In one of the opening paragraphs of the book Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni writes: “If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”
While rowing, all oars need to be in the same direction with synchronized timing and crew members communicating constantly. Applying this analogy to B2B business, it is a no-brainer that sales and marketing need to be in impeccable synchronicity to drive the business to its desired destination.
However, not all companies are lucky enough to have this ideal scenario as sales and marketing are often found to be at loggerheads. As per LinkedIn: “9 in 10 sales and marketing professionals say they are misaligned across strategy, process, content, and culture.” Also, a 2020 HubSpot report revealed that “only 28% of sales executives said marketing was their best source of leads.”
Interestingly, the same LinkedIn research shows that “90% of sales and marketing professionals agree that when initiatives and messages are aligned, the customer experience is positively impacted.”
While it may be true that the perfect marriage between sales and marketing nicknamed "Smarketing" is much harder to create, it is not that impossible a task. Let’s explore some of the keys to this perfect marriage that has the potential to take a business to an unprecedented height.
The Keys to a Perfect Marriage between Sales and Marketing
● Staying Connected
Regular communication is an effective way to stay connected and not work in silos. Following are some of the ways sales and marketing teams can stay connected:
- Having onboarding smarketing meetings with every new sales executive with an agenda of sharing processes, resources, and best practices at the outset.
- Having regular weekly and monthly meetings with teams to set goals, review and discuss performance, and offer support to each other when required.
- During these weekly or monthly meetings, a marketing team can share upcoming campaigns, content, and offers that are to be promoted next. A sales team can share content ideas and recommendations for future offers and blog posts.
- Sales and marketing managers should have regular monthly meetings to analyze results and evaluate their SLA. They can share critical metrics such as lead generation, MQLs, percent of leads worked, and lead-to-customer conversion rate.
- Teams can spend time together in a casual setting such as an industry meetup group, happy hour in your office, or an organized conference. It provides the teams with an opportunity to get to know each other outside the scope of the workspace.
● Setting Shared Goals
Since sales and marketing use different key performance indicators (KPIs) to function, their goals too are different. For example, sales may be focused on monthly revenue while marketing may focus on driving more website traffic. An ideal marriage demands shared goals that need to be set together.
There are some KPIs like conversion rate and lead value that both teams can measure and influence. There may be more such KPIs depending upon your company’s business strategy. A perfect smarketing strategy identifies these KPIs and makes them an integral part of the sales and marketing team.
● Sharing Each Other’s Reporting and Analysis Style
What do your sales and marketing teams track and measure? What do they learn from their analysis? Just as you keep your communication and ideation channels open between Marketing and Sales, make sure each team shares their learnings, too. You never know what your sales executives and marketers could learn from seemingly unrelated KPIs and analyses.
● Making Sales Enablement Resources Easily Accessible
The sales team must be able to access and use all the sales enablement resources such as brochures, company overviews, and presentations when required. If these are not easily accessible, all the hard work of marketers goes down the drain. Keeping all these resources in one shared place makes this quite easier. Such a shared space can also be used to host your campaign calendar, links to relevant offers, and specific content for a market or persona.
● Streamlining the Content Creation and Coordination Process
Marketers often create content that proves irrelevant to prospects. Sales executives exactly know what excites their prospects as they’re regularly talking with prospects. However, sales executives often do not have time to write those brilliant ideas.
During the weekly meetings mentioned earlier in this post, you can ask sales executives what kind of content they would like marketers to create that would attract more leads. Creating a shared Google document or a spreadsheet for a sales team to share ideas or references for content creation is another key to the perfect marriage between sales and marketing. You should also set up a systematic coordination process that can put both teams on the same page regarding ongoing promotions of new offers and content.
When sales and marketing teams realize that it is not their job to compete against each other but to complement each other, businesses can reach their maximum potential and deliver better customer experiences.