Long-lasting relationship with a customer is the best currency you can get in the business environment, particularly when we talk about B2B. One might jump to the conclusion that the work of the marketing and sales departments should be geared towards this goal.
However, this does not necessarily happen.
The marketing department is focused on generating as many leads as possible. The inflow of new leads is a measurable indicator of the market experts’ work.
Now what is the objective of the sales department? You’ve guessed it right! To sell products and services to as many leads generated by marketing department as possible.
This is where the conflicts may arise: market experts blame the sales department that many leads did not become clients after all. In turn, the sales department accuses marketing for ‘whateverism’ and doesn’t know what to do with the leads (not warm ones) prepared for purchases, whereas you have no idea how to allocate the budget for the next year to the two departments in such a way as to achieve a truly meaning result.
By the way, do you know that initially the marketing department emerged in big companies as an auxiliary department? Its scope of competence included the matters that the salespeople had no time to deal with or lacked skills for it, such as keeping the statistics, handling customer funnels, producing promotional merchandise, creating content and managing their own media sources, etc.
Later on, as the supply of goods and services in the market started exceeding demand, marketing departments ended up becoming an integral part of the business processes.
In contrast, nowadays some people tend to see the sales department as a separate marketing case.
So, where’s the truth? How should the relationship between sales and marketing departments be nurtured, so that their combined efforts could lead to an increased number of satisfied loyal customers and thus improved profits?
Optimization algorithm does exist and it’s called Smarketing (Sales+Marketing).
By no means should you equate the sales team with the team of the market experts or merge these two departments into one.
This strategy provides a valuable insight into clear separation of the tasks tackled by sales and marketing departments at all stages of the sales funnel and clear separation of their duties and powers. This specific separation is what helps get rid of any conflicts between the two departments once and for all. Smarketing elaborates where marketing merges into sales organically and what portion of the marketing efforts was put in each successfully completed transaction.
Where to begin or a few key preconditions for successful harmonization of sales and marketing efforts
- Organizational objectives for marketing and sales departments should be interrelated. These objectives are normally determined by the figures of anticipated profit.
- Marketing efforts should be quantitatively linked to the sales quotas to the greatest possible extent. Sales professionals depend significantly on their quotas i.e. target sales reps that correlate with remuneration and job securities. When marketing synchronizes its activities with the sales department’s quotas, it adds a certain dimension to operation of both departments.
- Marketing and sales departments should keep track of each other's activities continuously. Live information allows to adjust the actions in real-time mode and improve both teams.
- The compensation for the efforts of the marketing and sales teams should be interrelated. Money is a valuable leverage for switching to synchronization and harmonization of joint efforts subject to fulfillment of all conditions./li>
- Marketing and sales teams need to maintain continuous effective business communication and undergo training. Development of professional competence of each member in both teams, continuous communication and mutual enrichment are able to make two separate departments into a single mechanism for generation of higher profit margins.
The key difference between marketing and Smarketing is that the company pays for the marketing efforts, and the Smarketing is covered by a grateful customer.
However, for efficient integration, you will need some trial and error, process description and tool testing. There are still major advantages to it: many companies have already walked this path and can attest that if it works for the others might as well work for your industry.
The shining example is Mention, a company which took 6 easy steps towards Smarketing, having achieved tangible results.
Mention’s hands-on experience:
We have agreed upon the objectives and made communication between the departments regular: we held meetings with both teams in order to get a full picture of their activities and offer feedback on what works and what does not.
We have drawn up a Service-Level Agreement (SLA) between the marketing and sales departments, having outlined every detail that brings together profits and quotas. We attempted to link as many marketing activities with sales as possible.
We have agreed that sales department representatives would report on how they work with the customers generated by the marketing department and elaborate on the reasons for refusal from any of them.
By means of metrics, we calculated the whole sales funnel and identified where influence opportunities lie. We learnt how to cut down on the cost associated with purchase of the leads and give the conversion ratio a boost.
We have invested in marketing automation tools which have simplified communication and reporting procedure between marketing and sales teams.
We have learnt to respect the LTV (lifetime value), developed efficient marketing and commercial communication based on what the customer is interested in and where he or she is in the process of buying.
&ldquoHere at Mention, we have implemented this entire process, and after having approved our marketing and sales teams, we were able to triple our MRR in just a year. We have a lot of talented people in the team, but we are no geniuses, at least not single one of us. If we managed to do it so can you." ”.
Based on findings of research done by Aberdeen Group, companies with a qualitative aligning of the share of marketing and sales efforts have been able to achieve success as demonstrated by the following formula:
Sales + Marketing = + 20% to annual sales
If you also see this as a solid reason to implement Smarketing strategy in your company, we have come up with a detailed Smarketing guide for you.
All you have to do is get it and use it.