For many companies, the sales department and the marketing department are often set worlds apart in both goals and structure. Sales often thinks of marketing as the arts and crafts department while marketing feels that the sales department is all about numbers and no creativity. If this sounds familiar, than your business isn’t meeting its full potential and your numbers may be lower than they should be.
So, how do you rectify this problem? Simple, you have to align your sales department and marketing department, think of them as working together in a new department called smarketing. Smarketing is the marriage of the two departments so that they help each other organically. If you need help achieving it, here are five steps to start the process.
1. Speak the same language
Think of two people from two different areas of the world trying to build a boat. It’s kind of hard to build anything if they can’t speak the same language. Yes, it might still get done but it is going to take a lot longer than it normally would. The same can be said for sales and marketing. The sales department is often driven by goals that are defined by numbers, while marketing has goals that are not driven by numbers.
Set marketing goals that are number oriented. The easiest way to do this is to set a number of leads that should be met that will help the sales department meet their goals. This will get the two departments understanding each other and working towards the same goals.
2. Set up closed-loop reporting
Does the marketing team send leads to sales and not hear back? Do you create and manage duplicate leads? Do you send leads without contact info? If any of this sounds familiar to you than what we have here is a failure to communicate. Closed-loop reporting takes out any unnecessary steps in the communication process and allows you to pass more intel from marketing to sales and feedback from sales to marketing.
The benefits of closed-loop reporting are numerous. Marketing gets up to date contact info and statuses, an increase in marketing rate-on-investment and it gets to know which programs are working. For sales, it de-duplicates leads, helps prioritize leads, helps make warmer calls and it increases close rates.
3. Implement a service level agreement
A service level agreement (SLA) defines what each team commits to accomplishing in order to support the other team. SLAs crystallize the alignment of the two teams around the same goals. A good example of an SLA from marketing to sales would be if a sales representative needs to sell $10,000 of a product in a quarter then marketing needs to give him 100 quality leads so that he can meet his quota.
It works from sales to marketing as well. How many calls/email attempts to engage should a sales rep make to every lead in order to not waste leads? Deciding this would be a great agreement between the two departments.
As you can see, smarketing is pretty simple when you get down to it. Once you get the sales and marketing departments lined up you will see an increase in numbers.
How you are finding success with smarketing? Tell us in the comments section! Or contact us to learn more.
This is a guest post by Anthony Peters, Summer 2014 intern at Half a Bubble Out. Anthony is currently studying journalism at California State University, Chico.