From a sales perspective, the secret to landing a meeting with a C-Suite executive is having the Marketing and Sales departments work closely together. If these two teams join forces, they’ll see their chances of scaling towards a firm’s most influential spheres and landing a sale multiply.
This is how it works in theory, but in practice, the vast majority of Sales and Marketing teams work separately. In fact, according to Hubspot, 87% percent of the words they used to describe themselves are harmful: the Sales team accuse Marketing of sending them irrelevant or poorly-nurtured leads while Marketing blames Sales for not sealing the deal with the leads they work with. As we're about to see, all of this points to chaos and a significant amount of lost opportunities.
In the case of WAM, we had the Sales and Marketing teams start to collaborate closely with each other a year ago: we've unified processes, we have weekly coordination meetings, and we work together towards a common objective. This union between the departments is commonly known as Smarketing, a term that arises from mixing Sales and Marketing.
The companies that implement Smarketing earn 20% more annually
What results have we seen so far? Besides better coordination between departments, we have been able to reduce the process of closing with a client in half, and we have improved our performance. In fact, according to a study from the Aberdeen Group, the companies that implement Smarketing see a 20% increase in their annual earnings.
Therefore, and from our experience, uniting Marketing and Sales, and all the work behind the scenes, works and lets us reach C-Suite executives who are the ones who make the final decisions and sign contracts.
What happens to the firms that don’t do this? According to various studies, 40% of sales managers confirm that today, it is more difficult to get a response from leads. This causes an average decrease in year-over-year sales of 4%, resulting in putting that company’s survival at risk in the medium-term.
Not that we know what the performance implications that stem from applying Smarketing and what happens in the firms that decide to ignore it, the next question is: what are the steps to follow to bring my Marketing and Sales departments together?
What to do to get the Marketing and Sales teams to work coordinated with each other
To get these departments working together, the most important thing is to make sure that they speak the same language; this translates to, in the case of Marketing and Sales, to define what a lead is and isn’t, and the requirements that a lead needs to meet before Marketing can pass it on to Sales. Therefore, in the first stage, we have to determine:
- What leads are we going to generate?
- When will they be ready to get passed on to Sales?
Using this base, we work together to create a sales funnel and will work on defining the characteristics for a potential customer in every part of the funnel. The Marketing department will be in charge of the top of the funnel (in dark purple), Sales will be in charge of the bottom (in orange and red), while both teams share responsibility for the middle of the funnel (in light purple and pink).
The middle of the funnel, also known as MOFU, when both teams share responsibility, is the most delicate as it's where we more precisely determine what leads have higher chances of turning into customers and where it makes sense to make a more significant effort. At WAM, this is the criteria that we use to figure out who is an MQL and an SQL.
MQL - Marketing Qualified Lead
- Meets our marketing lead criteria.
- Demonstrates interest.
- Has consumed our information.
- Still not qualified for sales, but they are making progress towards getting there.
SQL - Sales Qualified Lead
- Potential lead.
- Interested in becoming familiar with our services.
- Designated as an exciting prospect to arrange a meeting with Sales.
- If the lead meets the internal criteria, Sales will close a meeting.
As you can tell in the last point about SQLs, the SQL has to pass through one final internal qualification to finally be a person that Sales will contact about having a meeting. There are different methods for carrying out this evaluation, but we prefer to use the BANT method:
As you can see in the diagram above, BANT stands for budget, authority, need, and timeline. What does this mean? Our ideal customer, with who we'll try to Schedule a meeting, needs to meet the following criteria: have a budget, authority (in this case, be a C-Suite executive), has a need that we can satisfy with the services we offer, and the time we need to carry it out.
This process lets us be more effective in our work, allows us to optimize our time, and give priority to those customers we can help to reach their business objectives. Working together, we better gear our efforts and we achieve much better results.
For us, Smarketing has marked a “before” and “after” in the way we work. We’ll keep working together on this path, always hand-in-hand with the Marketing team.
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