Are your sales and marketing teams like oil and water? They never quite mix.
These two crucial departments frequently work independently of one another, which can lead to missed opportunities and lost money.
That's where smarketing comes in - the practice of aligning sales and marketing strategies to create a cohesive approach to revenue growth. Now, you might be wondering, "That sounds great, but how do I actually make it happen?"
Well, that's just what we'll explore in this article. We'll discuss smarketing, why it's important, and—most importantly—how you can use it to grow your company.
This article offers actionable advice for both sales superstars and marketing professionals to bridge the divide between sales and marketing, fostering enduring organizational growth.
So, grab a cup of coffee, and let's dive right in!
What is Smarketing?
Smarketing comes from combining two words: Sales and marketing.
Smarketing is when two people working separately finally come together and realize they both pursue the same objective.
It refers to a business strategy uniting sales and marketing teams towards mutual goals, encouraging immediate communication and collaboration between these teams.
The cooperation between sales and marketing teams leads to more effective lead generation, conversion, and targeting, resulting in a better customer experience and revenue growth.
Smarketing is a secret weapon that makes your business more robust and effective.
What is the main goal of smarketing?
Smarketing aims to bring sales and marketing teams together to work together toward achieving better results in lead generation.
It also helps organizations improve each team's qualities and strengths using an inbound marketing strategy, which allows businesses to engage better with their customers by nurturing their content and actions.
Why is smarketing important?
If you succeed in implementing smarketing, you improve communication between your sales and marketing teams, foster collaboration, and help them align processes.
It eventually helps teams work together toward the same goal, driving more sales and improving business outcomes.
Here is a brief list of all the benefits that smarketing brings to you.
Cooperating sales and marketing teams together allows them to attract and engage potential customers better.
The marketing team must provide sales representatives with helpful content to guide potential buyers through the sales process.
Smarketing helps these two teams align their strategies and goals, foster cooperation, and enhance communication, leading to higher-quality leads.
According to HubSpot, Companies that have aligned sales and marketing teams achieve a remarkable 208% increase in revenue derived from their marketing endeavors.
Better Efficiency With Data
In many companies, withholding customer data from the marketing and sales departments creates obstacles that eliminate optimal performance for all stakeholders.
But working for these teams allows them to share information and collaborate, which helps them develop better content and processes toward business goals.
Drives More ROI
Generating better leads and improving efficiency can lead to a shortened sales cycle and an increased return on investment (ROI).
According to a survey conducted by LeanData, companies with aligned sales and marketing teams experienced a 38% increase in their sales win rate.
Also, properly aligning sales and marketing teams with mutual goals makes tracking and measuring the value of their campaigns easier.
It allows them to avoid operating in silos and work together towards achieving common objectives.
Improved Customer Experiences
Enabling everyone on your team to easily access and share customer information makes a huge difference.
Consolidating your communication channels ensures everyone can access the required data to understand potential customers more effectively.
By enabling sales and marketing teams to craft personalized content that deeply resonates with their audience, it facilitates the creation of impactful and relevant messaging.
What happens next is a massive boost in customer experience, retention rates, and long-term value for your business.
A Forrester Research study revealed that companies that leverage marketing automation to align their sales and marketing efforts experience a 16% improvement in customer satisfaction.
Shortened Buying Cycles
Have you ever felt the buying process needed to be shorter and clearer?
Smarketing is the solution!
Aligning sales and marketing teams results in a more seamless buying experience for potential customers. It allows them to create more optimized content and buying cycles that make the buying process shorter for customers.
Shortening the buying cycle means potential customers can make decisions faster, resulting in a smoother sales process.
It helps businesses have happier customers and increased loyalty, as well as generate more revenue for their business.
Increase Customer Retention Rates
Long-term success for any business heavily relies on the imperative of retaining customers.
To improve customer retention, companies should build strong customer relationships by providing personalized experiences, regular support, and engagement.
According to a report by Aberdeen Group, businesses with robust sales and marketing alignment experienced a 36% higher customer retention rate than those with weak alignment.
Additionally, offering incentives and rewards can show customers they are appreciated and valued.
