Smarketing is a relatively new concept whereby the sales and marketing functions of an organisation, traditionally seen as having opposite approaches to reaching the same objective of increased sales, are integrated to optimise the sales process. Smarketing has its supporters, one of the most notable being HubSpot, but the question remains: is smarketing a good initiative for organisations looking to increase sales?
Firstly, let’s address the fact that marketers and sales reps don’t get on. This isn’t just a misconception without figures to back it up. Research by HubSpot demonstrated that 87% of the terms marketers and sales reps used to describe each other were negative. The marketers called the sales reps “simple-minded”, “incompetent” and “lazy” during this research while the reps called the marketers “irrelevant”, “academic” and said they were too into “arts and crafts”.
The fact that marketers and sales reps have different approaches cannot be disputed. However, it’s undisputed that they share a common objective: to increase sales. In the words of HubSpot, they are on the same team: Team Revenue! The importance of smarketing, that is sales and marketing working as one team instead of conflicting teams, is summarised by the below infographic by Uberflip.
Research also shows that those organisations making use of smarketing achieve 20% annual revenue growth. According to HubSpot, this is due to a strong alignment of the sales and marketing functions of the organisation. Smarketing works: this is shown by the figures. How an organisation gets smarketing to work on the ground, however, is what becomes most important to organisations. Again, HubSpot has us covered. They have named 5 steps to help companies achieved an integrated smarketing initiative:
- Speak the same language. Communication is everything so ensuring effective information transfer between marketing and sales is important.
- Set up closed-loop reporting. Again, related to effective communication, managers need to ensure there is feedback between the functions. Sales should let marketing know how they get on with the sales leads they generate for them to follow up and vice versa.
- Implement a Service Level Agreement. This will ensure that both functions explicitly detail what role they will play in the relationship and how they will do their part to ensure the success of the smarketing approach to selling.
- Maintain open communication. Something as simple as setting up a weekly update meeting between the departments can ensure effective communication occurs.
- Rely on data. In today’s digital marketing world, both the sales and marketing departments need to use and analyse data to ensure they’re on the right track. Analysing data from the full selling cycle will assist the smarketing approach as both functions will know what needs to be changed and improved and by who.
So, overall, alignment between the sales and marketing functions of a business aka Smarketing can really help an organisation increase revenue. However, this can only be done if there is considerable alignment: both around goals and personas. By following certain guidelines, like those proposed by HubSpot above, organisations can achieve a beneficial and profitable smarketing approach and increase revenue.