Behind every thriving organization is a unified team of salespeople and marketers. But while this is common knowledge, the idea of “smarketing” in action still feels like a pipe dream to some organizations. Can your sales and marketing strategies really be in cahoots? Is smarketing alignment actually attainable? The answers are yes and yes – but it all requires work. Here’s how to start.
Level Up Your Language
Think about what would happen if you were in some sort of reality show where you got paired with a partner and had to solve a puzzle together. Sounds fun, right? But then, what if you found out your partner only speaks French? That’s going to complicate things, at the very least. After all, it’s very hard to work together toward a common goal when you’re not even speaking the same language.
Although not completely literal like it is in this scenario, this is how it is with sales and marketing teams all the time. Marketing might celebrate all the leads it has brought in with a given campaign, while sales doesn’t even consider half of them to be leads since they’re not qualified to the extent they expect them to be. Such a small word (“lead”) can mean two completely separate things based on your vantage point, and can lead to miscommunication and mistrust.
To get on the same page, spend some time together discussing terminology and creating shared definitions. Simply talking through the language you use will help flesh out other problems, and ensure you don’t misunderstand one another so often.
Get Together On Your Goals
Another reason that smarketing alignment gets out of whack is that each department is working toward its own discrete goals. Sales wants to sign up 10X new customers compared to last year, while marketing wants to double website traffic. How are you supposed to work together, when you’re each focused on – and driving toward – disparate destinations?
Of course sales and marketing will always have their differences, and will be measured on different outcomes. But both departments need to be working toward the same larger organizational goals in order to truly be aligned. For example, your company may have the goal of increasing year-over-year revenue by 50%. Sales’ individual goals should stem from that larger goal, as should marketing’s. They’ll be different from one another, but they’ll still be aligned in their support of your business’ goals.
Center On The Customer Journey
One of the worst repercussions of misalignment is when it impacts your customer’s experience. So, last – but absolutely not least – true smarketing means being unified around the customer journey. Misalignment seeps into the customer experience when sales and marketing haven’t mapped out the customer journey together, along with the various touchpoints and communications along the way.
Here’s an example. Let’s say Customer A makes a purchase from your sales team. Great! But marketing didn’t get the memo, so they keep sending Customer A promotional emails inviting them to make the same purchase they already did. This type of situation isn’t only annoying to the customer, but it also reflects poorly on your company, making you look disjointed and unprofessional.
Avoid this by sitting down together and talking through the customer journey. Discuss how sales will notify marketing when something changes with a customer, and what marketing then needs to do to ensure a smooth experience. Plan for how you’ll move a customer from being in marketing’s hands to sales’ to customers success’. Come up with ideas for using your tech to support this, like by tagging customers in your CRM according to which stage of the journey they’re in.
Smarketing alignment takes work and intentionality, but it’s definitely attainable. Try out these tips here, and contact us anytime if you’d like help getting your sales and marketing strategies aligned!