Smarketing: 3 Ways to Align Sales and Marketing Teams
Written by Alexis Caporusso
Alexis studies marketing at the University of Florida and works as a Sales Development Representative at The Selling Factory. Upon graduation, she hopes to leverage her determination for learning and developing relationships to pursue a career in market research. She is one who loves weird fun facts and the color yellow. If she’s around, you’ll either hear Maverick City or a podcast playing.
Sales and marketing teams are often two separate departments within a company, and this can cause setbacks for a business’s sales funnel. Generating an insufficient amount of qualified marketing leads or weak follow-up from the sales team may occur because of a disconnect between departments.
The solution is simple: use “smarketing” strategies that align sales and marketing for better cohesion and increased revenue growth.
WHAT IS “SMARKETING?”
Hubspot defines smarketing as the “alignment between your sales and marketing teams created through frequent and direct communication between the two.” In other words, instead of having separate departments that compete with one another, your sales and marketing teams collaborate in a shared space for the betterment of the company.
Because the teams work together, better strategies for lead generation, optimizing the sales funnel.
HOW DOES SMARKETING BENEFIT?
Smarketing is quantifiable. A report by Outfunnel found that revenue growth is “70% more common among companies where sales and marketing teams collaborate.”
That same report notes that almost 90% of companies surveyed said communication between the two departments was poor-to-average, suggesting that companies that do align sales and marketing have a serious advantage over their peers.
HOW TO ALIGN YOUR SALES AND MARKETING TEAMS
1. Close Proximity Helps Align Marketing and Sales Goals
Put your marketing and sales teams in the same room. Being present in a shared space will naturally foster communication and collaboration. As marketing brings in leads, sales can follow through knowing how to personalize each outreach attempt, which can boost efficiency.
Close collaboration helps marketing understand what counts as a qualified lead and sales can be aware of the brand and messaging that marketing has developed. And since feedback from leads, customers, or coworkers is streamlined, there is less chance of losing vital information.
In the end, this instant feedback loop powers continuous improvement.
2. Defined Roles Enhance Lead Generation for B2B and B2C Applications
To avoid confusion and miscommunication, marketing and sales roles must be explicitly stated.
First, all stages of the sales funnel must be established (along with noting which department “owns” each stage). Ownership can vary based on what your company defines as qualified marketing leads and qualified sales leads.
After a template for a sales funnel has been established, performance indicators and respective goals must be defined. This keeps both teams accountable and makes it possible to pinpoint which sales pipeline stage is having problems (if any should arise).
After the sales and marketing framework is in place, achieving set goals should be celebrated by both teams. This improves camaraderie, which ultimately improves production.
3. Transparency Improves Collaboration Between Teams
Sales teams should be allowed access to leads while marketing campaigns are ongoing. With this transparency, sales teams can decrease the time between a prospect’s initial interest and when they are considered to be a qualified lead. In doing so, there is a smaller chance that the potential customer will lose interest.
More specifically, marketing should allow sales to see how prospects interact with the campaign and what has sparked their interest. This may add context for sales teams that can help them know the right time to reach out for follow-up.
Alex Avritch, director of marketing at CLASH Scavenger Hunts, shares that, in order to achieve Smarketing is to “get on sales calls.” Data can only get you so far, but by speaking directly to their leads, the marketing team can better craft marketing campaigns to their ideal customers’ needs and wants.
Align Sales and Marketing, Then Reap the Rewards Together
If your company has not bridged the gap between sales and marketing, start working on it. Simply put: sales and marketing teams are collectively much more effective when they collaborate as one unit instead of competing as separate departments.
Above all, smarketing lets the company get to know the customer better with a consistent and personalized approach. In turn, that improved relationship often leads to revenue growth for the company as a whole.