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Jul 19 2018

What is Smarketing?

Smarketing

When I was a kid there was this commercial.

Picture it. 4000 years ago.
Two guys sitting in a hut– outside the window, torrential downpour of rain.

The FIRST GUY dips his chocolate bar in a jar of peanut butter… Revelation!

FIRST GUY: Mmm! Taste this. Chocolate and peanut butter.

Hands the goodies over to the SECOND GUY. He takes a chomp.

SECOND GUY: Hey! It’s great together! You know who’d like this? Noah.

FIRST GUY: (Incredulous) You mean the guy building the ark?

SECOND GUY: Yeah, cuz he loves chocolate and he loves peanut butter.

FIRST GUY: Let’s bring him some.

As they stand– the CRASH and FLASH of THUNDER and LIGHTNING. They sit back down.

FIRST GUY: As soon as it stops raining.

ANNOUNCER GUY: And so the world would have to wait for the two great tastes that taste great together in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

The world would have to wait for chocolate and peanut butter to come together. Something that seems so obvious– so absolutely necessary failed to come together.

The world would have to wait… Hmm, that’s kinda the same way sales and marketing has failed to come together.

Something that seems so obvious– so very necessary.

The integration of sales and marketing called (drum roll if you please) Smarketing.

The problem with sales and marketing, historically…

What is Smarketing?

Could it be that sales and marketing are too similar? In fact, mostly the same?

Hmmm….

Are they not alike?
Are their goals separate from one another?
Is not their main purpose the acquisition of customers?

Why, yes. Yes, to all three.

The truth is, sales and marketing should be as cozy as peanut butter and chocolate… but the world would have to wait.

Perhaps their similarities are a bit too much like the similarities between siblings. Could it be as simple as a sibling rivalry between the sales and marketing departments?

Two divisions in a company, ostensibly pursuing the same goals yet divided by a lack of understanding the other’s approach toward that goal.

87% of the terms sales and marketing use to describe each other are negative.

“The Sales Reps are lazy!” “The leads are lousy!”
“Your mother’s ugly!” “You’re fat!”

And on and on it goes.

Now you’re a business with a kick-ass website and high demand product but your sales and marketing teams are at odds. Chances are, you’re going to have crummy results…

But what does it look like when your sales and marketing team are on the same page, with clear and mutual goals and a well defined handing off process from visitor to customer?

Ummm… it looks like Smarketing.

When sales and marketing teams are in sync, companies become 67% better at closing sales.

Companies with aligned sales and marketing, generated 208% more revenue from marketing and improve customer retention by 36%.

Aligned sales and marketing teams show 400% higher annual revenue growth than teams that have not adopted the Smarketing approach.

With numbers like that, you can’t afford not to adopt this ideology.

The world can wait no longer…

So what is Smarketing and how is it implemented?

Smarketing ​(n) – alignment between your sales and marketing teams, created through shared goals and executed through a communicative, collaborative and coordinated strategy.

There are many different ways and components of Smarketing and as you research it, you’ll find a lot of different takes on what’s best.

Smarketing is both a strategy and a collection of best practices; however, it can be difficult to determine not only how to implement these practices, but also how effective they are.

For the purposes of this blog I’ve taken all the different methodologies into account and boiled them down into 3 simplified components.

Smarketing is…

  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Coordination

What is Smarketing? It’s Communication

Media Buying & Planning Services

Well duh… it’s the 21st century. Everything is about communication. But the thing of it is, without communication, it’s basically impossible to come together. Okay, so how do we begin to come together and communicate?

You guys have to meet. Start there. Heck, have a party to kick off your new Smarketing adventure. Have two parties. One for sales and one for marketing.

The sales team will throw together the fantasy football and beer outing and the marketing team will head the mahjong and tea event.

Doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it.

Start with a management meeting. All the heads of departments can come together and conceive of a plan. Then move to weekly team meetings where you can start to see eye to eye on how your two departments aren’t so different after all.

This is how a common language will develop between departments, common definitions and common goals. Gee, look how much you have in common already.

Here you can discuss campaigns and figure out the best ways to roll them out.

You can create SMART revenue goals for each other.

SMART being an acronym for:

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

This is where sales and marketing get their collective heads together and really share their experience and insight. These are the things that can really benefit each other. It’s the marketing team that usually has a strong sense of the Customer’s Persona. If not communicated properly then sales and marketing could be using two drastically different approaches for reaching and retaining the same customers.

Common research and personalization of a customer’s needs increases your ability to create trust and rapport.

Marketing can enlighten sales on misconceptions and show ​how a visitor to your site can be developed into a customer.

Does your company have a common definition of a sales-ready lead, or are you working off of a misconception?

Turns out 55% of businesses work from a misconception between sales and marketing of what is an actual sales-ready lead. Communication fixes those misconceptions.

Your sales team may have a stronger insight into what it takes to become a sales ready lead.

The marketing team may be able to offer insights into the prospect’s journey before becoming a lead and just how to establish the appropriate amount of trust needed before the hand-off to sales.

