Smarketing is a fundamental part of the Inbound Marketing methodology. In this process, which is usually implemented in the 'Closing' stage, the marketing team transfers qualified sales opportunities to the sales team, who then closes the sale.
It’s very important that both teams direct their efforts towards the same objectives with the aim of increasing revenue. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In fact, according to Hubspot, 87% of the terms each team uses to describe the other are negative: the Sales team accuses the Marketing team of sending irrelevant or poorly nourished leads, while Marketing accuses Sales of not closing their generated leads.
Inbound Marketing seeks, through Smarketing, to get the best from both teams by coordinating their functions and having them work towards the same goals. Marketing and Sales must be two halves of the same team, working together towards a shared purpose within the organisation. Remember: innovation is the key to increasing business.
Benefits of integrating Smarketing into your business
Why bet on Smarketing in your e-commerce business? Here are just a few of the benefits:
Increase ROI of both departments
Achieve business goals faster
Improve team cohesion and the company environment
But how do you achieve successful implementation? How do you get both teams to work as one? The following guidelines will help:
Share the same funnel.
In the marketing and sales funnel, Marketing is responsible for the top of the funnel (TOFU), while Sales is responsible for the lowest part (BOFU). The middle of the funnel (MOFU) is the responsibility of both teams.
Speak the same language and maintain daily communication between both teams.
Clear communication between both teams—using the same terms—is essential in order to speak to contacts effectively, based on their position in the buyer’s journey. Questions both teams should answer together include: ‘What do we talk about when we talk about prospect or lead?’ and ‘When do we consider a lead ready for the sales team to take over?’
They should also determine who the ideal client or buyer persona is, and understand how the two departments’ processes relate to each other. Ideally, Sales and Marketing should know exactly which functions each will perform, with the goal being full integration. Daily, weekly and/or monthly meetings will make it easier to achieve this by facilitating open communication around new products, campaigns, etc.
Both Marketing and Sales must have visibility of the other's actions, objectives and progress.
Business objectives must be independently defined, with both departments collaborating to achieve them. This is the best way to achieve business goals and maximise the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts.
For example, Marketing should know the amount of monthly sales and where they came from. This will help the team know which of their lead generation actions are most effective.
Define what a qualified lead is for Sales, and what a qualified lead is for Marketing, through Lead Scoring.
Lead scoring involves giving a score to users who are in your database according to their profile, as well as the actions they have taken in relation to your company in the digital environment.
Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): contacts who are ready for Marketing. Appropriate marketing activities include product or service demonstrations, buying guides, etc.
Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): these are MQLs that deserve a direct Sales follow-up, according to a thorough evaluation that both departments have previously defined.
Define the lead transfer process.
Lead handoff occurs in the last, bottom part of the funnel. It’s important that both teams have the same information. When an MQL is considered ready to be an SQL, the contact details should be passed on to a Sales representative who can then determine if they’re really a potential customer.
Marketing automation tools can help Marketing and Sales perform this handover automatically. Based on criteria determined by both teams in the lead scoring process, the system can detect when a lead is ready for Sales and send a notice to the corresponding person through an automated internal email or SMS. At this point, Sales can track each contact through a CRM system.
Getting the Sales and Marketing departments of any company to work together is essential for business success. According to a study by Aberdeen Group, companies that bet on the Smarketing see 20% more income per year than those who don’t. Is that not reason enough to consider it?
Did you find this article interesting? We Are Marketing are conducting a survey where companies can explain how they approach the alignment of Sales and Marketing in their organisation.
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