Smarketing isn’t just a fancy buzzword circulating among the professionals in the industry. It’s a crucial factor for achieving the holy grail of sales – predictable revenue.
As a matter of fact, stats say that in 2015, misalignment of sales and marketing cost businesses more than $1 trillion annually. In a similar vein, the lack of alignment between these two departments is the main culprit behind an organization’s decline in sales and stagnation of revenue.
Let’s start from the beginning.
All departments of your organization have to be on the same page and closely collaborate if you want your messaging, promotion, and sales outreach to be consistent and effective.
Simply put, your sales and marketing processes have to be in sync. Such harmony will allow your marketing team to understand what your prospects need and create the right message that will resonate with them.
This way, they’ll target the right people and send high-quality leads to your sales department.
What Is Smarketing and Why It’s So Important?
According to the traditional business model, sales and marketing are two separate entities within the same organization, each having its own roles. Marketing is supposed to generate leads and forward them to sales. After that, SDRs qualify these leads and send them over to sales reps, whose job is to close these leads and generate revenue.
But, these clear-cut roles don’t work anymore.
Thanks to the fact that customers and their needs have changed tremendously over the past couple of decades, we’re in a situation that it’s the buyer who dictates this entire process. Namely, with access to an abundance of information, the modern customer expects that brands understand their needs and preferences.
As a result, sales and marketing have to co-operate closely and share all the relevant information they collect about their potential customers.
Because the marketing department should know who their target audience is and what their pain points are in order to create a relevant message that will resonate with them. On the other hand, the sales department will greatly benefit from everything marketers find out about potential clients through social media, email campaigns, and other efforts.
Finally, it’s critical for sales to know more about marketing and vice versa.
Integrating these two departments and blurring the lines between them is key for improving your business performance.
1. Facilitate Communication and Collaboration
Proper communication is the foundation of smarketing.
The first thing you should do is destroy silos and allow critical information to be exchanged freely between sales and marketing. This can be done if the two teams meet regularly.
Marketers should attend your sales team’s weekly meetings in order to get up to speed with their monthly goals and quota. That way, they will be able to support the efforts of the sales team with relevant content and different promotional campaigns.
Also, the sales team can offer their ideas regarding the content. As they’re communicating directly with prospects and customers, they can suggest the topics that should be covered and that reflect customers’ needs.
To facilitate the collaboration, it’s essential that you create a shared folder for resources and materials.
2. Align Your Terminology and Processes
All these shared documents make sense only if both teams can understand the information they contain. That’s why you should agree on a set of collective definitions that will eliminate potential misunderstandings and communication obstacles.
The point is to clarify some commonly used terms and definitions. For example, this internal smarketing vocabulary should define what a qualified lead is, or outline a difference between a lead and a prospect.
A marketing qualified lead (MQL), a sales qualified lead (SQL), and a sales accepted lead (SAL) might seem similar to an untrained eye, but not distinguishing between them can be a big problem. These are lead generation metrics, and your sales and marketing team have to be in sync when it comes to monitoring them.
Lead scoring is another key process to be established. It refers to the procedure of ranking your leads based on different signals and parameters and is used for determining their sales-readiness. For example, both sales and marketing should know every particular lead’s current position in the buying cycle as well as whether they’re the right fit for your business.
3. Restructure Your Customer Journey
As we’ve said, there’s no place for a silo mentality in smarketing, which means that you should create a single customer journey. That will allow for the unified customer experience and a holistic, 360-view of every prospect.
All the information on your prospects should be stored under the same roof so that every sales or marketing team member can quickly refer to in order to add more value at every stage of the customer journey.
This requires having the right tools in place, as they can help you to optimize your funnel.
Integrate all the systems and platforms you use to capture leads and store data – your marketing automation and CRM system being the most important ones.
For example, Autoklose comes with a number of different integrations with which you can streamline and automate your tasks, as well as exchange the data between various apps. This means that your workflows will be smooth and optimized, allowing for better productivity and alignment of your marketing and sales teams.
4. Create an Ideal Customer Profile
Establishing an ideal customer profile is crucial for smarketing.
Both teams need to know who they’re trying to communicate with and sell to. While sales might be inclined to target anyone with the right budget, marketing can have a more systematic approach. That’s why the two departments should work together and reach an agreement on an ideal customer profile.
This document should contain all the relevant information about the type of customer that your company is after, such as their company size, budget, experience, industry, challenges, and pain points.
Sales and marketing both have to collaborate on putting this document together by sharing their insights.
An ideal customer profile will help your organization better understand your prospects and their needs. As a result, both teams will be clear about why a particular prospect should be doing business with you as well as how they will benefit from your products or services.
Knowing all this will make it easier for both teams to present an offer in the best possible light, point prospects’ attention towards what’s important for them to know, and address their potential objections.
5. Stick to a Marketing-First Approach
In a nutshell, this approach means that your marketing team should involve in trailblazing activities that will increase your brand awareness and visibility through targeting potential customers with a set of challenges and problems and informing them how to solve these pain points.
This is important because your sales team’s cold outreach will be much more effective and successful if they have already heard about your company and products.
After your target audience has been educated about how your product or service can help them through different campaigns and promotional activities, your sales team can step in and continue the nurturing process.
A marketing-first approach will is a time-saving tactic as your sales team can focus on the prospects that are well-targeted, warmed up, and more likely to respond positively, and ultimately decide to make a purchase.