Marketing and sales, both worlds are deeply intertwined yet in many cases a distinct gap is evident. When sales are disappointing, marketing departments have a tendency to blame poor execution of the “brilliant rollout plan”. The sales team in turn claim that marketing are out of touch with what’s really going on with customers on the ground level. The counterargument coming from marketing is that sales are only interested in the short term profits and not the longer term goals.
The debate has lasted for generations and one that has extensive literature attached to it. Most notably is Philip Kotler’s piece titled ‘Ending the War between Sales & Marketing’? We definitely recommend. Viewable here. http://www.kcapital-us.com/neil/ending-war-between-sales-marketing.pdf
A new term that has crept into the world of marketing and sales in ‘smarketing’. Hubspot define smarketing as ‘alignment between your sales and marketing teams created through frequent and direct communication between the two.’
There are 5 key steps to integrating Smarketing: (thanks to ID Consulting)
- SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE– more often than not sales and marketing, although two sides of the same coin, are accountable for different measures. Smarketing means aligning sales and marketing around the same goal – REVENUE.
- SET UP CLOSED LOOP REPORTING – Closed loop intelligence improves the quality of information both ways between sales and marketing.
- IMPLEMENT A SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT (SLA) – An SLA defines what each team agrees to COMMIT to each other in terms of support.
- MAINTAIN OPEN COMMUNICATION – weekly Smarketing meetings, monthly management meetings to share and communicate.
- RELY ON DATA – Facts beat fiction every time. Create and share a common dashboard with the reports aligned around team goals.
In the past, marketing used to be about branding, advertisements and general strategy driven initiatives to leave consumers with an impression of your brand. It was believed that in turn, customers would keep you in mind when they were in a position to purchase your product. Given the development of tactical initiatives, driven by online marketing, companies are seeing an increase of leads that originate from inbound marketing. This increases the need for effective communication between sales and marketing.
That’s a lot of words, what does it really mean and what can be done to improve it all. We all know that for many business owners, the day-to-day demands of their business distract from bigger picture growth goals. Tasks like “call this customer” and “email that estimate” take attention away from the strategies that can help your business thrive. Try to look beyond that…
In truth, the solution to your marketing woes is as simple as developing a clear approach based on lead and customer behaviours. Just as a business plan is essential for outlining the nature and scope of your business, a well-thought-out marketing plan will set the foundation for how you attract, capture and keep happy customers. Don’t forget to keep sales in the loop in all of this…