Published on October 16th, 2015
Are your Sales and Marketing teams buddy-buddy?
Let’s face it: There can be a lot of contention between Marketing and Sales teams, but studies from MarketingProfs show that companies with Sales and Marketing alignment can generate over 2x more revenue.
In this article, we will dive into how to turn your separate Sales and Marketing teams into a unified Smarketing team.
So, what goals can you set to getting your teams on the same page? And more importantly, what doors will open once they are?
Goal 1: Speak the same language
Define the terminology
If both teams aren’t speaking the same language you won’t be able to effectively communicate. Seems fair, right? Let’s start by defining a few simple terms.
What do you call a visitor to your site? What do you call someone that signs up for your blog? How about someone who has shown interest in your product and your service? How about someone who has spoke with sales, but wasn’t quite ready to make a purchase?
Gather a list of all the different terms that your Sales and Marketing teams are using and definitive means for each one.
Ok, so we have names.
Now let’s make sure someone is held accountable for them. Come to a fair agreement of where in the buyer’s journey a prospect will transition from a Marketing responsibility to that of Sales.
The idea is that leads should be handed from Marketing to Sales at a calculated point, not simply “when it feels right.” For example, here at IMPACT a visitor becomes Marketing Qualified when they subscribe to our blog (do it!). They are marketing's responsibility to help. Once a Marketing Qualified Lead starts looking at our About Us page or fills out a consultation request they become a Sales Qualified Lead. Give this article a read for a detailed breakdown of how this works.
Situations may arise where a “sales-ready” lead doesn’t turn out to be as ready as everyone thought. Once you have the responsibilities mapped out, it will be easy to see how this lead would get passed back down to Marketing.
Define what a “good-fit” client is
“All the leads that I get from Marketing aren’t qualified!”
“Sales never follows up on my leads!”
Do these sound familiar?
Well let’s fix that by defining what a “good-fit” client is. Not only will this allow Marketing to focus their content creation efforts on the right people, but it will ensure that the leads that make it to sales are qualified and worth their time.
When defining think about who your best clients are: what make them great and what made your relationship successful? On the other hand, think about the relationships that didn’t work out: what made that happen?
Goal 2: Create open lines of communication
Hold weekly meetings
Why don’t we put these people in the same room once a week? It may sound a scene from Office Space, but I can assure you it will be helpful. Have a conversation about how each team’s goals are affecting the other. Use it as an opportunity for Sales and Marketing to get to know how much work each other are doing.
Encourage Sales and Marketing to share suggestions
Sales and Marketing teams often have valuable insight into each other's processes, but if that information never leaves their department it’s not much use.
Create a venue for these suggestions to shared. For example, part of a good sales process is uncovering what is stopping prospects from achieving their goals.
Sale teams can leverage Marketing’s insight into buyer habits to better understand what really drives these prospects.
Goal 3: Make an agreement
Create a Service Level Agreement (SLA)
You have a plan, make people responsible for their part in it. A service level agreement will make Marketing and Sales’ responsibilities to each clear. To quote HubSpot, “Establishing a Marketing-Sales service level agreement (SLA) leads to higher ROI. The presence of an SLA also correlates with budget and staff increases.”
A great start is deciding on how many qualified leads (remember to make a strong definition of this) Marketing will deliver to Sales, and how quickly and intently Sales will follow up on these leads. Here is a great guide that dives deeper into setting up your SLAs.
These responsibilities can serve as a jumping point for your weekly meetings.
Reward Sales and Marketing as one
The SLA is just a document. If it isn’t upheld it doesn’t mean much. You want your Marketing and Sales teams to understand they are just parts of something larger, and they should work together towards their goals.
Best way to do this? Reward them as one.
If both teams uphold their side of the SLA, reward them, but if one team falls short, make sure that everyone shares the blame.
Goal 4: Make everything transparent
Create a dashboard
You want all your information to be openly visible between both teams and frequently updated.
The best way to do this is to put it in one central location (HubSpot makes this super easy!). Not only will this keep both teams honest and on-track, it is a great way to see how your new Smarketing team is performing.
Ok, now what?
Your Sales and Marketing teams are no longer exchanging dirty looks, everyone is hitting their new goals, and all around, your prospects are enjoying a better sales process.
Should you sit back, legs on the desk, and admire your handy-work? Well yes, but only for a minute. You have so many opportunities that are now available.
In an upcoming article, I will be diving into the creation of sales enablement. Stay tuned.