This can build loyalty and encourage customers to continue doing business with the company.
It Directs Our Attention toward the Sales Funnel
Analyzing how the funnel operates would enable us to identify areas where we must adjust our strategies.
The marketing team can use this information to develop data-informed tactics.
14 Essential Steps to Implement Smarketing: Let's Align Sales and Marketing
Sales and Marketing teams working together can take time and effort, but it's definitely worth it. Good teamwork requires planning, clear communication, and open-mindedness to different perspectives.
Despite the potential obstacles, the rewards of bringing these two groups together can be significant, from boosting revenue and customer satisfaction to creating a more positive work environment for everyone involved.
Here are 14 essential steps to help you better align your sales and marketing teams:
1. Establish Shared Objectives
The success of a business is enhanced when sales and marketing teams work together towards shared objectives.
This requires collaborative efforts, defining shared objectives, and identifying key performance metrics.
Establishing a communication framework and maintaining flexibility as business conditions change is essential.
To make this happen, it is important to have regular meetings to review objectives and performance.
Leaders from both departments should be involved to show their commitment to this collaborative approach.
One way to help everyone see the bigger picture is to change the language we use from "marketing pipeline" or "sales funnel" to "shared marketing funnel."
This helps everyone understand that we work together towards the same goal.
Even though individuals may have different responsibilities, the shared objective allows everyone to work together and support each other.
By implementing a collaborative environment and aligning objectives, sales and marketing teams can achieve success and lead business growth.
2. Develop A Robust Communication Infrastructure
Building successful relationships requires effective, open, honest, and timely communication.
Making assumptions and jumping to conclusions in personal and professional contexts is easy, but asking questions and genuinely listening to the answers is crucial to building trust and understanding.
The same goes for sales and marketing teams collaborating.
Both teams must use positive language and a collaborative tone toward each other to build a stronger relationship leading toward success.
3. Share Your Insights
Sales managers and marketers may experience stress and pressure daily, so supporting each other and sharing insights is essential.
These insights can be good and bad when working towards achieving the company’s goals.
Solving urgent problems requires the power of cooperation.
Businesses experience a 27% acceleration in profit growth when sales and marketing teams collaborate effectively.
By working together and sharing their knowledge and resources, sales and marketing teams can find practical solutions and achieve better results.
It is all about having each other’s backs and working towards a shared objective.
4. Develop a Strategy for All Accounts
Ensure everyone in your sales and marketing teams is on the same page.
Instead of having separate experiences for your prospects, aim for a cohesive brand experience that ties everything together from the top of the funnel, where prospects become aware of your brand, to the bottom, where they become loyal customers.
Companies with closely integrated sales and marketing functions benefit from a 36% increase in customer retention and 38% higher sales win rates.
This approach helps you and your team track a prospect’s journey through the entire funnel.
But creating a unified customer experience is not easy, and many businesses face challenges and struggles.
The most effective technologies companies with high sales and marketing alignment use include CRM, email marketing, analytics, and marketing automation.
These tools help you better understand your customers and create a more personalized experience that meets their needs and expectations.
5. Consent on a Customer Persona
To make sure your sales and marketing teams are working towards the same goal, it's important to create a clear customer persona.
This document must serve as a blueprint for understanding your ideal customer’s needs, motivations, and behaviors.
You must gather insights and data from various sources, such as customer feedback, surveys, and market research, to create the ideal customer persona.
A clear understanding of your ideal customer allows you to develop targeted marketing campaigns, personalized sales pitches, and specific content that resonates with them.
Aligned organizations achieve a 30% reduction in customer acquisition costs and experience a 20% increase in customer lifetime value.
Reviewing and updating your ideal customer persona helps ensure your sales and marketing efforts align with your target audience’s evolving needs and preferences.
6. Build Connection Between The Team Leaders
To establish a unified front, each team leader must assume responsibility and ensure seamless alignment among all team members.
Based on what 87% of sales and marketing leaders claim, through collaboration between sales and marketing teams, you can experience critical business growth.
Team leaders must ensure everyone understands the objectives and ways to work harmoniously together.
Teamwork helps them find solutions that they would not have found individually.
