Keeping an open line of communication between your Marketing and Sales people is easy when your company is just starting out. It might even be the same person! But as your small business grows to a not-so-small business, complications are sure to arise. Sales thinks that Marketing is just a lot of abstract ideas and they’re the ones who really bring in customers. Marketing thinks that Sales would be doing their jobs better by listening to them. The cycle goes around and around. The increased friction between Sales and Marketing professionals is more than just an unfortunate but unavoidable side effect of growing larger. That can spell disaster for businesses; studies show companies with poor alignment saw revenues decline by 4%.
This quandary can be solved by incorporating a Smarketing Team: the Sales and Marketing Teams working towards the same goals, with all members achieving or falling short together. The “ us versus them” mentality falls away when everyone is working as one unit. Once you’ve read up and implemented the Smarketing team, follow these expert tips to keeping the entire process running smoothly:
#1: Meet Regularly
Just like with any relationship, the key to keeping it going in the right direction is to communicate regularly. In order for Marketing to support Sales successfully, it is very important for them to share processes, resources, and best practices from the start. For this reason, keep both teams involved in the onboarding process of a new client, as well as have them meet weekly or bi-weekly throughout the lifecycle of the client. If the managers are too busy for this, it’s acceptable to pull them in only once a month for a quick debriefing.
#2: Create a Team Email Alias
Have an email alias that gets sent to both the Sales and Marketing Teams, so everyone stays on the same page. Use this strategically to share important information in both direction, to all members. Nothing will divide a unified team faster than some people knowing more information than others.
#3: Organize Resources into One Location
Despite what they may say, Marketers and Sales Professionals actually work with a lot of the same materials, like brochures, powerpoint projects, and your company’s overall message. To further the idea of everyone being on one team, keep all your resources in one shared place where everyone can easily access them. This location is also a great place to host your campaign calendar, links to relevant offers, and specific content for a market or persona.
#4: Constantly Train
A Smarketing Team is not a one-and-done deal; you will need to continually train both sides to keep it running well. One major reason to implement a Smarketing Team is because your company is growing rapidly and you want it to stay unified. That also means you will be regularly hiring new people who need to learn about the benefits of your company’s alignment, which they probably aren’t used to.
#5: Coordinate Marketing and Sales Campaigns
Marketers are constantly promoting new offers and content (one of the reasons to keep training!), so it's important to always keep the Sales Team up-to-date with these exciting promotional offers. It would be a shame for your Sales to follow up on a hot Lead, only to blow the call by not knowing which offer they were excited about when they filled out the form.
This can go both ways. If Sales is reporting that Leads are always asking a certain question or inquiring about a specific service, have the Marketing Team organize a content campaign around it. Smarketing at it’s finest!
#6: Make Marketers Available for Calls
Aligning campaigns will be a a lot easier if they’re on the same calls, hearing the same responses. This way, the Sales Team doesn’t feel resentful if the call doesn’t go well, and gets marketing expertise along the way. Also, Marketers will truly get a sense of what Sales needs for them to close the deal if they’re hearing it for themselves. Putting one part of your team on the front line to take the heavy blows doesn’t make for a very unified group.
#7: Show Off Your Salespeople
Consider having one of your content people ghostwrite a post under your Salesperson's name. Interview them on the topic, transcribe your conversation, and turn that into a blog post. Wouldn’t it be exciting to read an article you really like, and then have the author of that piece call you afterwards? You can provide that feeling to your potential customers! You can incorporate this idea into social media postings as well. This can help the Salesperson establish credibility and familiarity with their Leads, doing away with cold calls forever.
#8: Build Personal Relationships
Who would you rather work with, a friend or a stranger? A friend! Well your Smarketing Team feels the same way. Helping them build interpersonal relationships, based on something other than work, is a great way to keep the team running smoothly. Organize off-site lunches, weekend or afterhours outings, and birthday celebrations, and just have fun. Don’t make them work while they’re at lunch, in fact- make it off limits. This helps build trust among team members and ensures that people feel comfortable leaning on each other for support.
Keep track of your Smarketing Team’s progress and share it with the company. Seeing the Team move toward the common goal will the two groups find a real bond, and enjoy each other’s company while they’re doing it. Remember, you’re all in this together! There’s much more to be said for the proper way to implement a Smarketing Team, and what to do with it once it’s in place. Download our free eBook Lead Scoring: The Smarketer’s Guide for expert tips and tricks on how to get the most of of your Team.