If you have a leadership role in any part of a B2B organizational chart, nobody has to tell you that the marketing department is costly, and the sales department is expensive. Marketing campaigns cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars a month to a couple hundred thousand dollars a month — and there’s never only one campaign. On the sales side, salaries, commissions, travel, entertainment, miscellaneous expenses, and samples — the expenses roll in like a tsunami.
As a result, and not surprisingly, B2B leadership wants to get the best possible return on its marketing and sales investment. However, unfortunately for many B2Bs, a lack of alignment between sales and marketing causes an ROI implosion, with revenue, customer retention and close rates all suffering as a result.
A lack of alignment is easy to spot if you talk to people in the marketing and sales trenches. Sales reps will tell you that the leads from marketing are terrible. Marketers will tell you the sales reps don’t participate in their marketing campaigns or communicate them incorrectly. Sales reps are using one standard to measure their success and earn their paycheck; marketers are using another standard that is entirely different.
Is it any surprise that in such a situation, customers get confused, grow indifferent and take their business elsewhere?
To correct this problem of misalignment or to take smoothly functioning sales and marketing teams to an even higher level of success, savvy B2B organizations implement a smarketing strategy.
What is smarketing? The resource below, Smarketing: Aligning Your B2B Sales & Marketing Teams, provides an excellent introduction to and overview of what smarketing is. It also explains why it’s fundamentally important and includes the basic steps necessary for rolling out a successful smarketing strategy.
Smarketing merely means bringing your sales and marketing functions into alignment. It may be simple to explain, but it is far from easy to achieve. Smarketing requires sales and marketing teams to work together. They need to share information, collaborate on sales and marketing activities, work toward mutual goals, participate in collective incentive programs, communicate regularly, and learn to give and take constructive criticism from the other side. For some organizations, the activities just described involve fairly easy-to-digest changes; for others, smarketing may require a profound shift in work habits and the entire company culture.
However easy or challenging smarketing may be for your organization to implement, the payoff is huge: Instead of your sales and marketing departments canceling each other out, you’ll have them working together — to eliminate the competition. To learn more about smarketing, check out the accompanying resource.
Author bio: Grant Clarke is Senior Vice President of Global Sales Operations and Pre-Sales Consulting at ServiceSource. His experience and knowledge uniquely position Clarke to scale his capabilities to ensure ServiceSource is focused on improving the customer journey for the company’s clients.