The marketing department and the sales department have two distinct functions requiring complementary skills in a company. The upstream work of the marketing department is one of the catalysts of sales. With this in mind, the technique of Smarketing is becoming more and more important in digital marketing. So, what is Smarketing and how to apply it?
What is Smarketing?
Smarketing comes from the combination of the English words Sales and Marketing. It is the result of the alignment of these two key departments of the company. The idea is to coordinate the actions of the two departments in order to improve commercial performance and incidentally turnover. In this logic, they share the same perspectives and pursue the same goal. How do they do it? Before answering this question, let’s go back to the missions of the marketing department and that of the salesman.
- Marketing missions
It is a department responsible for designing, communicating, and delivering offers for a company’s customers. He studies the market and the target audience, then creates a suitable offer. Marketing can be defined by the art of creating an offer based on consumer needs.
- Sales missions
A sales representative is in charge of developing sales in accordance with a company’s commercial policy. He meets the prospect and checks his real expectations in the field. It is essential because it constitutes the direct link of the company with the customer. Its main mission is sales. But he accompanies administratively in the taking of orders and the finalization of the sale.
The marketing team and the sales team are two halves of one team. They align their work by communicating and coordinating their actions. In concrete terms, after developing a common target, the marketing team builds a list of qualified leads and sales representatives are responsible for transforming these leads into customers by finalizing the sale.
This process is especially suitable for inbound marketing. Knowing that nearly 85% of consumers buy online according to FEVAD (Federation E-commerce of Distance Selling). This change in behavior highlights the need for a management strategy such as Smarketing.
Smarketing has proven its effectiveness. A study conducted by the Aberdeen Group has shown that companies that have adopted this process have increased their turnover by 20%. Indeed, Smarketing makes it possible to improve the support of prospects, and to perfect the sales process thanks to the expertise of each.
How to apply Smarketing?
The two services present in most cases a certain rivalry. They blame each other or take ownership of successes. To achieve effective alignment for your marketing and sales teams, set up a well-organized organization :
- Set the same goal
Defining a quantitative and qualitative objective, which obeys the SMART method (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Temporary) is vital. An interdependent goal that makes collaboration essential. For example, the number of qualified leads needed for a lead conversion rate to be achieved.
- Define a common buyer persona
This is a task that calls more than ever on the complementarity of the two services. By combining their expertise, the marketing and sales department obtain a clearer « buyer persona ». Indeed, the field experiences of the salesperson bring precision to the theoretical data of the marketer. During this dialogue a common language can be established: MQL (Marketing Qualified Leads, prospect to maintain for marketers), SQL (Sales Qualified Lead, prospect to contact for salespeople), at what stage does an MQL become an SQL?
- Set up an SLA
The SLA or Service Level Agreement is a contract that engages two departments, in our case sales and marketing. It defines the conditions of services between the two parties as part of the Smarketing approach. A contract that stipulates a concrete objective and a re-evaluation period; A contract that defines the role and obligations of each as well as the lead management protocol.
- Actively communicate
To achieve active and productive communication, do not hesitate to exchange information throughout the process. The organization of working sessions strengthens the dialogue:
The design of an intelligible and engaging common content, thanks to the added value brought to the content. This is achieved through the combination of the marketer’s experience and the salesperson’s knowledge of the field. The relevance of this content is important because 77% of Internet users inform themselves on sites and forums before deciding on a purchase (according to OpinionWay in 2017).
Regular meetings are therefore strongly advised. Whether formal or not, they are useful for taking stock of figures, the evolution of work but also new ideas. These exchanges also make it possible to see the adequacy of the actions undertaken.
Feedback provides better work coordination and analysis of the activity. Feedback is used to take corrective action. This has a positive impact on overall productivity.
- Check back regularly
Presetting metrics to measure the performance of each service shows if the strategy you’ve adopted is working. Quantifying allows you to see the progress made. The monthly goals defined in the SLA can be checked with this method, and at the same time be adjusted.
To develop your company’s digital strategy, align the sales strategy with the marketing strategy. Get started in Smarketing, a technique about to become unavoidable. To do this, set up a well-structured organizational system. The most difficult thing is to arrange and then launch the dynamic. But once done everything follows naturally.