SMarketing: How Aligning Sales and Marketing Can Help Your Business

Marketing and sales. They’re a formidable duo capable of propelling any company to success. However, when these two critical business functions do not work in tandem, the opposite can occur. Double handling, squandered resources, and too many distinct goals contribute to a fractured environment that can muddle the customer journey. In the worst-case scenario, the two teams may actively work against each other. Doesn’t sound very productive, does it? On the other hand, if you can get all of these things right and effectively align your sales and marketing efforts, you could see a significant increase in revenue. How big is it? Companies that are successful in doing so see an increase in revenue of 208 percent on average.

Before We Begin, What Exactly Is Smarketing?

To be honest, smarketing is a strange-sounding word, but for good reason.

Smarketing, a combination of the words “sales” and “marketing,” ensures that sales and marketing are pulling in the same direction and working toward a common goal.

You wouldn’t think it makes sense for these two areas of the business to be in competition with one another. You are not alone; in fact, 87 percent of sales and marketing leaders believe that efficiently sharing resources within an open and honest collaboration culture can have far-reaching and long-term positive effects on business growth.

Sales and marketing misalignment is rarely intentional, which is why it’s important to pay attention and actively monitor what’s working and what isn’t.

What Makes Sales and Marketing Such a Potent Combination?

The figures don’t lie: Businesses that successfully aligned their sales and marketing teams reported being 67% more effective at closing deals and 58% more effective at customer retention. It’s simply the most effective way to reduce waste, cut costs, and accelerate progress toward better results.

Let’s look at some of the other key advantages of better sales and marketing alignment:

Nothing is overlooked because information is shared.

Without a doubt, there are numerous distinctions between sales and marketing.

When there is a lack of alignment, these differences can foster a culture of conflict and competition, which can harm the customer experience and, as a result, conversions. However, by reversing this and bringing the two together, you can encourage the free exchange of ideas and open collaboration, transforming these differences into a strength for your company.

Sales and marketing work with different types of information, so communication is essential in assisting one another. Not all information will be relevant to those who receive it, but by openly sharing information between sales and marketing, you increase your chances of recognizing important information, which in turn directs your efforts in the right direction.

Creating Common Objectives

It may seem self-evident, but when sales and marketing are pulling in opposite directions, you will end up with poorer results and lost revenue.

It’s difficult to get where you need to go when two horses are harnessed to opposite ends of the same cart. By bringing these teams together, time, effort, and resources can be easily shared, leaving your company with fewer goals to achieve and a better chance of hitting the mark and achieving the desired results.

Confusion Over Definitions of a Qualified Lead Has Been Reduced

According to recent surveys, only 7% of salespeople believe that marketing teams share high-quality leads. Isn’t it much? A more telling statistic is that only 28% of salespeople believe their own marketing team is their best source of leads. This demonstrates a profound lack of trust and faith in a team that should be their most valuable asset and ally. When collaboration and communication are lacking, it is very easy to disagree on what constitutes a high-quality lead. With uncertainty over which leads to pursue, the likelihood of following leads that were previously unlikely to convert increases significantly.

Surveys have shown that when a collaborative environment is successfully encouraged and implemented, 94 percent of top-performing salespeople believe they are always receiving high-quality leads from their internal marketing team. If you get this step right, your chances of attracting better leads that convert into sales will increase exponentially.

Create a Positive Workplace Environment

A little healthy competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing for a business. It can elicit a desire for better results as well as a greater sense of accomplishment when those sales are completed. However, when your sales and marketing departments clash, the only thing that suffers is your bottom line. Aligning goals and objectives helps everyone understand that they are all in the same boat and working toward the same goal. This will help your business thrive, and you will have created an exciting, positive environment that is better for everyone involved, which also aids in skill retention.

On Strategy, Let’s Meet in the Middle

It’s critical to get your strategy right from the start. To make the customer journey as smooth as possible for a potential buyer, both sales and marketing must understand it. So, why don’t two different teams working for the same company collaborate to ensure this happens? Strong sales and marketing alignment increases the likelihood of having a well-defined strategy from start to finish. When your sales and marketing departments collaborate closely, they have a better chance of ironing out any kinks and developing a well-thought-out customer journey that results in more sales, more of the time.

