Knowing what smarketing is about and what benefits you get from it is one thing. But now, how do you work in a smarketing way? What is needed to implement smarketing processes? You will discover all about it in this article.
Speak the same language, have a common goal and break the data silos
Define your common goals & KPIs together, and make them SMART. Make sure the entire team is engaged and responsible to reach these goals. Celebrate success together, and take failures as a team. Have one conversion funnel and no separate sales and marketing funnel. This way, it’s easier to evaluate and monitor which opportunities there are in the funnel.
Please make sure everyone in the team can access the required data and answer their questions and experiment hypothesis with this data. Please keep the entire team responsible for making sure the data is qualitative, and they often keep track of where they are today. Therefore a shared reporting, dashboard and analysis will be required. All information should be stored in a shared system, like a CRM, which everyone can consult and edit. Preferably, sales enablement resources are in one easy-to-access location. It’s also essential to make the insights on experiments, activities, KPIs, goals, and progress accessible to everyone within the team and even outside the group.
Often forgotten is that sales and marketing need to agree on terminology. In other words, you need to make sure everyone in the team speaks the same language. Otherwise, there could be miscommunications when communicating about the data and the results. The best way to establish this is by maintaining the daily transparent communication between sales and marketing and ensuring both agree on:
- the ideal customer profile,
- the value proposition
- the stages in the smarketing funnel,
- what a marketing and sales qualified lead is, and what the process is to transfer leads.
This way, sales and Marketing work on a shared vision, work more efficiently, communicate the same message and target suitable profiles.
Commit with the team on working Agile
When the team commits to the Agile principles and adopts agile processes, this will improve your sales and marketing alignment and collaboration by:
- Increasing the visibility: you will exactly know what marketing and sales activities are being worked on at the moment and what the short and long term objectives are that drive these activities.
- Prioritizing effectively: better communication and constant recalibration between sales and marketing ensures both are working on the most relevant things at the right time.
- Collaborating more often: when more people know what is going on and understand why this opens up opportunities for better collaboration between sales and marketing. You could even pair or ensemble work on a specific sales account or marketing campaign, eliminating waste on reviewing and rewriting phases.
Meet regularly as one team
Never do meetings separately, as this will disturb the team cohesion. Regular team meetings are the best way for sales and marketing to stay connected and an effective way to avoid silos.
These regularly team meetings could be:
- Daily stand-ups: what is most important today and who will collaborate to complete the tasks today,
- Weekly reviews & retrospectives: look back on the week on what went well and what could be improved for the next week,
- Quarterly evaluations: evaluate what went well and what didn’t, if there’s an apparent reason for this outcome and what to continue and improve in the next quarter,
- Content brainstorms: what content could support and give a final push to a deal, what are leads interested in, what triggers them, is there a request for specific content not yet available or maybe some content has become outdated.
This way, everyone stays informed on what is going on professionally and personally in the team, making it easier to collaborate. This way, marketing is better aware of which sales opportunities are in the pipeline, and sales know what marketing activities they could benefit from to support their tasks. Also, the team has a better view of the status of the quotas and goals.
Build cross-functional teams
If you have an office, mix marketing and sales desks together. So, the teams are not separated physically as silos from each other. This way, the sales and marketing people get to know each other better. When working remotely, collaborate on projects and do coffee or lunch chats together. Working together and communicating more often with each other build a connection.
Marketing team members can sit in on sales calls to hear questions and concerns from real prospects, make themselves available regularly to assist with sales calls, and otherwise get familiar with what it takes to drive sales in their organization.
Also, when there are business-related events, go together as a team. After all, it’s a team activity to move prospects further into the funnel to become customers.
This way, you actively share knowledge more often, thus creating a team that has both marketing and sales skills, making it easier to collaborate and understand the context of certain decisions and activities.
Support each other as one team
By working as one team, you get a win-win situation:
- Marketing gets better insights into the pains and behaviour of potential leads and customers. Your salespersons talk with leads and customers all the time and know what excites them about your offering and company. Don’t forget to set up frequent brainstorm sessions and a process to gather all this input.
- Sales are involved in the work out of marketing campaigns, meaning they are aware of new promotions and know what recent offer their leads are receiving. Marketing can also help your salespeople showcase their thought leadership through personal branding, ghost-writing a post or blog, and educate them to use social media more efficiently as a lead generator.
- By working on the content creation process together, you get a process where everyone can add ideas and take up collaborative content tasks. This way, you get
- Better insights on what content educates and convinces the potential lead.
- A better understanding of what content is used when a lead evaluates the offering and the company.
- Shared knowledge on what content is available and can contribute to closing a deal.
- A faster lead-to-customer conversion funnel: potential leads are quickly converted into customers with the right content used at the right time.
Now, how can you ensure the team works together and supports each other this way?
- Devote at least 20 % of the team’s bandwidth to collaborative sales and marketing projects essential to achieving 80 % of the company objectives (a common goal). But don’t thoroughly plan your week with projects, so there is still room for ad-hoc opportunities demanding immediate attention and experiments.
- Make clear agreements on what expectations there are, such as:
- the number of leads required to get x number of closed deals,
- the quality of the leads,
- the follow-up of MQLs and SQLs, and many more.
To conclude: to make your sales and marketing people work together as one team - a smarketing team - you should:
- Speak the same language, have a common goal and break the data silos.
- Commit with the team on working Agile.
- Meet regularly as one team.
- Build cross-functional teams.
- Support each other as one team.
By doing this, you will have better-qualified leads, average growth in annual revenue of 20 %, reduced operational smarketing costs as the team works more efficiently, stay ahead of the competitors and most importantly, more happy customers. So why wouldn’t you do it? Try it out. If you need guidance or mentoring, don’t hesitate and reach out to me.
If this topic interests you, I also highly recommend the Havard Business review article “Ending the War Between Sales and Marketing” by Philip Kotler, Neil Rackham, and Suj Krishnaswamy.
I hope you enjoyed my blog article about how to work the smarketing way. My next article will focus on the essentials of marketing. Keep an eye on our website or subscribe to our RSS feed to get a notification once published.