Company culture has historically dictated that the two departments of marketing and sales should be kept separate - sometimes to the extent that they work in different parts of a building, if not at a completely separate location altogether.
A study by a datahouse in the US in 2017 found that 51% of marketers were not satisfied with the level of communication between the marketing and sales teams and 53% of sales professionals were not pleased with marketing’s support. You wonder if this could be why a reported 90% of content created for sales by marketing is never used!
This is where ‘Smarketing’ comes in; 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. This can reportedly lead to annual revenue growth of up to 20%, according to a study in 2010.
So what steps can be taken right now to join up your sales and marketing functions and tackle your common business goals?
1. Start by recognising that you have a disconnect between your sales and marketing functions and you are not all working towards the same business goal. Identifying this is the first step to changing.
2. Put in place a recurring Smarketing meeting at least fortnightly. This is where marketing and sales come together to discuss progress towards an end goal. It’s important that this meeting is for the ‘team on the ground’ and not for your management team to digress on targets. It should be used to discuss the day-to-day and to shape activity going forward.
3. Jointly document your MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) to SQL (Sales Qualified Lead) process. What is considered a good fit lead for your business? At what point is the contact passed to sales and in the same vein, when is it passed back to marketing? What’s the sweet spot in your lead cycle? Consider introducing lead scoring to make this process even more robust.
4. Collaborate on content creation for sales. A study undertaken in the US showed that 32% of a sales person’s time was spent looking for, or creating, sales content. Sales and marketing need to work together to create targeted content that speaks directly to your target clients. Having a shared understanding of your audience and what they need ensures that both teams are on the same page at all times.
5.Finally, maintain a healthy company culture between your marketing and sales teams. They are both vital and a disconnect can, over time, manifest into how your clients feel about your business. Spend time together, encourage collaboration and agree on mutually-beneficial goals.
Want to find out more about aligning your marketing and sales teams for success across inbound? Get in touch.