How are the relations between your sales and marketing departments? What are the most frequent problems, and the main causes of misalignment? The theme is not trivial at all: very often marketing and sales speak two different languages, travel on parallel tracks, meeting only occasionally. This profoundly affects the effectiveness of lead generation strategies, risking compromising business growth and customer satisfaction. According to a study conducted by the Aberdeen Group , companies in which the alignment between marketing and sales is very strong are able to generate an annual turnover growth of 20%. by 4%. S Marketing: what is it and why is it essential? When we talk about S Marketing we mean a transversal and alignment process between Sales and Marketing , based on the definition of common objectives for the two departments with the aim of increasing turnover and improving the customer experience through shared tools and data-driven processes. In this historic moment, the need for collaboration between the two areas becomes particularly crucial, given that social distancing has radically changed the sales funnel from a digital point of view. The concept of S marketing integrates perfectly with the marketing approach defined as inbound , which plans to accompany the user through the various phases of the customer experience, up to the so-called “conversion”, which is all the more important in the B2B sector. Lead sharing is one of the main moments of contact between sales and marketing. In an ideal context, marketing should push only the warmest contacts towards sales representatives, to qualify them, nurture them and finally convert them into customers. Without S Marketing and therefore a lack of coordination between departments, a significant number of your leads may lose interest because they are not promptly contacted, or the sales team may concentrate its efforts on unqualified leads. HubSpot and S Marketing, a perfect match We have already told you about why we chose Hub spot, its features and what the advantages are associated with using the platform: one of these is certainly linked to the possibility of promoting alignment between the Sales and Marketing departments. HubSpot represents an exceptional tool in this perspective, firstly because it collects all the information relating to contacts within a single platform, guaranteeing a complete overview of the “history” of a lead. From the contact form from which the lead requested a demo, to the emails they received and opened or clicked, to social engagement, to the pages visited on the site, HubSpot is able to map the entire journey that led the customer potential to interact with the brand online or offline, through the possibility of manually recording activities carried out by sales towards the contact. This allows a more coherent and effective approach to the customer based on his real needs. Alignment between Sales and Marketing: where to start Below we want to show you a small roadmap to ensure that the Sales and Marketing departments communicate effectively: yes, because s marketing is as much about education as it is about alignment. 1_Defining clear and precise objectives : it seems trivial, but having well-defined and translated objectives for the Sales and Marketing area is essential to all go together in the same direction. 2_Formalize processes : it is essential to take the time to establish for each phase of the customer journey what the activities of each department are, the contents to be conveyed and the metrics with which to measure the activities. 3_Encourage communication : define regular and periodic meetings that allow the two areas to stay in touch and share the work in progress. 4_Planning data analysis : establishing shared reference metrics to be monitored right from the start will allow the two areas to feel jointly responsible for achieving the objective. Among the most important metrics for qualifying marketing objectives are the number of leads from a campaign, the definition of a revenue pipeline, the sales activities that will follow and support them. 5_Activate shared tools : the sharing of information and the monitoring of leads is fundamental, to allow on the one hand the Sales area to understand which campaigns and which contents have been shared with the leads, and on the other to allow Marketing to monitor opportunities from share with the sales department, and intervene if necessary also in the conversion phases. 6_Subscribe to a Service Level Agreement : to engage both departments it is advisable to stipulate an internal contract based on concrete objectives and defined in numbers which establishes what results the two parties undertake to bring to each other. 65% of marketing professionals who work in companies that have activated SLAs of this type can count on a greater ROI for their marketing activities. state-of-inbound-marketing-SLA HubSpot’s SLA includes overview, goals, characteristics of a qualified lead, lead scoring, accountability, feedback, and expected reports. According to research done by HubSpot, companies that have a properly defined service level agreement have: 34% more chance of having an increase in ROI on an annual basis 21% more likely to get more investment 31% more likely to hire additional salespeople to meet growing demand SLA-Template Now let’s see in detail what are the tools that HubSpot makes available for this purpose and which can increase the effectiveness and efficiency of everyone’s efforts. Lifecycle stage HubSpot’s Lifecycle Stage feature allows you to organize contacts based on their position in the sales cycle. There are 8 internships that make up the Lifecycle: Subscriber : contacts who have simply subscribed to the newsletter or blog; Leads : Those who have shown more interest in your offer than subscribers. A contact who has filled out a form with his personal data to download an e book can be considered a lead. Marketing Qualified Leads : these are those contacts who “came forward”, showing themselves extremely interested in your offer. While leads usually accept top-of-the-funnel offers, MQLs require information closer to the end of the funnel. Sales Qualified Leads : leads who have been identified by the sales team as ready for direct contact, and to propose more targeted sales actions. Opportunity : contacts who have become real sales opportunities, and with whom a conversation is in progress. Customer : contacts that have become actual customers. Evangelists : these are actual customers or people outside the company who have started a positive word of mouth, recommending your business to other potential customers. Specifically, the Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) and Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) properties are the two lifecycle stages that should determine which leads your sales team accepts from your marketing team. Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) are the people who have “raised their hand” and have proved to be more involved, more ready to sell even if they still cannot be classified as real opportunities. Sales Qualified Leads (SQL), on the other hand, are those that your sales team deemed “valuable,” and then accepted and followed up with direct follow-up. Contact properties on HubSpot can be added manually or managed automatically through the creation of appropriate workflows , for example by changing the lifecycle stage of a contact list, using a custom lead scoring, or setting the lifecycle stage life of a contact after a specific action (such as submitting a form or filling out a form). Branching logic Branching logic, or conditional logic is another important feature that HubSpot provides. It allows your contacts to undertake and follow a certain path based on an action performed or a specific characteristic, thanks to the design of specific workflows. This allows your company to automatically assign the lead to marketers, sales or account managers, based on strategically pre-determined elements. Any business can use branching logic to assign inbound leads to the right owner. For example: a company with multiple products or departments a company with multiple locations a company that uses a territorial model for its sales representatives workflow-multiple-branches-examples Sales Dashboard Through a series of dedicated dashboards, HubSpot provides a quick reading of the data and allows you to analyze all the main KPIs, both on the marketing side (main sources of traffic, most read blog posts, percentage of email openings, control of conversion rates for channel, etc.) and sales side. For a commercial there are more important data than others , for this reason having a dashboard that shows at a glance what interests you is essential to understand if there is something to change in the sales strategy and adjust the shot. With a view to making the activity more efficient, HubSpot also allows you to set up the automatic generation of a report (weekly, monthly, quarterly…) which will arrive via email and will allow you to analyze all the insights and really understand how the sales department is doing deal. Some examples of reporting? Contacts Generated and Processed , which by default offers: The number of leads created, The number of leads assigned to a salesperson, The number of “worked” leads (contacted by phone, email or personally within a certain deadline), The number of commercial deals generated, The number of successfully closed deals. Expected revenue for each deal based on the stage in the pipeline : the calculation is done by multiplying the amount of each deal by the probability of success at each stage of the sales cycle. Total Closed Deals vs Sales Goals : Can be used to monitor progress made over time by each sales rep and/or your sales team. dashboard-library Follow up How quickly you follow up on lead interactions is incredibly important: In an article titled “The short life of online sales leads,” the Harvard Business Review reports that “companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour after receiving inquiries they are 7x more likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers at companies than try reaching out to customers an hour later. Yet only 73% of companies respond to inquiries within the hour.” HubSpot’s Workflows act precisely in this direction, allowing for example to send immediate email notifications to your sales team with relevant information on a contact’s activities and interactions with our marketing actions. Downloading a case, viewing a page, or filling out a form can all be used to trigger an internal notification to one or more specified people, thus facilitating a timely follow-up. Notifications are not just emails, but can include sharing the link to the contact details. In this way, Sales will have immediate access to the information they need to start a more personal and relevant conversation, thus avoiding the “cold calling” effect. An all-in-one tool As we have seen, HubSpot is not only a tool for developing marketing activities but it is a very powerful platform for streamlining business processes and making them more result-oriented. In addition to the marketing and sales management functions, HubSpot also provides a customer service management hub , which includes the ability to manage a universal mailbox to communicate with customers, a dedicated bot to automate some interactions with customers, a tool to build a company knowledge base, a tool for creating surveys to let customers express their degree of satisfaction with the company’s services, and a dashboard to keep track of what the support team is doing. Hub spot-Flywheel The integration between Marketing, Sales and Customer Service allows you to start a virtuous circle: The Marketing activity guides the maturation of contacts in the conversion path and generates qualified leads for sales; Sales converts leads into customers, who generate turnover and are followed up by the after-sales customer service; The Customer service manages the after-sales experience, taking care of customer satisfaction which will feed word of mouth and new marketing contacts.