Happy St. Patrick's Day! For those of you thinking there is a typo in my title you would be mistaken. Just a few years ago HubSpot coined the term "smarketing", which refers to alignment between your sales and marketing teams created through frequent and direct communication between the two.
The goal is to have measurable goals that each team agrees to hit so there's mutual accountability. For instance, Marketing might have a mutually agreed upon leads SLA (service level agreement) to hit, and Sales must agree to follow up with a certain amount of those leads.
Smarketing goals should be made together, and re-evaluated every month to identify opportunities for improvement on both teams.
Why Is Smarketing Critical To The Success Of An Inbound Company?
Smarketing is a key component of inbound success because of its location in the close stage of the inbound methodology. Specifically, the point in the close phase where marketing can most effectively hand-off qualified leads to sales so that they can be closed into customers. Without smarketing, you may be left wondering where a significant number of your leads went when in reality they just ran out of gas.
Smarketing can increase bottom line revenue results for organizations by creating productive relationships between sales and marketing. In fact, companies with these two departments aligned saw a 20% increase in sales growth over the course of a year. Companies not jumping on the smarketing bandwagon tend to see a decrease in sales growth.
How Does Smarketing Result In Alignment?
To begin you need to instill the smarketing best practices:
- Both teams must have the same/interdependent organizational goals.
- The marketing pipeline should be tied to sales quotas
- Visibility into each other’s goals
- Compensation based on shared marketing and sales goals
- Continual communication and education around personas.
It is important for both teams to have interdependent goals so they have to work together to excel at accomplishing these goals. Sales rely on marketing to deliver leads and thus you have the benefit of tying the marketing pipeline to sales quotas.
Visibility into each other's goals creates better alignment and bottom line revenue results because each team is clear about how everyone is doing on goal progress. And at the base of it all, money jumpstarts organizational alignment.
How Do You Integrate Smarketing Into Your Organization?
5 Steps To Integrate Smarketing
- Speak the same language
- Set up closed-loop reporting
- Implement a Service Level Agreement (SLA)
- Maintain open communication
- Rely on data
Speak the same language - Sales and marketing must be using the same definition for words such as prospect, lead, etc. to work together effectively. In turn, you need closed-loop reporting to complete the feedback loop between the two departments so issues may be addressed and adjustments made to the process. These issues can be lessened by implementing a Service Level Agreement or SLA. An SLA is critical to integrating smarketing into your organization because it defines what each team commits to accomplishing in order to support the other in reaching the shared revenue goals.
Maintain open communication and ask yourself these 4 simple questions to identify if your organization needs closed-loop reporting:
- Do you send leads to sales and never hear about them again?
- Do you end up creating and trying to manage duplicate leads?
- Do you send leads to sales with the basic contact info but without intelligence about what content those leads consumed?
- Are you unsure of the impact their marketing efforts are having on revenue?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions then you will see the following benefits to your sales and marketing departments:
- Get up to date contact info and status updates
- Learn which marketing programs are working and which aren’t
- Get visibility into how to Increase marketing ROI
- De-duplicate leads
- Help prioritize leads
- Help make calls warmer
- Increase close rate and sales ROI
Smarketing works best for any size company, at any scale, but don't go it alone, make it a team effort. Rely on your data and not emotions when integrating and running smarketing; separate reality from perception. Hold weekly smarketing meetings within your company and supply the visual data to communicate goal progress. Additionally, you will want to hold monthly management smarketing meeting to discuss opportunities discovered in the smarketing process and to also resolve any issues that may have arisen.
May the Luck Of The Irish be with you on all of your smarketing endeavors!