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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Is Your Sales Team Working For You Or Against You?

    Posted by Bill Faeth

    Why Achieving Smarketing Really Is Beneficial For Your Bottom Line

    sales-marketing-teams-working-togetherAs a company, of course, both the sales and the marketing departments are on the same side, with one common goal: to improve the bottom line of the business. At least, that’s the way it should be. But some days it may not always seem that way.

    Now, though, there a number of proven strategies to get around this friction in the workplace. These techniques, principles and strategies are collectively known as Smarketing, and they can turn your business around.

    Did you know that, according to a study conducted in 2010, companies that integrated their sales and marketing teams closely using Smarketing techniques reported annual revenue growth of up to 20%?

    When it comes to Smarketing, the proof is truly in the pudding.  All it takes is a little know how and determination to help your company cash in on the Smarketing revolution.  

    The following are a few of those strategies that can help your business coordinate between the two departments.

    Defining Common Goals

    If you’ve ever been in a workplace where the sales department is working to fulfill a conflicting agenda, you know how damaging that can be to marketing services.

    Before going too far down that road, team members in both marketing and sales must first take a step back and define what success means to them collectively.

    What quotas are sales working with? What projections are coming out of the marketing department, and how can both departments reconcile these types of things into a big picture goal that is copacetic for everyone involved?

    Once your team has a unified set of goals and a shared sense of vision about what constitutes success, then (and only then) can you all clamp down and chase those dreams.

    But remember, the work of creating a more cohesive relationship between sales and marketing has only just begun.

    companies-see-up-to-20-percent-revenue-growth

     

    Face-to-Face Time is Key

    Like any great partnership, the bond between marketing and sales will frequently be tested by challenges, setbacks and the occasional failure. But just like any other relationship, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open, especially during these tough times, in order to ensure that both halves are working effectively and confidently to overcome the inevitable hurdles of the working world.

    Some people say up to 90% of communication between two people is non-verbal. While this number may be a bit high, it still points to a major facet of human nature that is so often overlooked these days.

    In this digital age where offices are so incredibly connected through small (and large) screens, it can be tempting to deal with all interdepartmental communication remotely.

    Don’t.

    If your teams are not meeting daily or weekly to discuss goals, they should be meeting at least once month in person whenever possible to make sure everything is on track. Even if the effect isn’t completely obvious at first, your team will get a lot more from these in-person interactions, and those in other departments will too.

    Implement Valuable Reports

    Reports can be a pretty broad subject. There are many different types of reports, and definitely there are different types for the different types of tasks that the sales and marketing departments need to be fulfilled.

    For instance, departments can devise reports that foster discussion, or provide much needed data and information, or reports that incite action and encourage departments to strengthen URLs or other channels that are already generating interest among customers.

    Being strategic about departmental reporting, and having a concrete reason and benefit for each report is crucial to making sure that both the sales and marketing departments are headed in the right direction. In most cases, interdepartmental reporting is used to inform the marketing department which of their efforts is serving to strengthen ROI, while also offering sales an opportunity to communicate which marketing methods are helpful for generating more quality leads.

    If this isn’t exactly the case in your company, take this opportunity to brainstorm how reports would be useful to strengthening communication and implement them quickly.

    Create Visual Communication Materials

    If your major objective is to effectively communicate interdepartmental goals to everyone on your team (and it should be), why wouldn’t you invest time in creating visually eye-popping resources?

    Colorful charts, graphs and graphic materials are not only naturally more eye-catching, but they also communicate more effectively with the large swath of people who are naturally visual learners. Sometimes the medium can be more important than the message, and integrating some snazzy charts and graphs can help do a lot of the work a lot better than even the most brilliant piece of writing.

    Accountability Checks and Balances

    Marketing and Sales both continue to be popular career paths because they  

    welcome people who have good communications skills. But while many sales and marketing professionals are often great at checking in with each other, it may be hard to set up accountability between departments to make sure work gets done on time and is on the level professionally.

    With this in mind, teams implementing Smarketing practices need to make their data updates frequent and public and conversations about how to make things better should happen often. Of course, making all things public and holding everyone accountable also means that when things go well those who deserve it get a well-deserved pat on the back.

    Smarketing – A Great Way to Improve Profits

    Instituting Smarketing principles within your department has a number of benefits, but it’s important to highlight how these practices can be mutually beneficial for both marketing and sales.

    By adhering to the principles of  Smarketing, marketing teams get a better understanding of sales targets and audiences, which allow them to craft more effective marketing materials to attract these folks.

    As a whole campaigns also can become more flexible with this information, allowing for much more flexibility when it comes time, inevitably, to change course in midstream. A holistic understanding and appreciation of what happens on the sales side with respect to leads can also help marketers craft materials that encourage movement through the funnel.

    On the sales side, Smarketing offers a more complete vision of how the company operates, as well as an opportunity to increase Marketing Qualified Leads and convert these into legitimate sales, which, of course, will boost numbers. And really, what sales associate could complain about boosted numbers?

    Clearly, Smarketing is a win-win. And now, with these tips as a starting point, you too can get in on the action.

    Tell us: how has your company achieved sales and marketing alignement through Smarketing? 

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    Topics: Sales