Marketing and sales are two essential parts to any business. The problem is, the two departments have a hard time collaborating and staying on the same page to achieve agreed-upon business goals. Well, there’s an answer to this problem and it’s called smarketing.

Every business needs customers, but how do companies attract those ideal customers they really need? Through their marketing and sales teams! Seems like an obvious answer, right? It’s actually a bit more complicated than that. For optimal growth and increased revenue to be realized, both the sales and marketing teams within a company need to be completely aligned and on the same page. The Kapost Blog shared that companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieved 20% annual growth rate while companies with poor sales and marketing alignment charted a  4% decline in revenue. Which side of those stats do you want your teams on?

One of the common pain points that many of our prospective clients mention regarding their sales process is that their sales and marketing teams can’t find a way to work together smoothly. This is a very common problem for companies in a variety of different industries. They each have different goals and ways of doing things, and often times have difficulty understanding each department’s roles. People from the sales teams say that marketing isn’t providing them the right types of leads, while marketers say that the sales team doesn’t know how to handle the leads correctly or don’t follow up. A bridge needs to be built between these teams  so that prospective customers and opportunities don’t get lost in the hand-off.

The key to getting your sales and marketing teams on the same page is based around a concept called smarketing. You might be thinking, “well that’s cute, it sounds like a celebrity couple’s nickname”, but it’s actually an essential process to make your job easier, your efforts more effective and streamlined, and will help drive revenue to your business. iStock_72268295_LARGE.jpg

In short, “smarketing” refers to the alignment between your sales and marketing teams created through frequent and direct touch points and communication between the two teams. Smarketing works by the sales and marketing departments creating measurable goals together, and evaluating them frequently enough to obtain mutual accountability. Here are a few reasons how you can start closing the gap between sales and marketing for good:

1. No more skeptical customers

Often times, missed opportunities occur because customers feel that salespeople are not prepared for the initial meetings, which is a key milestone in the sales process. In order to make a great impression and get customers on board, salespeople need content that speaks directly to the needs, challenges, and preferences of prospects. This is a conversation that needs to happen between the sales and marketing teams: work to understand the challenges sales reps face throughout the sales process, find the gaps in the marketing content, and then work out a way to deliver content that both parties feel good about presenting to prospects.

2. Create the same goals 

Aligning your sales and marketing teams around the same set of goals may seem like a never-ending battle between conflicting opinions and ideas about what’s best for the company. Sales teams are typically revenue-driven, while marketers are more focused on brand image and visibility. Well, what’s best for the company is to create a set of  goals that makes sense for both parties: revenue and business growth. By aligning both sales and marketing goals around revenue, your sales team has a dollar amount to strive for while your marketing team has leads and content-creation goals to work towards so that you know exactly what you need from each other to reach the overall company goal.

3. Align around the same personas

Making sure both the sales and marketing teams are familiar with your personas and knowing what your target audience needs at each stage of the buyer’s journey is another essential step in achieving successful smarketing effort. Some things that need to be discussed between your sales and marketing teams when creating the personas are: agreeing who your personas are, what each stage of the funnel looks like for each of your personas, what a sales-ready lead looks like, and what the handoff process is from marketing to sales for those sales-ready leads. By agreeing on all these components within the personas, your marketers will know what type of content to produce and your salespeople can provide the final touches and communication to close the deal.

Smarketing is not a one-time meeting between your sales and marketing teams for them to return to their individual desks, never to speak again. It’s an ongoing process of open communication to analyze what’s working and what isn’t, and passing along and following up on leads to see where they are in the sales process. It’s about bouncing customer pain points and questions among both teams and developing materials that answer those questions, together.

To learn more about how smarketing works and why it’s so important, check out this infographic we created or contact us directly.

Image by sophiaspach via Flickr CC

Image by iStock via Getty Images