We have already mentioned it: the sales world is changing and, on closer inspection, not only that. More is needed to rely on marketing in the first phase of the lead generation strategy and then pass the contacts on to sales. The realization of smarketing, the alignment between marketing and sales, is a goal that requires the commitment of all members of both teams, who need to acquire a somewhat new mentality and working methodology. So how to do it? Here are five tips for implementing smarketing in business.
Smarketing: Adopt Continuous And Constant Communication
The first step in making sales & marketing collaborate is to promote communication between the two teams: they must understand that they are fighting the same battle. A continuous exchange of information and feedback is necessary to win it. Each team must know the progress of the other at all times; in this way, each group will have a global view of their work and that of the others.
Therefore, it is necessary to create communication channels, physical or virtual, to install a constructive and goal-oriented dialogue for mutual support. A first approach to favor this communication can be adopting corporate social networks, where they create targeted communication flows and groups according to the objectives.
A Single Language For A Single Smarketing Process
It may seem trivial, but for effective communication between the two teams, it is necessary to speak the same vocabulary. Those who work in sales or marketing may have already experienced this problem: when discussing qualified leads, we sometimes mean different things. On the subject of terminology in use, alignment must be total. It will be necessary to plan moments of comparison with periodic deadlines not only to identify the different types of leads but also to set up correct management towards each of them aimed at achieving coordinated and, for this reason, valuable objectives.
For example, marketers must adopt a lead-nurturing strategy with targeted content if a lead has shown early interest but has yet to purchase. However, if a leader has already shown an interest in buying, you must notify your sales managers so they can take action. It is, therefore, essential to define a model shared by both company teams to optimize all activities and a common language and vocabulary for communication efficiency.
With Smarketing, Your Goals Are My Goals
The two historic rival teams must have shared goals today. But how? One of the most effective ways to implement this sharing is creating a Service Level Agreement, which describes the responsibilities and activities of both teams to be implemented for mutual support. It is a defined, numerically quantified commitment that must be constantly monitored and updated. The SLA crystallizes alignment around goals, defining the number and quality of leads marketing should generate and the speed and depth of follow-up the sales team should achieve.
Smarketing Must Be A Data-Driven Relationship
Today many channels provide us with data in real time. For the integration of a smarketing process, an essential aspect of data management is the collection and interpretation of data and, above all, the timely distribution of information within the company. Too often, the sales force remains extraneous to strategic information flows to generate new customers.
Sales should receive instant warnings whenever a contact iterates with a company’s content. Windows of opportunity often need to be longer. According to research from HubSpot, businesses that attempt to reach out to prospects within an hour of receiving the interaction are nearly seven times more likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision-makers than businesses that try to reach out to candidates more than one hour later.
Smarketing = Stronger Together. How Much?
Last tip for smarketing: how to understand if joint efforts are giving the expected results? You will need to use a Closed-Loop Reporting (CLR) system. To make it easy, Closed-Loop reports show every interaction a customer has had on your company’s website, from their first visit to becoming a customer.
Using the CLR allows marketing to promptly transfer contact information to the sales team and to the latter to communicate feedback on which of its contacts are turning into customers, remaining constantly updated on the path of the buyer personas. Furthermore, the CLR can support analyzing which marketing sources produce the most significant leads and understand which content performs better. Closed-Loop Reporting can be simplified by using one software for both teams. This will allow you to access the information anytime, which can be easily shared.
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