Teams should work on solving problems together to succeed in their jobs.
7. Schedule Regular Meetings
Notably, approximately 33% of B2B sales and marketing teams lack a scheduled meeting arrangement.
To foster effective collaboration between sales and marketing teams, it is essential to schedule weekly meetings to ensure smooth coordination and cooperation.
During these meetings, they can chat about their experiences, share successes and challenges, look at how recent campaigns have been performing, and brainstorm new ideas. You should choose people from both teams to attend the meetings and give updates on what has been happening in their departments lately.
It keeps everyone updated to work together more effectively.
8. Cultivate a Compassionate Attitude Toward the Problems That Affect Each Other
Good communication and trying to see things from each other’s point of view allow people to empathize.
Understanding how someone feels about a particular situation helps us connect with them and offer support more effectively.
Sales representatives have a demanding job. They are always under a lot of pressure to make sales and hit their targets.
That is why sales and marketing teams must collaborate and support each other to provide the best possible experience for customers.
Companies with "flexible and adaptable sales and marketing processes" see an average of 10% more sales representatives achieving their quota than other organizations.
For example, marketing should regularly ask sales for feedback on the leads they provide. This way, everyone can work together to ensure customers are happy and satisfied.
9. Prioritizing Marketing
Sometimes, sales and marketing teams are out of sync.
Marketing might create a campaign for one group of customers, while sales cold-calls or emails a different group.
But this approach can confuse prospects, who might respond poorly to cold outreach if unfamiliar with your brand.
That is why successful sales and marketing teams take a "marketing first" approach.
They identify potential customers with a specific problem and demonstrate how their product can help.
They take the time to build a relationship with these leads, sharing information and highlighting the benefits of their product.
The inability to find content to share with prospects is the most prevalent complaint among sales teams, with 65% of sales representatives expressing this challenge.
Once the lead has been thoroughly educated and primed for a decision, it is the sales team's role to complement the marketing team's efforts, repeat key points, and facilitate the closing of the deal.
10. Take Advantage of Collaborative Technology
To foster effective collaboration between the sales and marketing teams, using specialized tools for communication, sharing documents, assigning tasks, and tracking progress is crucial, primarily when some team members work remotely.
A significant 96% of companies that emphasize organizational alignment also exhibit alignment in their sales and marketing technology, highlighting the importance of sharing data and technology in achieving overall organizational cohesion.hibit alignment in their sales and marketing technology.
As a first step, you can create a shared team email account where everyone can store and access all relevant information in one central location.
Next, you can use video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Slack to communicate with your team online.
You can also use Google Docs to enable real-time collaboration and save time by streamlining the working process on shared documents.
Last but not least is using project management tools, such as ActiTIME, Trello, Wrike, or ClikUp, to ensure effective communication and the assignment of tasks.
But remember that although these tools are great, they only partially replace open communication and human interaction.
Combining these tools with open communication allows you to promote collaboration, increase productivity, and drive business success.
11. Maintain Uniformity in Marketing Messages
Have you ever experienced confusion when the sales and marketing teams refer to a product with different names?
This can frustrate potential customers and even harm their perception of your company.
Misaligned sales and marketing teams can create a poor first impression, reducing prospects' trust in your organization.
According to a survey, 21% of B2B marketing teams perceive "creating a negative impression of our organization in the eyes of the customer" as one of the most detrimental consequences of inadequate alignment between content marketing and sales efforts.
Aligning both teams ensures marketing messages resonate with prospects and warm them up for the sales team.
Aligned marketing messages with sales strategies help us establish trust with prospects, leading to more closed deals.
On the other hand, inconsistent messaging creates an uncomfortable journey for potential customers.
12. Promote Team Solidarity During Challenging Times
Aligning sales and marketing teams can be tough when things get challenging.
For example, if the sales department struggles to meet its targets, it is natural for the marketing team to feel disappointed and distance themselves.
It would be the worst-case scenario for the marketing team to take the “it is not our problem” approach and ignore it altogether.
But in an organization with well-implemented smarketing, low sales are a problem for both teams.
Both teams must cooperate to solve this problem.
