In the past, salesmen and marketers have been separate entities. With each one standing on their own island, looking out across the water at the other one and wondering just exactly what their purpose is, what are they scheming? Sales people and marketers often use mostly negative words when describing the job of one another. Where a marketer would describe a sales person as lazy or incompetent, the salesman would describe the marketer as overly academic and even irrelevant. This type of mindset can be toxic to business in today’s highly cooperative workplace.
While marketing and sales are completely different continents in the world of business, it is important that both realize they are equally responsible for the performance of their company. This could be achieved by aligning sales and marketing so that they become the highly cooperative Pangea of “Smarketing.”
Sales and marketing should realize that ultimately they are on the same team, and in the end they are working towards the same goal of generating business for their company. Both departments should be aligned around the same or related goals, and should have transparency into each other’s goals and progress towards them. They should also allow each other access to the various buyer personas that each has developed, while at the same time providing each other with insight on them. Alignment around specific personas helps the company to solve the specific problem of that persona.
Hubspot has identified five steps for integrating Smarketing:
- Speak the Same Language: In order for sales and marketing to align around the same goal, they must use a similar metric. Sales is a good metric for both departments because it can be boiled down to leads needed for marketing and sales needed for the sales department. Equally important is the alignment of the definition of a sales-ready lead; a potential customer that shows a high level of fit and interest.
- Set Up Closed-Loop Reporting: Proper reporting between departments can help marketers determine if the leads they gather are any good, and can also provide insight into the effect of your marketing efforts. Sales can see which leads are worth pursuing, which aren’t worth pursuing, and helps to eliminate duplicate leads.
- Implement a Service Level Agreement: An SLA defines what sales and marketing commits to accomplishing a common goal, in order to support each other. Agreements such as marketing delivering a minimum number of leads to sales per month, or Sales making a certain number of attempts to engage a potential customer in a set period of time.
- Maintain Open Communication: Holding a smarketing meeting in which both sales and marketing attend to discuss team successes, educate each other about personas and to address potential issues regarding service level agreements. Management meetings should also be held so that key managers can discuss these topics in depth and to resolve any potential issues.
- Rely on Data: You can create a common dashboard for both sales and marketing to use, through which they can share reports aligned with their common goal, and measure progress towards service level agreements. A common dashboard can also help to measure the volume of quality leads against the monthly goal, and to adjust accordingly. This dashboard would also help to track your various efforts and determine which are the most successful.