Smarketing is a concept that emerged to describe integrated and fully aligned sales and marketing departments. In reality, though, these two departments don’t play nice with each other; they usually operate in unhealthy competition.
The sales and marketing departments in most organizations will have heated debates about strategy, budget and resource allocation. Each group questions the contribution of the other, and as they throw sparks to each other, the organization’s bottom line suffers.
Yet, when sales and marketing departments work in unison, metrics soar, life cycles are more concise, and costs decrease. In fact, a study found that customer retention is 36% higher in companies that align their sales and marketing functions.
So, how can a company make their sales and marketing teams buddy up to fulfill the same goals?
Erasing the deeply flawed strategy
Every company should discourage a culture where salespeople suggest that the marketing team did a bad job coming up with leads, leaning to low sales. Similarly, the marketing team shouldn’t be allowed to ring-fence the lead generation process, only focusing on generating inbound leads.
Every company should incorporate a highly targeted outbound strategy that includes coordinating the outreach of both sales and marketing team members.
Fostering great relationships
The sales and marketing teams would mutually agree on similar industry segments and targets. Each team should share valuable content that drives action. A great way to foster collaboration is to invite a representative of each function in the meeting of the other.
For example, when holding a sales training for retail, invite a marketing representative and give them a chance to contribute data and insight and vice versa. The sales and marketing teams should have an opportunity to bring their unique expertise to the table.
Remember, some areas in sales and marketing overlap but are called different things. So, bringing the two functions together will not only shed light on terminologies to the other function but also enrich the other’s function with their knowledge on particular areas.
Brainstorming crossover KPIs
Have you considered making key performance indicators (KPIs) for sales and marketing teams intersect? Your business ROI will increase when you focus on KPIs that are significant to both departments.
Some common KPIs you could create include: email signups, social media engagement, lead generation, and landing page conversion rates.
Your teams could have similar KPIs but different agendas. For instance, as your marketing team looks at the types of leads to target, your sales department can be looking at most lucrative leads to chase and those that are easier for them to close.
Standardizing the feedback process
Establish a way for salespeople to report on accepted and rejected leads and those that weren’t really leads. A standard feedback mechanism between sales and marketing will help each department improve their efforts. The marketing department will, for instance, investigate why some leads worked better than others and why others were lost.
When the sales and marketing teams work together, businesses see improvement on performance metrics, including shorter sales cycles and lower market-entry costs. The ultimate reason you should integrate your sales and marketing functions is that both departments work toward a similar goal of growing the business.