A good collaboration between marketing and sales seems to remain a fairy tale for many companies. Nonetheless, aligning your sales and marketing into one team - the smarketing team - is one of the best decisions you could ever make. Research has even shown a smarketing team leads to higher revenue at lower costs, discover all about it.
The marketing and sales silos
The marketing team is daily struggling to get the funnel filled with qualified leads, but once they move to the sales team, no god damn thing is happening. Result: lead lost!
The sales team sends out emails, do calls and meeting that lead to closed deals and revenue for the company, while marketing is only spending money not bringing any hot sales qualified lead to us, we have to do it all by ourselves.
This is only one of the many misunderstandings between marketing and sales. But in the end, we all have the same goal: happy and loyal customers. So why not stop this polarisation, and work closely together as a smarketing team. And, we’ll all win for the better.
What is smarketing?
Smarketing is the abbreviation for sales and marketing. It refers to the way of working where sales and marketing are one team that work very closely together and share a common goal: creating the best customer value and experience.
Or as Wikipedia describes it: “Smarketing is the process of integrating the sales and marketing processes of a business. The objective is for the sales and marketing functions to have a common integrated approach.”
Smarketing is a mindset. It’s a new way of thinking. It’s not sufficient enough to work the smarketing way. If you don’t have this mindset, you will probably never form your smarketing team and benefit from it.
Why it is crucial that sales and marketing are aligned and you work the smarketing way?
- To be future-proof, scalable and thriving in the long term, you need an orchestrated approach where sales and marketing are one team working together on a common goal. In the end, both want customer-centricity and are the brand’s ambassadors.
- The Aberdeen Group Research report has shown that companies with a well-aligned smarketing team have an average growth in annual revenue of 20 %, while those who don’t experience a 4 % decline. This is not a surprise. Marketing delivers leads of higher quality, and the sales are equipped with better sales enablement content to convince and educate their SQLs. Therefore the deals are closed quicker, you get shorter sales cycles, and you can sell more in the same amount of time, resulting in a higher ROI and revenue.
- There is a better understanding of each others expectations and needs and fewer miscommunications because they frequently and transparently communicate with each other. This leads to faster actions such as the creation of sales enablement content.
- The buyer personas are better aligned, leading to spot-on messages touching the customer’s pain points and how the company can solve these pains. Therefore, the content will be more effective in pushing the leads through the smarketing funnel.
- Working in a smarketing team improves the internal morale. Leading to high-performing teams, better collaboration, a safe work environment, more robust employee engagement and most importantly, happy employees.
- The customer satisfaction is a lot higher, as the products and services are more aligned with the needs and expectations of the customer. Resulting in better retention and less churn.
- From an operational point of view, you will get more efficient processes at a lower operating cost, with fewer errors and faster throughput.
What challenges will you face?
- First of all, often sales get a small fixed salary, with on top a commission. While marketing has a fixed salary. You could counter this by rewarding the entire smarketing team for every successful conversion from prospect to happy customer/ambassador. After all, it’s a team accomplishment.
- Sales are often more focused on individual accounts and short-term, while marketing is more about the long-term and the entire target group. Suppose you work more closely together on the common goal: creating an excellent customer experience and value. You will automatically focus on collaborating in the short and long term to close a deal and generate more awareness and trust with a broader audience (lead generation). In that case, this is what keeps your smarketing funnel filled with new leads and your revenue growing with happy customers.
- Often sales and marketing team members have a specific cliché image of each other, which they only strengthen by cherry-picking on each other during meetings or behind each other back. This is polarisation, setting an unsafe environment where collaboration is impossible because of distrust and should be avoided at all costs. You’re one team, and you’re all on the same sides focussing on the same target. Throw away all your convictions.
- When the company grows, you often have the reflex to split the marketing and sales team. It’s better to form a smaller team existing of marketers, sales persons, customer success managers and product managers.
- But above all, both sales and market undervalue the other’s contribution to the common goal. Face it. You need each other to get to an excellent customer experience and happy customers.
To summarise, working with a smarketing team and applying the smarketing mindset positively impacts your revenue, employee happiness and customer satisfaction. So why wouldn’t you do it? Try it out. If you need guidance or mentoring, don’t hesitate and reach out to me.
I hope you enjoyed my blog article about the essentials of smarketing. My next article will focus on how you could work the smarketing way yourself. Keep an eye on our website or subscribe to our RSS feed to get a notification once published.