In the previous blog, Are You Planning for Failure, I discussed some conversion rates to consider when determining whether your business is doing enough marketing to generate enough leads—to generate enough sales—and to hit its profit and revenue goals for the year.
This week, I want to introduce the concept of Smarketing, which is a fairly new concept just like inbound marketing, that can help guarantee you're getting the best quality leads and that those leads are turning into sales.
Smarketing stands for sales and marketing. The key shift here by smashing the two words together is *alignment.* Traditionally, sales and marketing teams have mostly been at odds. Sales thinks marketing is out of touch and marketing thinks sales doesn't follow up enough on leads.Here are some tips to turn the opposing forces into a forceful team:
1. Meet Regularly.
These are called Smarketing meetings. During these, the team as a whole reviews the recent leads that have come in and the status of existing ones that marketing contributed to. Depending on how strict your team wants to be and how severe its costs of inaction are, a service level agreement (SLA) can also be created to make sure there's no ambiguity in terms of goals, accountability and responsibilities. Here's a great blog from Hubspot about how to create an SLA. The point here is for everyone to sign up for some goals for direction and get everyone on the same team—team revenue—to reach the overall goal of new customers. How frequently the two teams meet depends on various factors such as pipeline and company size, but that will typically be either weekly or monthly. Setting up all systems and reporting correctly to ensure productive meetings are very important. We'll dig into that deeper later.
2. Build Internal Relationships.
No one likes to be told what to do from someone they do not genuinely like, trust, or respect. The same thing applies here. In order to have successful Smarketing meetings, make sure you are always showing that you are on the same team, especially outside of the meeting. In my experience, empathy can go a really long way. Just showing that you care and can empathize with the struggles someone else is going through personally or professionally will make you all seem more human to each other and serve as a positive boost to team morale. Many marketers would lose their mind if they spent a week in a sales rep’s shoes skillfully following up with prospects. Sales reps might feel the same if they tried to manage the endless sea of content marketing manages from concept to execution and analysis.
3. Understand Their Job.
On that note, besides lending an ear and asking someone questions about their day, a really great way to not only build a stronger rapport but also build a better team is to understand the intricacies of everyone's job by actually participating in it, to an extent. By someone from marketing shadowing a sales rep to call leads, meet with a prospect, or do a demo, they might not only better empathize with sales but they will probably think of a dozen new marketing assets that could help explain answers to prospects' questions, making it a win-win for the rep and the marketer. The same goes for the other way around. A sales rep participating in blog ideas for a campaign can help the overall team be more relevant to its target buyers, eventually generating more quality leads.
Why Should You Care about SMarketing?
Just like marketing, sales is changing due to the Internet, for better or worse. The new era of sales includes things like social selling and inbound selling as consumers are exposed to more choices and spend more time researching their purchasing decisions online, whether it's B2B, B2C, product, or service focused. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost. So the more your departments can work together to become one team, the better it's going to be for the company, employees, and customers.
Posted by Jackie Connors
Jackie Connors is the Founder & CEO of Digital Marketing Direction, a top-tiered HubSpot Solutions Partner agency based in Texas. She provides inbound training, consulting, and content marketing services to mid-market companies.