One of the best ways to ensure that sales and marketing stick together during tough times is to make it mandatory for the two teams to meet regularly, especially when you miss a sales target.
13. Collaborate on Customer Expansion and Loyalty
Combining the forces of the sales and marketing teams increases new leads and conversions.
Surprisingly, the cost of acquiring new customers can be up to 6-7 times higher than the expense of retaining existing customers.
This is why you must maximize your current customers' value while attracting new ones.
Your sales and marketing teams should work together to come up with strategies to increase the lifetime value of your customers.
14. Utilize Customer Input
Listen to your customers after bringing your sales and marketing teams together to gain valuable insights.
This is also known as “voice of customer” (VOC) data, which is incredibly helpful for improving your business.
During customer service interactions and sales calls, the optimal opportunity arises to collect Voice of Customer (VOC) feedback.
Listening to VOC carefully gives your sales representatives a better overview of their customer's pain points and motives and the specific phrases that customers use to describe their needs and preferences.
Using this feedback helps you enhance your marketing messages and refine your products or services for greater effectiveness.
Smarketing Tips to Make It Better
Remember that smarketing is not a one-time thing but a process.
This process needs careful implementation, and we must consider some essential tips to make it work even better.
Here are some tips, but the list goes on.
Integrate Marketing and Sales Departments
Integrating marketing and sales departments is like bringing two teams together to work toward a common objective; it is like uniting superheroes with unique powers and strengths to form a stronger, more effective team.
To make it happen, both teams need to get to know each other and develop a shared understanding of what they are working toward.
While 59% of marketers believe they clearly understand the content that sales teams require, only 35% of sales representatives share the same perception, as revealed by marketing statistics.
It is like going on a road trip with new friends.
In this case, you must clearly understand your destination, the path to reach it, and the actions to be taken.
They also need to communicate and collaborate regularly, like catching up over a cup of coffee or having a brainstorming session. It helps build relationships and create a culture of trust and collaboration.
Both teams must be flexible and open to learning from each other.
It is like learning a new language or trying a new hobby, which may feel uncomfortable at first, but with practice and guidance, it becomes easier and more rewarding.
Provide Multiple Types of Feedback Between Marketing and Sales
Providing many types of feedback between the marketing and sales departments is like having a conversation between two close friends who are always looking out for each other’s best interests.
They regularly share insights and feedback to help each other improve, whether by providing advice on a new outfit or giving constructive criticism on a presentation.
The same goes with smarketing, where marketing and sales teams must communicate regularly and openly to ensure they target the right accounts and individuals with the most relevant messaging.
Marketing and sales teams must be adaptable and open to learning from each other, like how friends learn new things and try new hobbies together.
Agree on Terminology
Agreeing on terminology is like two people having a conversation using the same language.
In the same way, when marketing and sales teams agree on terminology, they can communicate more effectively and align their efforts toward shared objectives.
To elaborate more on the situation, consider it like a group of friends planning a road trip. They must agree on the destination, the route, and the stops along the way.
If they all use different terminologies or have other ideas of where they want to go, they will get lost or go in circles.
The marketing and sales teams are the same.
They must define key terms and develop a glossary using customer-centric language.
Training all team members on the agreed-upon terminology is like friends making sure everyone knows the plan before setting off on a road trip.
You must also consider reviewing and updating the terminology regularly to ensure everyone is on the same page and improve the program's effectiveness.
Use Data to Communicate
Using data to communicate is like having a conversation with someone close to you and knows a lot about you.
When the other person uses your name, asks you about your interests, and references your past experiences, you feel more connected to them. You are more likely to engage in the conversation.
In terms of alignment, demand generation and sales representatives display the least agreement when it comes to asset/content development (34.6%) and analytics/metrics (31.8%) while exhibiting the highest level of alignment in conversion strategy (55.8%).
Surprisingly, only 8% of companies showcase strong alignment between their sales and marketing departments.
In the same way, when marketing and sales teams use data to communicate with target accounts, they can personalize their messaging and build stronger relationships.
By using buyer intent data, teams can gain insights into what target accounts are interested in and tailor their messaging accordingly.
