Did you know that 87% of the terms that sales and marketing teams use to describe each other are negative?
Does this sound familiar?
Your sales team thinks that the leads that come through from marketing aren’t targeted, so their time is wasted churning through unqualified and irrelevant prospects and marketing thinks that the sales team doesn’t work hard enough to close the qualified leads they’re generating.
Your sales and marketing teams are both essential for your business’s growth, and a negative relationship could be holding your team back from reaching their combined potential. Imagine what you could achieve if both teams worked together on common goals!
A recent HubSpot study showed that cooperation and alignment between your sales and marketing team can drive a 20% increase in revenue annually. Sales and marketing could be your business’s power couple. The term we use to describe an integrated approach to sales and marketing is ‘Smarketing’. If your business is ready to experience growth and a more efficient sales and marketing process, introducing smarketing to your process should be a high priority.
The four hallmarks of a successful smarketing approach is clear communication, shared goals, collaboration, and in-depth analysis of results.
Discover how to start nurturing a positive and cooperative smarketing relationship in your business with our breakdown of the four successful smarketing hallmarks:
1. Encourage open communication
Open communication helps your teams to build trust, sustain a positive relationship, and access the information they need to improve.
While marketing teams can usually draw on data from a wide variety of sources, there’s nothing like hearing it straight from the source. Who speaks to the source regularly? Sales! Sales talks to your prospects to find out whether your company is the best to help them solve their business challenges and achieve their goals. By passing on questions or challenges that your ideal prospects have, your sales team can help marketing to create better targeted content.
When you have an open flow of information on both sides, everyone wins; marketing knows what content prospects find most relevant, sales get better qualified and educated leads, and the customer gets a streamlined experience throughout the buyer’s journey.
A great way to start this open dialogue and sharing of information is to hold monthly meetings that allow both teams to discuss what’s working and what’s not. The first of these meetings should clearly define what the terms ‘subscriber’, ‘lead’, ‘marketing-qualified’, and ‘sales-qualified’ mean to your business. Without a consistent definition of these terms, your goals will be difficult to measure. The meetings help to create your goals, refocus your strategy and ensure that both teams have a chance to feel like they’re being heard.
2. Commit to shared goals
Shared goals and strategies are the key to getting your smarketing efforts off to a healthy start.
One of the main criticisms sales teams have of marketing teams is that they focus on vanity metrics rather than measurable ROI, so get marketing to start talking in real numbers. Using your revenue goals and current conversion rates, work out exactly how many leads marketing needs to generate to meet your revenue targets. Your marketing team’s goal is to meet and beat this lead count.
The challenge for sales is to then convert these leads into clients. Set a goal to improve the conversion rate from lead to client and look at ways that your team can ensure the leads generated are sales-ready. A sales-ready lead is someone that is a great fit for your product or service with a high level of interest. If your leads aren’t sales-ready, it will be a lot more difficult to close them into clients.
3. Collaborate on strategy
With shared goals comes an aligned strategy.
If your marketing team is generating leads interested in a one-off audit service, but sales are working to close clients on an ongoing financial management plan, you’ll struggle to find success.
Make sure your sales and marketing teams’ mission, values, and buyer personas are aligned. It helps you to showcase a consistent message across all your sales and marketing material and generate better qualified leads. Map the buyer’s journey to your sales lifecycle stages and define where a prospect becomes marketing-qualified, and when they become sales-qualified.
Increasing your conversion rates depends on understanding why a high-quality lead is high-quality and what journey they took to become sales-ready. Where did they come from, what questions are they asking, and what topics interest them? Use the answers to these questions to inform future strategies and refocus your targeting.
4. Measure and analyse results
Measure and communicate progress toward your shared goals on a regular basis.
Use integrated software to give everyone access to the same data. HubSpot allows your sales and marketing teams to track a prospect’s data and clearly show both teams where they are in the sales lifecycle. HubSpot’s sales and marketing tracking software also helps you to prioritise your leads, make warmer, more relevant contact, and understand which marketing programs are working and which aren’t. atomix are certified HubSpot users and are firm believers in the positive influence the software has on the relationship between sales and marketing teams.
Whether you’re using HubSpot or other tracking software, analyse which content pieces and marketing promotions are helping to close customers. If there’s a disconnect between the leads that are coming through and the leads you want to attract, sales can help you refine your content creation process.
If you find that goals are consistently not being met on either side, it’s important to look into why. Are sales following up the leads quickly? Are marketing sending relevant leads to the team? Find the disconnect and help your teams to work together for a mutually beneficial relationship to grow your business.
A high-functioning smarketing process is simple in theory, but can be more difficult in practice, especially when you outsource your marketing to an external company.
atomix is focused on becoming a digital partner for our clients, working in with your sales team to help you exceed your objectives.