Do your sales people and marketing people reside in, as Ben Firman puts it, a "state of co-operative competition that readily descends into finger-pointing and arguments about strategy, budget and resource allocation?"
Your company is not alone, as outdated sales and marketing structures still litter the business landscape.
What can be done to get them to work better together, in order to meet the needs of the marketplace today?
The Marketplace Today
Today’s economic and commercial environment has become highly competitive, increasingly global, and is evolving at an exponential pace never seen before. In the digital world, customers are demanding highly tailored solutions with superior customer service, and almost instantaneous responses.
It's a challenging time for any organisation, no matter the industry, size or type, and one main way to overcome these obstacles and obtain success is by taking a long, hard look within, to strengthen the way the internal departments all function together.
But how do you get marketing and sales to stop sniping at each other and work as a team to increase revenue and collaboration? Enter the Smarketing method.
What is Smarketing?
Smarketing is a term introduced by Hubspot in 2012. It involves aligning the strategies and activities of an organization's Sales and Marketing teams around common objectives to improve revenue.
While the benefits of combining Sales and Marketing may seem obvious as the best way to achieve a business's strategic goals, it's often overlooked, underestimated, or put in the “too hard” bucket, to the whole organization's detriment.
Marketing conducts the necessary research to identify target customers and other audiences, in order to attract attention and create interest, thus promoting a business and driving the sales of its solutions. The Sales department is the division of a business that is responsible for making the actual transaction with a customer.
As both teams are all about meeting the needs of customers, it is obvious that having both work in tandem would produce far better results than working in isolation. Unfortunately, in most businesses, the Sales and Marketing teams don't see eye-to-eye, and that is an issue.
However, if an organization can get both to join forces, the results speak for themselves. According to a 2010 Study by the Aberdeen group, "Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment get 20% annual revenue growth."
To effectively shift marketing and sales groups into a cohesive team, accurate data collection regarding the marketing and sales funnel is paramount.
- How does the sales department define sales ready leads?
- How many leads does marketing need to generate in order to keep the sales department working on qualified, sales ready leads?
Alison Savery, at Hubspot, explains that "the teams should be encouraged to discuss any misalignment or frustrations in a constructive manner. One way to keep opinions valid is to make everyone support their claims with data."
"The tracking and discussion of these two critical data points help keep Sales and Marketing accountable for SMarketing success . . . data can be the 'truth glue' that holds your SMarketing efforts together. It keeps both sides honest with one another and solves for any conflict that may arise between the two teams."
In the end, the numbers in favor of the Smarketing approach speak for themselves as shown in an April 2017 study conducted by Andrew Moravick at Aberdeen Group:
- 74% of Best-In-Class organizations have complete of strong marketing and sales alignment, compared to just 45% of all others.
- Organizations with strong marketing and sales alignment average a 76% higher contribution to revenue from marketing.
- Organizations with strong marketing and sales alignment increase organization wide quota attainment at a 97% higher rate, year-over-year.
- Strongly aligned marketing and sales teams are 53% more likely to ensure relevant value propositions aligned to buyers' business challenges.
Intrigued? If you are ready to learn more about turning your marketing and sales departments into a cohesive team, we suggest reading our eBook Joining Forces: How To Combine Marketing and Sales to Strengthen Business Strategy.