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As your company grows, it requires more and more specialized staff members. Traditionally, people who are talented artists are hired as Designers, natural-born speakers are employed in Sales, those who are trained writers are hired as Marketers, and so on. Modern businesses run differently though, thanks to the invention and implementation of the internet into our daily lives. Buyers don’t wait for a Salesperson to call them anymore. Visitors are using search, attending webinars, and downloading white papers. They can educate themselves and decide what a fair price is on the web, all without the help of Sales. The growth of the internet has unfortunately increased friction between Sales and Marketing professionals. That can spell disaster for businesses; studies show companies with poor alignment saw revenues decline by 4%.
Your company doesn’t have to fall into this trap, though! You can be one of the organizations with good alignment between Sales and Marketing Teams that achieve 20% annual revenue growth in a year. Create a stable and lasting partnership between the two teams with a strategic approach that treats them as a single, revenue-generating organization, not adversaries. This organization is called the Smarketing Team. Begin the integration with the following steps:
Speak the Same Language
Marketers don’t traditionally work with numbers; they work with ideas and strategy. Sales are incredibly numbers-driven. You’ll never combine teams if you’re looking at two different ways to win. Part of getting on the same team is for Marketing to take a number with them. Start with one thing everyone can agree on- revenue. Create a revenue goal for everyone to work towards. That way, everyone achieves or falls short together.
Set Up Closed-Loop Reporting
Closed-loop reporting is one of the most powerful tools that your Smarketing Team has at their disposal. Not only does it allow everyone to demonstrate the value of their work, but it also enables you to grow as a company. In this process, Marketers send the most qualified Leads to Sales. “Closing the loop” just means that Sales then reports back to Marketing about what happened to the Leads that they received, which helps Marketing understand their best and worst lead sources. This can even happen automatically with the right system.
Implement a Service Level Agreement
A Service Level Agreement, often called a SLA, defines what each side commits to accomplishing in order to support the other. This crystallizes everyone’s pledge to each other. An example of a SLA could be Marketing promising a certain number of quality Leads to Sales in order to meet the revenue goal or Sales promising a specific speed and depth in their following-up on these Leads. How exactly you calculate your company’s SLAs will depend on a number of factors, including the average amount spent per customer and how many customers you need to reach your revenue goal.
Open communication is the key to any good relationship and the business relationships at work are no different. Weekly Smarketing Team meetings will help foster this type of openness. In these meetings, discuss recent success, product information, and any changes or updates to strategies. Remember, Lead Scoring is not a one-and-done thing, so your Smarketing Team will need to regularly analyze the data to see if you're going in the right direction.
Keep Strategies Strictly Data-Based
One of the biggest mistakes your Smarketing Team can make is to base your strategies around intuition and guesses instead of data. Use both Implicit Data, that which can be derived from a Lead’s behavior on your website, and Explicit Data, that which they tell you directly from form submissions, to gauge whether someone would be beneficial for your Salespeople to contact. Ensure that everyone has access to your dashboards and can measure the volume of Leads towards the monthly goals.
Be sure to track your Lead’s progress into either becoming a customer or losing interest in your brand. If someone converts to a customer, then the data will help your team see which behaviors are truly showing which new Leads are ready to convert. And if they don’t ever become a customer, this will also help you in the long run. It will show that perhaps a certain targeted audience or behavior is not showing the intent you previously thought it did. Rely on data not emotions. If you think that reading one blog post and downloading an eBook for beginners means a Lead is ready to be contacted by Sales, but the data doesn’t show it- believe your data and find a way to provide more value to nurture the sale.
Measure your Smarketing Team’s progress and share it with the company. Only by seeing how the other side is beneficial toward the common goal will the two groups find a real bond. Remember, you’re all in this together!
Now that you know Smarketing is the best way for your company to conduct business, you’re ready to learn more about Lead Scoring. Download our free eBook Lead Scoring: The Smarketer’s Guide for tips on how to get started.