Consumer habits are changing drastically with people more informed than ever before about the products and services that can help them meet their business and life challenges. And they demand nothing less than personalised attention in their interaction with brands.
This new scenario is resulting in companies increasingly using fewer outbound (traditional) techniques to attract customers, and switching to the ‘inbound universe’ instead. This change is imposing new challenges on marketing and sales professionals.
Until now, marketing and sales teams have worked in silos, but the increasing need for sales and marketing to work closely together towards common goals has led to a new term to describe this alignment: Smarketing.
According to a study by Aberdeen Group, companies whose sales and marketing departments merge into successful smarketing teams, achieve 20 percent more annual revenue than those who stick to the traditional model and experience an average five percent drop in sales.
The State of Inbound 2017 report by HubSpot, analyses the current state of company sales and marketing alignment, and the challenges and priorities of implementing smarketing in their teams.
According to the study conducted in Latin America, 69 percent of surveyed executives believe their organisation's marketing strategy is effective, while only 55 percent of marketing professionals agree. This means that despite a sizeable 69 percent of senior managers believing they have achieved sales and marketing aligned in their companies, in reality, alignment is not being effectively practiced by their teams.
Here are 5 keys to unlocking the benefits of successful smarketing for your company:
1. One leader for marketing and sales
Companies that have different leaders for their marketing and sales teams are less likely to successfully implement smarketing, since each leader may have different priorities. But companies that choose to deploy a single leader for both departments have a greater likelihood of successfully implementing Smarketing practices.
2. Define a common goal and maintain constant communication between marketing and sales
The key to successful smarketing implementation is to set out a common goal that transcends the traditional blame game between these departments that goes something like this: marketing blames sales for not knowing how to convert leads to customers, and sales blames marketing for not knowing how to generate qualified leads.
Time wasted trying to work out who is guilty of not playing their part, takes the attention off finding new customers in order to increase revenue—the overarching goal of any company serious about year-on-year growth.
In order to focus both teams around this common goal, regular meetings should be held at least once a week. This gives marketing and sales the opportunity to build empathy around the challenges faced by both teams, as well as offer ideas and feedback about how best to remain faithful to the common goal of revenue generation.
3. Use a good CRM that measures your results
An effective CRM is crucial to the successful implementation of smarketing. Your CRM should always result in increased efficiencies around organising, monitoring and increasing your sales pipeline. A good example is the CRM offered by HubSpot that offers an interface for marketing departments to build campaigns that target the contacts used by the sales team.
At We Are Marketing, we work with marketing automation tools that use technologies that allow you to measure the impact of sales and marketing activities on your company’s bottom line.
4. Keep your buyer personas updated
It is impossible for your business to be successful with only a vague idea of who your ideal customer is. Or if your buyer personas were drawn up some time ago, it’s probably a good idea to revisit the exercise. It’s unlikely that your profiles are still a true reflection of your ideal customer since their needs and wants evolve over time.
Engage both sales and marketing teams in periodically studying their target audience. This collaborative process is an important step to achieving successful smarketing for teams, and of course growth for your company.
5. Loyalty to your customers
By implementing Smarketing alignment, companies do not only benefit from an increased focus on reaching new business, but reap the benefits of nurturing existing customers. By pooling the knowledge, experience and efforts of both the sales and marketing teams, customer loyalty campaigns can more effectively turn customers into authentic evangelisers of your brand, making the task of winning brand loyalty and the corresponding increase in revenue, a far easier task.
“We cannot miss the opportunity to be protagonists of the digital transformation that the world lives” — Rosa García, President of Siemens Spain
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