When sales understands marketing’s process, method and its promise; only then can sales follow up in an appropriate manner and the results will be a higher quality lead and higher conversion rates from leads to customers.

What is Smarketing? It’s Collaboration

What is Smarketing?

Collaboration begins with shared goals between sales and marketing.

You gotta have skin in the game! When you’re teams are pursuing specific and agreed upon goals it elevates comradery and passion.

“Organizations who excel in smarketing alignment go beyond communicating lead requirements and meeting regularly to review data: their marketing and sales teams actually have shared goals. This means that marketers are held accountable for not just lead generation goals, but more holistically, revenue goals. If this sounds non-traditional, that’s because it is. Mature smarketing models have both marketing and sales working on the same pipeline with a structured lead nurturing process, so that one hand always knows what the other is doing. Every aspect of their strategy has been developed in detail, from brand broadcasting, to inbound lead generation, to qualification, and beyond.”

– MarketingProfs

Again, collaboration, at its core, is about coming together and working toward common goals. The goals should not only be conceived of and agreed upon, together, they also need to be promoted and measured together.

That’s smarketing, baby.

Collaboration means that sales and marketing must come together on the different stages of the sales and marketing funnel. It allows you to tie the marketing pipeline to the sales quota.

The top two sections of the funnel have always been marketing’s main area of focus. The rest of the funnel used to be left in the hands of sales. As you can see, that is not the modern method of a potential customer’s journey, anymore.

Today marketing spends a much longer time with the potential lead than in the past. This is because of the marked change in customers today.

This is because a visitor is more educated and generally knows what they want and when they want to buy.

The old “Always be Closing” attitude for sales doesn’t really work today. Instead, marketing has developed an “Always be Helping” model to move potential buyers through the funnel.

That being said, it’s both sales and marketing’s goal to convert the potential customer into a sales-ready lead. They work closely together at the middle of the funnel, qualifying the lead and discerning the opportunity to buy.

Here is where the hand-off from marketing to sales is crucial.

It has to be at just the right time. Right when a potential customer’s interest in your product or service is at its peak. Defining when this happens will keep your sales team focused on the right leads at the right time.

Outcome based marketing​ is a great way to encourage this goal-oriented Smarketing.

Too often, the marketing team rolls out a project without being able to specifically quantify the effectiveness of their efforts.

With outcome based marketing, every campaign has an objective that can be measured and is relevant to the sales goals of the company.

Come up with a baseline quota for quality leads and a reasonable timeframe for follow-up by sales for the conversion of leads to customers.

Marry goals and rewards together for both teams. Give your sales and marketing teams the same goals and compensate them in accordance.

What is Smarketing? It’s Coordination

What is Smarketing?

The Service Level Agreement

A service level agreement (SLA) between your sales and marketing teams around a common goal with clear definitions of what each side needs to contribute.

“One of the most critical steps, it turns out, is creating a service level agreement (SLA). Traditionally, an SLA serves to clearly define exactly what a customer will receive from a service provider.

But we suggest creating a Sales and Marketing SLA: An agreement that details both marketing goals (like number of leads or revenue pipeline) and the sales activities that will follow and support them, like following up on leads qualified by marketing. Both teams use this document as a commitment to support each other, based on concrete, numerical goals. And guess what — 81% of marketers whose companies have this type of SLA have an effective marketing strategy.”

– Ellie Mirman

An SLA defines what each team commits to accomplish in order to support the other and crystalizes alignment around goals.

Closed Loop Reporting

Closed Loop Reporting is the process by which sales and marketing close the loop between each other, primarily through the intimate sharing of data, feedback and the integration of tools.

Sales and marketing share feedback on leads:

  • Are they filled out with all relevant information?
  • Are they duplicates?
  • Are they even actionable?

Closed Loop Reporting benefits marketing by:

  • Receiving up to date contact info and status updates.
  • Learn which marketing programs work
  • Learn which marketing programs don’t work.
  • Increase Marketing ROI.

Closed Loop Reporting benefits sales by:

  • They’ll stop sending duplicate orders.
  • It will help them prioritize leads.
  • Make warmer calls.
  • Increase close rate and sales ROI.

Integrating the Tools

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is crucial software that synchronizes the activities of your sales and marketing teams. It can help them to achieve your company’s goals of getting and keeping customers.

Marketing software helps record marketing data and track progress and effectiveness of your inbound marketing activities.

By themselves, these programs are awesome. However, if integrated through an application programming interface, (API) the results are ridiculous… in a good way.

What is Smarketing? Conclusion

Smarketing is smart.

Sales and marketing are inherently related, separated only by ideology and terminology. Smarketing brings them together in such a way that it promises to revolutionize your business.

The world can wait no longer…

So what are you waiting for?

If you’re ready to align your sales and marketing departments and initiate them into the 21st century, but you’re not sure where to begin, call the professionals at CMDS, based in Colts Neck, NJ. We can help. Give us a shout at 732-706-5555 to learn more.

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