The statistics and results about Smarketing don't lie; it produces outstanding benefits in revenue growth for businesses, on average, a 20% bump, according to Hubspot. However, as we discussed previously, the implementation of a major organisational shift is never simple. This is especially true if both teams are significantly divided. Let's dive a little deeper into the strategy of getting Sales and Marketing staff support behind the move to a Smarketing "state of mind."
In essence, the best way to overcome the resistance to change is to make the benefits outweigh the costs. In the case of Smarketing, it's about showing all stakeholders that they have much to gain and little to lose from both teams being more united. After all, the research report, "Closing the Gap" from the CMO Council shows that, while perceptions are initially difficult to change, once the collaboration was in effect, the improvement of the company's performance experience saw both teams actually enjoying being more closely aligned.
"When asked what should be done to improve the yield and effectiveness of the sales organisation, "better integration and alignment with marketing" was by far the most cited initiative. Similarly, when it comes to how sales could best enhance marketing, "working collaboratively and interactively with marketing" was ranked among the top three factors. Among those whose companies do have Sales and Marketing integration programs and systems in place, nearly half report that these have been successful."
De-Siloing Sales and Marketing
In an organisation where Sales and Marketing exist in their separate silos, the teams are completely separate and work independently. Both teams typically come to their own conclusions and often act in ways that don't assist each other. In the "Closing the Gap" report referenced earlier, their research showed that:
- "12%" of Sales and Marketing professionals "say that they have access to a well-integrated, real-time vie of all customer interactions.
- "Under 40% report 'good' visibility into prospects, pipeline, deal flow and conversion rates.
- "20% report that marketing hands off leads to sales and has no insight into conversion and close processes.
Overcome this by demonstrating the advantages that each team will experience when combining their efforts.
- For example, when Marketing is involved, the Sales team start working with more qualified leads, thus obtaining better results through conversions.
- When Sales is involved, the Marketing team are able to gain solid insights directly from customers, and produce better content.
By demonstrating that each team has something to gain, resistance will be overcome. In fact, a research study by Aberdeen Group shows that when this is achieved, on average, companies are "54% more effective at maintaining consistent, relevant, personalised communications with prospects and customers." Results like this easily generate more buy-in and collaboration amongst staff.
Improving Co-operation Between Sales and Marketing
In some organisations, Sales and Marketing are not siloed, but begrudgingly working together, because they have realised that it is somewhat of a necessity. However, this co-operation is only very limited. The CMO Council report again highlights the uneasy tension between departments. "Fully, 40% of respondents feel that, while sales has some outstanding performers, the sales organisation could definitely perform better as a whole, and just 7% describe sales as highly competent and predictable in its performance. On the flip side, instead of viewing marketers as integral to strategic planning, customer advocacy and overall organisational performance, sales professionals tend to view marketing from a highly tactical perspective, emphasising the effectiveness of content and sales-support materials."
In this scenario, the teams have at least a basic appreciation of each other. The best way to move forward in overcoming resistance and implementing Smarketing here is to further capitalise on this appreciation. In other words, encourage both teams to interact on a deeper level, rather than just through necessity. By encouraging an active participation, rather than just passively following processes, each team will see for themselves the benefits they both reap as a result.
The Ideal Mindset: Collaboration
The objective of Smarketing is to have the organisation as a whole understand the importance of a united front, so that from the customer's perspective, Sales and Marketing activities are indistinguishable. By demonstrating the importance of Smarketing to all key stakeholders, the company contemplating transition will lower the resistance to the prospective shift. To learn more about creating growth and collaboration for your team, check out the eBook titled Joining Forces: How To Combine Marketing and Sales to Strengthen Business Strategy.