What is Smarketing and why is it so important? Sales + Marketing = Smarketing. In a nutshell, it is about aligning the Sales and Marketing teams around the same personas and goals in order to increase revenue. As a marketer who has time constraints and pressure to keep up with marketing trends and show ROI - Smarketing makes sense and should be the next step in your marketing strategy.
Traditionally Sales and Marketing operate totally independently from each other. The right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. But considering how drastically marketing has evolved with the big bang that is the internet, it’s not surprising that effective marketing - which in turn leads to increased sales (and ultimately revenue), means that these two very different functions will need to collaborate their efforts and make sense of the sales cycle together in order to succeed.
How do I align sales and marketing?
By focusing on clear on-going communication and a high level of transparency between departments, alignment can be achieved. The first step is to align goals and personas, so that both sales and marketing are on the same page.
Start the goal alignment process and make sure that:
- teams share goals or, at the very least, that goals are related;
- both functions have a detailed understanding of goals and marketing personas; and
- each team can see the other’s progress.
Next, align the company marketing personas by:
- communicating persona details across the board throughout the company;
- allow teams to educate each other about new persona details; and
- create specialised teams around key personas.
Other areas to align
Sales and marketing have to be on the same page when it comes down to a few key points:
- revenue (the actual number);
- the stages of the sales and marketing cycle;
- what a sales ready lead is; and
- the definition of the buying persona.
Determining what the revenue total is and then breaking it down and working it backwards will reveal to how many sales / customers need to be made in order to reach target. Broken down further you can establish how many real leads you need in order to achieve the end goal. Doing this exercise will give both departments a clearer understanding of each other’s goals.
Both teams should sit down and map the sales and marketing cycles in order to agree on what the buyer’s journey is in those cycles. Furthermore the teams should discuss and agree on the definition of the buying persona as well as what qualifies as a sales ready lead. Once the teams agree on these key aspects alignment between sales and marketing has begun.
It is vital to close the feedback loop between marketing and sales. Both departments will benefit from the closed - loop reporting system. Marketing will have updated contact and status information while gaining a clearer picture of what campaigns are most effective. The plus points for the sales team are no duplication of leads and easy prioritising of leads which means much warmer leads to nurture through the purchasing process.
Marketing automation tools like Hubspot allow for closed loop reporting as long as you connect your CRM to Hubspot. This allows both teams to follow the trail a customer takes all the way from the first webpage they viewed to what happened before they became clients.
Service level agreements
A SLA formalises the details of what each of the teams commits to achieving and how they will support each other in their roles. For example: Marketing will make a commitment to the number of leads they need to generate in order to meet the company revenue target while Sales will commit to speedy follow-ups on leads.
Keep the channel of communication open. Over and above regular weekly meetings that will have both teams around the same table discussing successes, product info and marketing personas it is also important to “sell” current and future marketing campaigns to the sales team so that they can be motivated. The sales team will also have to be informed of product or service changes and any other relevant details so that they can be armed with knowledge to present to potential buyers.
Create dashboards with reports that align the sales and marketing goals. Use the dashboards to communicate progress and goals reached in terms of the SLAs. Do a monthly report that includes all the metrics in order to determine why campaigns did or did not reach set out targets. Make these dashboards available to the relevant teams.