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How to Nurture a Business Culture that Aligns Sales and Marketing


It's all well and good to talk about the benefits of aligning sales and marketing, but it takes more than just a few statistics — however compelling they may be — to really create change in your company.

And even with actionable techniques, like data-sharing and SMART goal setting, getting these two teams to work together effectively often feels like an uphill climb. 

The missing element is company culture.

Or more specifically, you need to create a culture within your smarketing department that encourages communication, collaboration, and positive thinking. When happier employees are 12% more productive than their unhappy co-workers, it makes sense that cultivating an atmosphere where everyone gets along ultimately gets more done. Keep reading to find out how to promote this culture among your own smarketing team. 

Set a Clear Vision

Goals about generating more leads or converting more sales are important, especially when they get your marketing and sales teams working toward the same objectives. But your employees need a vision for their own goals as a functional smarketing team as well. "Sell More Software" is not very motivating as a vision.

Search for a simple, memorable, yet powerful statement that can guide your team members' interactions with one another. "Great Teamwork Drives Great Results" puts the needs of the company — sales — on par with every employee's yearning to be great at what he/she does, and pulls it all together by emphasising teamwork.

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Make Sure Employees are Valued

Gallup research shows that only 24% of Australian employees are engaged with their company, while 60% could care less either way. An appalling 16% are actively disengaged, meaning they are so unhappy with their company that they would willingly sabotage it, given the chance. What is the problem here?

It boils down to whether or not your team members feel valued. You don't have to create an adult playground, complete with afternoon volleyball and free massages, for your workers to know that you recognise their worth. (Thanks, Google, for setting that impossible-to-match precedent.) When you listen to their opinions, let them try out their own ideas, and actively appreciate their contributions and accomplishments, they will know you truly value them as part of the team. 

Company Transparency is a Must

Too many businesses keep most company information on a need-to-know basis. But even though it may not seem like the lowly guy who writes your Facebook posts needs to know about the new product line you will start offering next year, that lowly guy is more likely to continue writing those Facebook posts — and to really care about what they say to your clients — when he feels like an equal part of the team. You know, instead of just the lowly social media guy. 

Hire the Right People

No matter how qualified an applicant may be to fill a job position, he's not the best candidate if he doesn't get along with the team you already have in place. Not only will poor work relationships among your employees lead to less productivity, it can cost your company money as 17% of Australians who leave their jobs do so because of poor relationships with management. 

When it comes to smarketing, hiring the right people is even more important. The age-old enmity between sales and marketing can only be overcome if everyone is willing to work together, stop laying the blame on the other guys, and start communicating effectively. 

Set Up an Environment that Encourages Collaboration

The design of your office space has a dramatic impact on the way your employees think, feel, and communicate while at work. We can't all afford to completely renovate our office space, of course, but knocking out those little cubicles can make a world of difference. When your marketing team and your sales reps are all working in the same open room anyway, they have the freedom to ask a question, clarify a point, or even call out a word of encouragement without having to shuffle through narrow hallways or ask where someone is a dozen times.

The culture that your company nurtures makes the difference between an engaged team of smarketers who really drive sales, and a group of people who are just there for a paycheck.

Find out more about aligning your marketing efforts with your sales processes in our eBook, "Joining Forces: How To Combine Marketing and Sales to Strengthen Business Strategy."

Topics: Inbound Sales, Smarketing