Among the key challenges faced by sales and marketing executives shifting toward an inbound selling approach are how to align these departments, quantify successes, and optimize processes for the future.
An important element of this approach is goal-setting — without objectives, how do those in sales and marketing departments know what to work toward? Shared terminology, goals and incentives leads to more effective smarketing.
Smarketing, or the alignment between sales and marketing, relies on collaboration between these historically disparate departments. Your pipeline is full of leads that need to be identified, nurtured, and passed along as they make their ways through the prospect funnel. Your success in this process impacts your overall sales success: According to Forrester Research, companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.
Because there’s interaction in smarketing between teams that may not see eye to eye (all too common is exasperation that marketing leads underperform, or that salespeople do a poor job of following up on perfectly good leads), it’s crucial to ensure that your sales and marketing staff is on the same page.
SMART goals are the best way to get this assurance.
A classic acronym that helps many in business and beyond set effective objectives, SMART goals rely on five essential factors, explained below.
Ambiguity can prevent a goal’s definition from being agreed upon or understood. Never leave a goal open to interpretation, as that can breed hostilities and perceptions of others on the team not pulling their weight. Specificity is a great way to ensure everyone within your sales and marketing teams is on the same page.
An effective goal is able to be measured, that is, tangible and quantifiable. If your goals are abstract or esoteric, it’s impossible to gauge specific improvements or achievements. With measurable goals, business leaders can evaluate whether or not efforts have been effective.
Setting goals too high can backfire, resigning sales and marketing teams to failure instead of inspiring them. While you don’t want to make goals so easily attainable that your team can accomplish them on autopilot without striving for improvement, it’s essential to be realistic — or else your goal is meaningless.
This may seem obvious, but your goals need to relate to your mission. Think about where you want your goals to lead, and dig into why you’re setting them. If they don’t align with your overall strategy, consider choosing a more relevant goal that fits seamlessly into your smarketing roadmap.
Goals should have a window in which your team is tasked with completing them. Lingering in indeterminate limbo just isn’t as effective as setting a time-frame for the task to begin and end.
Smarketing alignment is only as good as its common terms. That’s why we believe it’s so important for marketers to have quotas — the shared accountability breeds improved communication and teamwork. As it’s essential for everyone involved to have mutual buy-in and focus on shared objectives, goal setting can make a huge difference in overall success.
Smarketing success stems from smart businesses setting SMART goals. Set yours, and see the funnel flow more freely.