Gone are the days of the marketing team one side of the room and sales the other, only speaking to pass over leads. We have reached an age where we need to work smarter to see increased results. Enter, "SMARKETING"...
Why sales and marketing are no longer separate entities
Companies that align sales and marketing teams achieve 24% faster growth rates and 27% faster profit growth.
The sales team say the leads they get from the marketing function are low quality. And, the marketing team say that the salespeople aren’t closing the leads they pass over. It’s a never ending back and forth of frustration and anger – and it’s been going on for decades. But, let’s take a moment to put ourselves in the shoes of the actual prospect/lead.
The real problem
A prospect engages with an organisation for one of multiple different reasons – e.g. they were doing some industry research. The next thing they know, they are being called by a salesperson from a company they downloaded content from. They are now being peppered with questions and have no idea what has prompted this onslaught of sales calls - especially given that they have no intention to buy at this point in time. This doesn’t sound like a pleasant customer experience, does it? And that’s exactly what’s happening to your prospects and leads when there’s no alignment between your sales and marketing functions.
Time to align and shine
Sales and marketing alignment starts long before the first marketing activity begins or the first sales call is made. And it all starts with a simple question… what does a good lead look like? This can include criteria such as location, turnover, buying authority, or a variety of other factors. But importantly, it must be discussed and agreed by both teams before any marketing begins. From this point on, marketing have a clear idea of the type of leads they are trying to generate, and sales can rest assured that the leads they receive are to a high standard.
Closing the loop
Aligning your sales and marketing teams is about more than just improving lead qualification. It’s about improving the whole process and making sure it continues to evolve for the better. A perfect example of this is the amount of information that marketing can now pass to sales along with a warm lead. For example, how much easier does selling become when the marketing function says ‘Here’s a warm lead that meets all criteria and has engaged with these specific pieces of content. They are clearly looking for assistant with this issue. And, their current supplier has let them down with delivery’. Now that’s going to make one very exciting and productive sales call.
But alignment isn’t just one-way traffic. When sales people are calling leads or attending face-to-face meetings, they are likely to hear new pain points and objections that marketing haven’t yet considered. So, it’s their duty to feed this information back to the marketing function so it can be addressed in future messaging and communications. So now, marketing is more informed and sales are more empowered – it’s perfect.
Two become one
With such a tightknit relationship between sales and marketing, and a wealth of information free-flowing back and forward between the two, it’s clear that the lines of distinction have become blurred. When sales and marketing alignment is done correctly, it becomes difficult to separate the two – and this is how it should be. We have entered the world of ‘smarketing’.
To see why misalignment can be costly to your business, and also why joining these two functions can maximise your results, check out our latest infographic…
Align your sales & marketing teams to succeed in 2020