working together, but the efforts are worth it when they are in line. The first steps to conducting that alignment are:
- marketing and sales should have the same or similar goals;
- communication between teams should be transparent about the process and progress of tasks and objectives;
- alignment of buyer personas (if you don’t know what that is, you can learn all about buyer personas here)
The two teams have a striking difference: sales are extremely focused on numbers, and marketing is not.
And to get the alignment started in the best possible way, the marketing team’s objectives must be shared with those of the sales team.
What does this mean? We will show you in practice how to implement smarketing in your company.
Make sure both teams speak the same language
The marketing team’s monthly or annual goal should be based on revenue, as well as that of the sales team.
Align the sales and marketing stages according to the funnel
It is common for the marketing team to work with one funnel and the sales team with another. However, unifying them is a standard in smarketing.
Why is that? Understand that a lead’s buying journey is directly related to its average sales cycle. The secret lies in understanding how to integrate marketing and sales efforts throughout the process.
Define what a sales-ready lead is
This term refers to the client who is ready to close a deal. It fits perfectly with what the company expects from a customer, and marketing and sales should determine together what that means.
Share and understand buyer personas
Knowing the buyer personas is essential for good alignment.
While marketing needs to know them to create content that is relevant and make the leads move in the funnel, sales also need to know each persona so that their calls and follow-ups make sense for the lead.
Create a report management network between teams
If your marketing team is generating the leads, but the sales team isn’t taking advantage of them — saying that the leads are not good or that they don’t have basic information on them — or if you can’t measure what was the last marketing revenue, be aware that you need to enforce this management.
Closed-Loop Reporting means that the sales team reports to marketing what happened to the leads they received and what the marketing made of them.
This helps the marketing team understand what the best and worst sources of leads are. In the future, these reports will ensure predictability that will guarantee marketing the ability to focus on the best sources of leads.
It is a complete approach for marketing and sales teams to give and receive feedback on their actions.
This information ensures more intelligence in contact with leads, increase ROI, among other benefits.
Implement the SLA
This concept refers to agreements made between the marketing and sales teams.
For example, an agreement defined by marketing may deliver 5,000 leads in two months, while a sales team SLA may be in contact with each new SQL in one hour.
Leave an open channel of communication between the teams
Marketing and sales should be aligned not only on objectives and goals. Communication between team members is another crucial point for the proper functioning of smarketing.
Do not confuse communication with emails, messages, or phone calls. Although they are essential for the proper functioning of the teams’ routine, they are not enough. Teams need to meet frequently in large meetings, with all members.
- Weekly meeting: basic alignments between the two teams on points such as the progress of tasks, alignments on personas (updates or corrections), and other issues that interfere with the proper functioning of smarketing;
- Monthly meeting: deeper points are discussed in these meetings. Topics that could not be resolved despite the weekly meetings.
Teams should be aligned with the marketing team’s campaigns, projects, and sales team should update their colleagues on any process changes or new information.
5 good practices for quality smarketing
In theory, smarketing is incredible: everyone in the same boat, speaking the same language, seeking the same goals.
But with the daily rush and the differences between the two teams’ work, it can be difficult to ensure this alignment.
Therefore, it is recommended to adopt some specific policies so that everyone does not forget the importance of the aligned work.
Some of them are:
1. Be data-driven
This is a necessity not only for the marketing and sales teams but for the entire company.
A data-driven culture makes everyone’s work more objective and enables realistic analyses that identify problems, improvement opportunities, and trends.
Avoid setting too broad goals like “generate more opportunities” or “increase revenue”.
How many leads does marketing need to generate month to month? And in sales, how many prospects need to be addressed per day? How many need to be closed?
All of this has to be very clear to everyone if you want your goals to be accomplished.
2. Respect each other’s work
This item may seem silly, but it is essential to mention it due to its importance for quality smarketing.
Besides accepting that “everyone is in the same boat”, marketing and sales need to respect the work of the other team, understanding its role and limitations.
This makes all the work not only more productive but also more pleasant.
3. Understand clearly and agree with the proposed strategies
Those who work with sales rarely understand marketing campaigns, and those who work with marketing tend not to be very informed about sales negotiation processes.
Working in this way increases the distance between the teams and prevents the two teams from contributing to each other’s work.
Try your best to make sure everyone understands and agrees with the strategies before putting them into practice.
A salesperson can provide valuable insights into a campaign’s approach by being in close contact with the buyer persona.
4. Shared goals and incentives
If everyone has the same goals, why not share them too?
You can further enhance teamwork if performance evaluation depends on actions on both sides. Close with a golden key by promoting incentives (such as bonuses or prizes) to achieve these goals.
5. Integrated software
Remember: smarketing needs a data-driven culture to work. That’s why the icing on the cake is integrating the actions and numbers of the two teams.
Nowadays, the use of an automation platform is almost indispensable for marketing: this type of system allows centralizing all actions and following (in real-time) their results, such as traffic, lead generation, etc.
When we are talking about sales, the ideal solution is CRM (Customer Relationship Management), which helps the entire sales process.
Integrating the two simplifies the visualization of the whole process and optimizes the work of both teams.
Want an example? Imagine someone fills out a contact form on your website. Your salesperson will be notified instantly, and gain access to all the information that the marketing has already gathered from that lead.
Your campaign analysis and performance benefits a lot from this. Depending on the systems you choose, you can generate complex reports in a matter of minutes!
There’s no point in lying: integrating your sales and marketing teams won’t be easy, and you will not see the results immediately.
The important thing is to understand that smarketing is fundamental to ensure better results in your company, besides a more sustainable and predictable growth.
Start with the implementation of the actions proposed above, and don’t give up when you encounter obstacles. The process may take time, but it will certainly be worth it in the end.
How about learning more about smarketing? Watch the recording of our Webinar Jam Session on the role of content in aligning Marketing and Sales!