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Sales and Marketing Alignment for ROI

d You may have heard the term ‘SMarketing” around, but what is it and why does it matter? Can it really contribute to better ROI on your activities?

What is “SMarketing”

SMarketing is the alignment of sales and marketing processes of a business, which involves the sales and marketing departments working closely together. The objective is to have a common integrated approach in targeting highly profitable prospects with the most relevant and personalised content to nurture them through the customer journey. 

Instead of treating sales and marketing teams like two competing units, businesses integrate people and roles and to perform as part of the same team.

Why does alignment between sales and marketing teams matter?

Back in the day, many businesses viewed sales and marketing as totally separate departments with each one having their own set of goals, strategies and organisation. Each one held their own meetings that often did not get relayed to the others. This resulted into misaligned efforts that did little to increase sales and revenue.

Alignment between sales and marketing teams matters for many reasons – at a minimum it gets rid of miscommunication and inefficiencies that weaken any sales or marketing drive.

Alignment also matters to each and everyone in the team. A tight unit working together gets the job done faster and creates a dynamic and enjoyable working environment – which is certainly something that improves performance as well as morale.

If sales and marketing teams see one another as allies rather than combatants, both reap the benefits – ultimately providing greater benefits to the overall business. There is no value to teams that cannot work together, often butting heads. Whereas an aligned team brings benefits to both sides. 

How SMarketing contributes to sales

SMarketing has done remarkable things for business. In a recent study, companies who have a strong sales and marketing alignment reported 20% annual revenue growth. There were also a few notable insights after applying the strategy into business methods. Companies from different industries saw:

  • Increase in monthly sales – conversions consistently going up
  • New customer purchases – leads turning into new customers
  • Business opportunities arise – company network forms bigger connections

The sales team benefits from increased access to useful collateral – when they work closely with the marketing department, they are able to provide input into the content that is created, ensuring they get more of what they need when talking to prospects.

They know what customers are asking, so by relaying that to the marketing team, they can influence what kind of information is provided at all stages of the customer journey. The same is true of objection handling – if the sales team know of a common objection, they can work with marketing to develop content and assets that address this objection.

The more that the sales team have to work with, the better. But any sales team knows that they need sales-specific materials rather than simply generic materials. In an aligned organisation, creating materials for specific teams and purposes is natural, no one has to fight to get what they need.

How SMarketing contributes to marketing

If sales saw huge profit through greater alignment, marketing has also experienced remarkable ROI as a result of closely-knit teams. There are several key points that SMarketing contributes to marketing drive:

  • Boost in brand awareness – more and more people talking about the company
  • Reach widely expanding – the business penetrates a larger market
  • Consumers are engaging – engagement rate from marketing effort is strongly felt

In having allies within the sales team, marketing departments have wide access to the knowledge generated by getting out and speaking directly with prospects and leads. The sales team know exactly what customers say, do, and want. Tapping into this knowledge allows marketing materials to be more targeted, more relevant, and more successful.

Personas are a key element of marketing, especially digital and inbound marketing. Creating useful and accurate personas is hugely improved by working closely with the sales team, who can advise on the goals, challenges, concerns, and objections of the specific people they meet with. Consolidating that feedback allows marketing to build up a more accurate picture of the true personas interacting with the business.

Useful marketing efforts like FAQs and guides should be led by feedback from sales, who can provide actual frequently asked questions. An aligned SMarketing team knows that each side has a wealth of information that is hugely impactful when creating content, devising campaigns, and delivering results.

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How an aligned team can help generate more revenue

Consumers have gotten more particular with their spending habits and spend more time researching and comparing than ever before, thanks to the wealth of information available to them. For example, consumers find product reviews from actual buyers before even thinking about purchasing. Today’s consumer digs deep and meticulously discerns whether a product is truly worth buying.

This is where SMarketing comes in.

An aligned Sales and Marketing team help generate more revenue by directly addressing customer concerns and providing essential information, at the right stage of the buyer’s journey. This makes it easier for the consumer to arrive at a decision and make the purchase happen. With the collaboration between these two departments, the customer is at the centre of the business, which is a fundamental practice to improve growth and revenue.

How to Support Alignment between the Teams

Weekly meetings and huddles are highly efficient in team alignment. Regular brainstorming sessions are helpful to fully outline creative ideas and execute them together as a team.

Inviting representatives from each team into the others' regular meetings can help with information sharing and accessing useful insights. Avoiding silos is extremely important when creating a Smarketing-focused organisation.

However, well aligned teams don’t stop communicating after they leave the meeting room. Here are several tools that support alignment between sales and marketing:

  • Use project management software to help manage projects in the same place. No more separate tools, spreadsheets or task lists – everyone has access to the same information
  • Use all-in-one communication channels such as Microsoft Teams. Chat, call, create and attach documents easily in a user-friendly, professional environment.
  • Utilise internal webinars to educate and update your staff with the latest industry news and strategies. This is a great real-time channel to promote growth and learning for everyone attending, wherever they might be. Today, webinars are being used by the business world to reach audiences worldwide.

A team that collaborates efficiently produces work that yields better results. In SMarketing, communication is key.

Tips for SMarketing Collaboration

If your teams aren’t already aligned, now is the time to make it happen.

Before you hit the ground running with this new style of business approach, it is best to prepare for such a pivotal change within the organisation. Plan in advance, inform department heads, and educate everyone about SMarketing.

Lastly, SMarketing is an alignment about personnel - the people behind each team rather than just the teams overall. Give them a CEO’s perspective on what this alignment means to the company. Like a coach giving a pep talk before a game, make each member understand their individual roles and how their combined efforts with team members can mean so much to the success of the company overall.

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