Sales and marketing do not have to be at odds! If 87% of the terms that sales and marketing use to describe each other are negative, you are likely going to lose money. The companies where "smarketing" - the alignment between sales and marketing - is put into place experience annual growth rates to the tune of a 20% increase on average. Smarketing marries the processes of marketing and sales into a fully integrated approach, which makes for a smoother, more efficient process.
Smarketing is Critical for Business
Marketing controls your strategy; sales controls your funnel. Either one can be a huge bottleneck to the other, and the synergy between the two is essential to getting the conversion rates that your outreach efforts deserve. The question now becomes, "how do I get my sales and marketing team on the same page?"
If left to their own devices, the goals of marketing and sales will naturally diverge. Sales representatives are concerned primarily with their individual stats - after all, they are paid to close. Marketing is more concerned with exploring new trends, improving metrics, and gathering qualified leads. Although it may seems that these goals should always be aligned, there are many scenarios that may put them at direct odds.
Shared Incentives = Shared Success
Smarketing ensures that the marketing team and the sales team have the same goals going in. Think about the way you reward your team: it doesn't matter whether the payment metric you use includes total revenue, profit margin, conversion percentage rate, or any other method for that matter. You can unify both sides of the marketing/sales coin by rewarding both of them equally for their unified successes. This will align the motives of sales and marketing in a powerful way.
Alignment Around the Same Goals
Once economic incentives are aligned, the plans for the company must be centralized. The buyer persona is an easy and convenient way to transmit valuable information about customers between departments. It also serves as the starting point to further educate and explore tactics to attract, convert, close, & delight!
In the same way that the marketing and sales teams must define a sales ready lead, both teams must also be in on the process of gleaning valuable insights from real versions of your persona. This is one of the first actionable steps of a larger closed loop communication between the two departments.
Having a Two Way Conversation
The sales team's knowledge of your target customer is critical and sometimes even taken for granted. Traditional companies are losing the best information from the front lines due to one-sided conversation that dictates policy to sales. In the smarketing funnel, the conversation between marketing and sales is two-way and ongoing. This manner of closed loop communication leads to better intelligence, improved CRM, faster lead alerts, and a shorter funnel.
The Service Level Agreement (SLA)
The smarketing relationship is solidified through the Service Level Agreement (SLA). The SLA defines its terms very particularly, so that everyone is working off of an objective sales narrative. Sales will have their requirements set in stone, and marketing will have metrics that are quantifiable and accessible to the sales team.
Once the agreements are set in place, the last step that a new smarketing company must implement is the ongoing conversation between sales, marketing and the c-suite. Instead of annual performance reviews (that are losing steam with Fortune 500 companies), use modern communications technology to open up and maintain a real time assessment of individuals and departments.
Open and consistent communication between departments will allow both sales and marketing to adjust strategies according to trends that customers set in real time instead of relying on a marketing head to create policies in an isolated environment. With this in place, your smarketing funnel will be fully functional, and you can expect better results between your sales and marketing teams.