As more and more information has become available online, sales teams no longer have control over what information buyers have. In fact, over 60% of the sales process is typically over before a sales rep can even enter the picture. Because the sales process relies so heavily on marketing efforts such as social media, blogging, and SEO, it is necessary for the two departments to work together more than ever before.
Unfortunately, it often leads to friction between marketing and sales departments, with sales complaining about marketing failing to generate quality leads for them and marketing blaming sales for not being successful with the leads they get. Smarketing provides a solution to this friction and can increase your ROI in the process.
Smarketing (sales and marketing) involves integrating the sales and marketing processes of a business, leading to better growth and larger profits. This alignment is about more than just big picture goals. The departments should agree on a lead generation process, data systems, customer profiles, account scoring, and anything else utilized by the two teams.
How Does Smarketing Drive Growth?
- Alignment drives growth. Highly-aligned organizations see a 32% year-over-year revenue growth. Less aligned competitors saw a 7% decrease in revenue.
- Better alignment, bigger profits. Highly aligned companies are 15% more profitable.
- Top-line revenue is a good thing. Highly aligned teams drive 208% more revenue as a result of their marketing efforts.
What are the Key Steps to Smarketing?
There are several steps you can take to better align your sales and marketing.
- Audit your customer journey and attack major friction points in the sales process that don’t add value for the buyer. Look to marketing to “digitize” these manual processes.
- Skill-up sales teams to align with the buyers’ process, including the content and tools required to facilitate this alignment.
- Align 80% of your sales reps with your ideal customer profile (ICP). Let executives or “whale hunters” develop the other 20%.
- Track and analyze your losses more than your wins, including sales objections along the way. Use this data to feed content ideas for marketing teams.
- Create a playbook that maps content to the customer journey. Show sales teams how to use this playbook to overcome objections or provoke urgency in buyers.
Overcoming Smarketing Challenges
As you create a playbook for smarketing, be on the lookout for potential pitfalls. In today’s tech-driven marketplace where most of the buying process occurs online, communication and understanding between the two departments is a must. In order to collaborate effectively, they need to be equal partners, not separate silos.
Here are six tips to keep in mind:
- Have sales and marketing meet frequently: Establish that no new sales project will proceed without marketing approval and vice versa. Hold each other accountable.
- Build multiple relationships between sales and marketing: Ensure that both teams know each other well and function as one team rather than only leadership meeting together.
- Mix marketing and sales desks together: Structure your office so that sales and marketing employees understand each other’s work on a day-to-day basis.
- Provide many types of feedback between marketing and sales: Empower all team members to give feedback, and listen to that feedback.
- Agree on terminology: Develop a similar language and vocabulary for your smarketing team and build that into your reports and culture.
- Use data to communicate: Utilize daily reports that show exactly the progress of both sales and marketing each day.
The Bottom Line
Building a playbook to align your sales and marketing is a great way to increase revenue. Your marketing team will deliver increased high-quality leads, and your sales team will be equipped to transform the leads into new customers.
Want help with your brand’s B2B smarketing efforts? Let’s talk.