Remove Roadblocks from Your Customer’s Journey

We all want our purchasing experience to be as easy as possible. In fact, you’d hope that it provides a consistent, enjoyable experience that your customers will want to tell their friends about. To accomplish this, sales must pick up where marketing leaves off, resulting in a frictionless and organic process with consistent business messaging.

By sharing resources like objection-handling notes, call scripts, PDFs, and email templates, both teams will always be on the same page and ready for a smooth lead handover.

How to Coordinate Sales and Marketing

Aligning sales and marketing can take some time and effort, especially if these teams are used to working in a competitive environment.

So, what can you do to break free from this mindset and create the collaborative space that both teams require to succeed?

Let’s take a closer look:

Create a Sales and Marketing Service Level Agreement (SLA) over time.

To get started, you’ll need to create a sales and marketing Service Level Agreement (SLA). This is a document that lays out the requirements and metrics for achieving business success.

The SLA will clearly define the ongoing working relationship as well as any relevant expectations. It must include the following information.

Buyer personas that are ideal

What exactly is a qualified lead?

Goals and Key Performance Indicators

Responsibilities and Accountabilities

The transition from marketing to sales timing

Of course, in order to create the most comprehensive and effective SLA, both teams will need to collaborate. As a result, everyone’s needs, ambitions, and goals are mutually developed and understood.

Gather for Regular Meetings

Maintaining an open line of communication between sales and marketing is essential for staying on top of your goals and tracking overall progress.

Regular meetings are a simple way to bring everyone together and discuss successes, areas for improvement, and a general assessment of how everyone is progressing. A weekly meeting, as an open forum, is also an excellent place to freely share new ideas, resources, and insights that can benefit everyone.

Rank Your Leads

If these are effectively implemented, you should notice improved working relationships in no time.
One of the most common issues that can arise between sales and marketing is the misallocation of resources to appeal to the wrong target audience. As previously stated, having a clear understanding of what constitutes a qualified lead is the best way to avoid this situation.

You can ensure that everyone recognizes the most important characteristics of these customers by bringing your teams together to discuss the ins and outs of your ideal customer persona. Once you’ve sorted this out, it’s a good idea to rank each of these characteristics in terms of how important they are to a successful sale.

Demographics, business information, customer behavior, online engagement, and past purchases are all important buyer characteristics to consider, among many others. With all of this in mind, it’s critical to remember that your lead scoring should never be static. With market trends constantly shifting, it’s critical that you constantly monitor and adjust your lead scoring criteria to better reflect the current state of your business and its relationship with your customers.

Following the completion of the lead scoring process, ensure that all key criteria are included in your sales and marketing SLA.

Create a Team-First Environment

While it probably goes without saying, teams that work in a friendly environment are more likely to support one another in order to achieve their goals. You can drastically change how your teams understand each other and how they can best work together as a unit by actively encouraging a positive working environment.

Even simple things like your office layout can have a significant impact on positivity and collaboration. By keeping things open and removing any isolating factors from your space, you can break down physical and communicative barriers, creating endless opportunities for collaboration and support amongst one another.

While these suggestions are geared toward the workplace, it’s also worth considering planning regular social events and team-building exercises to help employees get to know one another and build connections that lead to better working relationships.

To Achieve More, Work as a Team

As a broad generalization, salespeople and marketers are inherently different. And these distinctions can be difficult to reconcile. Even the most competitive business environments, with a transparent and inclusive alignment process, can break down the barriers to success and build a strong, supportive team.

You can make this transition as smooth as possible by openly sharing insights, resources, and a common goal. When you combine regular meetings and a collaborative SLA, the days of poor results due to mistrust and competition will be long gone.

Allow the Walk to Assist You in Forming a Team

We can assist you with your sales and marketing alignment.

Collaboration and teamwork are two of our greatest strengths, and we’d love to show you how to develop them as well. We can assist you in determining what constitutes a hot lead, creating the assets your sales teams require to increase conversions and developing a sales and marketing strategy that spans the entire customer journey.

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