Do you suffer these common sales and marketing alignment ailments?
Over the past year, I have talked to dozens of marketers, sales professionals, executives and entrepreneurs about Smarketing. Most agreed that aligning sales and marketing processes is an efficient and effective way to generate more revenue, improve customer experience and develop brand evangelists.
Most, if not all, of the ones I talked to, met with, or consulted for had these complaints and symptoms:
Tell-tale signs of a sales and marketing misalignment:
- No one listens to marketing. (yet another hair-brained idea and useless metrics?)
- All the blame, and fame, is put on sales. (what do you do with your time anyway?)
- CRM? (What do we need that for?)
- Another meeting? (listen for the eye rolling...)
- Everything is a lead. (apples, oranges, bananas- it's all fruit in the end...)
- Nothing is a lead. (no one is ready to buy now, sales will check on them in a few months, they'll still be interested, right?)
- What leads? (we have lots of traffic...)
- Sales doesn't need that information. (they wouldn't know what to do with it anyway...)
- Marketing just needs to get us in front of more eyeballs. (something will stick eventually...)
The Cure for Common Smarketing Ailments
- Get buy-in from the boss. Without top-down buy-in, the invisible wall between sales and marketing will continue to frustrate both sides. When leadership makes Smarketing a top business objective, it brings both sides to the table ready to break down barriers and challenge old thinking.
- Formally, (ie: in writing) agree on terms and definitions. Who is our customer persona? Where are the prospects? What makes a prospect into a sales-ready lead? What information is needed to quantify those terms and definitions?
- Develop, use and refine customer persona profiles. What is the information gathering preference of the ideal customer? What is their decision making style? How many are involved in the buying process? Who are the tire kickers, and who are the decision makers? What educational content does marketing need to create to capture attention and engage interest? What approach does sales take based on all that information?
- Use a CRM. A customer relationship management system is the technology backbone that tracks and measures the Smarketing process. It is the collaboration and learning tool that helps sales and marketing to stay on track and manage their process alignment.
- Be willing to be accountable. How many leads does sales need to make quota? How many sales ready leads are needed from marketing? What information will marketing share with sales on the leads they pass on? How many times will sales follow up before they hand it back to marketing? What is working, what isn't and why?
To cure your Smarketing alignment ailments, you will need some apple and some orange. Smarketing doesn't favor one over the other, it combines the best of both.