There are definitely compelling advantages to Smarketing, but the actual practice of getting the sales and marketing teams to work seamlessly together requires more than goodwill. One key component to success is a strong information system which manages, documents and leverages concrete data behind all marketing and sales activities.
To start with, let's look at how Smarketing efforts can fall apart. This has as much to do with cultural differences between the marketing and sales departments, as it has to do with differing understanding and expectations around each others' roles.
How Smarketing can fail
When sales results are falling or are low, it’s common for one team to blame the other. In fact, according to the HubSpot Academy presentation on Smarketing, "78% of the terms sales & marketing use to describe each other are negative."
Sales will complain Marketing isn't generating enough quality leads, and conversely, Marketing will complain that Sales are not working hard enough to convert their provided leads into a sale.
In most cases, the root cause of conflict comes down to a misalignment between Sales and Marketing. This misalignment doesn't just cause the rift between the departments to widen, but can also disrupt the customer's experience. This misalignment often occurs when:
- Marketing is measuring their success by social media buzz, rather than conversions
- Marketing is targeting a completely difference audience to the Sales team
- Marketing is not aware of the correct type of lead for the Sales team
- Sales is not suitably instructed about the type of leads they will be receiving
- Sales is not properly briefed on the product’s specifications
- Sales is not accurately shown the procedure of how to close the leads
How data helps pull the teams together
Both Sales and Marketing teams have their own research and data that they base their strategy upon. However, by joining forces and combining this data, both teams can benefit from this expanded knowledge to help make better decisions for better outcomes.
With the insights provided by integrated data, sales and marketing managers can engage in a process of continuous improvement and feedback - feedback which is key to ensuring the continued success of your Smarketing efforts.
For example, Sales could use the results from Marketing research projects to gain a deeper understanding of the industry and customer demographics. Strategically applying this knowledge when engaging with customers can help improve close rates.
Similarly, Marketing could certainly gain insights from the knowledge that the Sales team has gathered in the field, and use this to come up with strategies and tactics that better resonate with their target persona.
By adopting Smarketing as a practise and building the internal systems to make the most of the data from various departments, everyone becomes better informed, and both Sales and Marketing get an insight into how their efforts contribute to the big picture.
This is not all just theory. According to Hubspot, companies with well-aligned Sales and Marketing Departments have 20% annual revenue growth.
In the end, the strength of a Smarketing system lies in the results it directly creates.
When both teams are sharing their success and failures in order to adjust and adapt their next initiative, there is a clear trackable outcome that can be assessed by upper management.
With greater alignment comes greater accountability. Reports start to make more sense, as each team’s data reinforces or provides context for the other's results.
For example, a Marketing report on the growing number of followers the business has on social media does not demonstrate much by itself. Align that with Sales data, however, and very interesting insights start to emerge. For example, Sales may report an increased number of successful deals that resulted from a particularly successful campaign on social media.
The Next Step: Learn more about Smarketing
Intrigued by the idea of integrating Smarketing into your workforce? We suggest you read the eBook titled “Joining Forces: How To Combine Marketing and Sales to Strengthen Business Strategy.”