Analyzing engagement data is like paying attention to how your friend responds to your conversation.
You can adjust your messaging accordingly and make the conversation more engaging.
Personalizing video messaging is like sending a personalized message to a friend.
You can use their name and reference their specific interests, making the message more meaningful and engaging.
Using predictive analytics is like knowing which friends are most likely to enjoy a particular activity.
You can focus your resources and attention on the friends most likely to engage with your message and build stronger relationships.
The same goes for building customer relationships, too.
You can develop a specific content strategy to communicate with your target audience, choose who will best react to your content, and focus your resources on them.
The implementation of smarketing can prove challenging. How? It’s when there’s no shared tool for customer relationship management and internal communication accessible to both sales and marketing teams.
Here is a brief list of the best smarketing tools you can benefit from.
HubSpot is a smarketing tool that provides sales and marketing teams with a centralized platform for managing customer relationships and features for lead generation, lead nurturing, and customer engagement.
Its sales and marketing hubs offer a range of tools to support these efforts, while its analytics and reporting features allow teams to track their progress and make data-driven decisions.
HubSpot helps teams improve collaboration, streamline workflows, and drive growth.
Salesforce is like having a personal assistant for your sales and marketing teams.
It is a powerful tool that can help you stay organized and streamline your workflow by managing your leads and sales opportunities.
With Salesforce, your sales and marketing teams can work together seamlessly by sharing information about prospects, creating campaigns, and scheduling meetings all in one place.
Using Salesforce offers the advantage of a comprehensive overview of leads and opportunities, consolidating all relevant information into a single, easily accessible platform.
You can also create campaigns from scratch or use pre-built templates to help you stay on top of your marketing strategy.
The platform lets you schedule meetings, track email activity, and more.
Salesforce is a valuable tool for measuring your return on investment (ROI) for all your efforts in one place, accessible by both sales and marketing teams.
It is an intuitive, mobile-friendly CRM platform that provides valuable insights into your customer base.
With LeadFuze, you can better understand the people you're selling to so you can sell better and close more deals.
One of the key benefits of using LeadFuze is its easy-to-use interface, which allows you to quickly and easily view your data.
You can also receive email alerts for insightful marketing campaigns in your inbox.
The platform's visualization tools, such as graphs, reports, and heat maps, provide an overview of the statistics from your customer base with just one click.
LeadFuze also offers a customizable dashboard to keep track of your data and campaigns and a search field to help you find the information you need as quickly as possible.
SalesLoft is like having a sales and marketing guru right at your fingertips.
With SalesLoft, you can take your sales game to the next level and easily close more deals.
The lead tracking tools on Salesloft are unique and ensure that you get high-quality leads that are more likely to convert into customers.
Cloud-based data lets you easily access your sales and marketing data from anywhere.
One of the best things about SalesLoft is the integrations.
You can easily integrate it with most CRMs and Gmail, making it super easy to keep track of deals and stay on top of your outreach.
The best part? You can try Salesloft out for free before you commit to it.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales is a great tool for any marketer or salesperson looking to take their business to the next level.
It is designed to work seamlessly with Microsoft's productivity suite, so you can easily integrate it into your workflow.
One of the best things about Dynamics 365 Sales is that it comes with a free trial, which allows you to test it out before you commit.
It comes with spam-free email marketing capabilities, so you do not have to worry about your emails getting flagged.
Finally, customer support for Dynamics 365 Sales is available 24/7, so you can get help whenever needed.
How AI bees Can Help You With Your Smarketing
Smarketing integrates sales and marketing efforts to increase revenue and drive business growth.
By leveraging AI technology, businesses can streamline their smarketing processes and improve their chances of success.
From lead scoring to personalization, predictive analytics to chatbots, AI can help businesses optimize their smarketing strategies and achieve better results.
Do you want to learn more about how AI can benefit your smarketing efforts?
AI bees is here for you!
We offer AI-powered solutions for sales and marketing, including lead generation, lead scoring, and chatbots.
By leveraging AI bees' technology, you can improve your smarketing efforts and achieve better results.
To learn more and see how AI can transform your sales and marketing processes, schedule a meeting with our experts.