The division and competitiveness between sales and marketing within companies may seem like an old cliché, but it is still the reality for many companies. Although the two departments have positive intentions towards the corporate business, very often they travel on parallel tracks due to the objectives assigned, which are not shared and which, consequently, can create conflicts. This is a problem that smarketing can solve . In fact, studies have shown that close collaboration between sales and marketing teams around a shared goal – smarketing – can lead to dramatic revenue improvements . For example, LinkedIn research claims that 85 percent of sales and marketing respondents say that collaboration between the two teams enables significant business growth. Or again, companies that invest in smarketing have 36% more customer retention and 67% more chance of closing deals. So what does it mean to align teams with demarketing? What are the advantages and how can we actually bring the two departments to collaborate? Explore this guide to find out. Index: 1. Smarketing: what it is and what it means 2. Sales & marketing: what are the advantages deriving from the alignment of the two forces 3. Five tips to activate smarketing 4. Sales and marketing software: smarketing with HubSpot 5. Digital Dictionary for smarketing sales-transformation-empower-sales Smarketing: what it is and what it means Effective lead generation is a single factor in the growth equation of a business. However, to maximize results and properly manage each lead throughout the entire customer journey , sales and marketing need to be aligned on shared goals. Smarketing has precisely this meaning: alignment between the sales and marketing teams, with the aim of setting objectives that each team agrees to achieve with mutual responsibility . Smarketing is created through frequent and direct communication between the two departments. Typically, the two teams draw up an internal SLA (Service Level Agreement) for the generation and management of leads, agreed together with the ultimate goal of improving the performance of both departments. Smarketing should be seen as a team effort . And “team” in this case has nothing to do with organization charts or departments. Research conducted on the effectiveness of smarketing makes an important distinction between teams and workgroups, and the distinction is based on how dependent the members are on each other. In a work team, people are very independent in completing their tasks. Team members, on the other hand, need each other to get the job done. Kyle Jepson, Inbound Sales Professor at HubSpot Academy It happens all too often within a company that sales and marketing do not have a vision (or an in-depth view) of the work of each team . And they’re typically not aligned on processes, technologies, and goals. It’s time to end this division . Now more than ever, the two departments must work towards a common goal. Smarketing therefore means giving the sales and marketing teams the opportunity to collaborate interdependently on lead generation, within an increasingly digital landscape in which both departments must evolve in order not to risk being left behind. SmarketingSmarketing is the alignment of sales and marketing teams around the common goal of generating profit . 2. Sales & marketing: what are the advantages deriving from the alignment of the two forces According to LinkedIn ( here the article on sales & marketing alignment ), sales and marketing alignment is vital, especially for B2B companies that sell complex products to Buyer Personas who need an extended period of time to make decisions. Here are the benefits of aligning sales & marketing. sales-transformation-social-selling I. Smarketing allows for a clearer understanding of the potential customer Marketing and sales are tasked with generating new leads, nurturing and closing the sale, so they both need to be aligned with the type of prospect they need to attract . Smarketing is also useful because both teams have a different view on which elements are most likely to influence buyers at various stages , which is enriching for the firm’s inbound strategy . II. Smarketing allows you to apply a better defined strategy Precisely in relation to the previous point, companies that adopt smarketing tend to be more strategic and oriented towards the “big picture” , the general picture. In other words, they can better perceive the long-term value of their assets. By planning, promoting and enabling alignment, the company amplifies the impact of sales and marketing activities on the growth of the entire business. III. Smarketing allows for a clearer mapping of the Buyer’s Journey One of the biggest obstacles for companies is understanding the potential customer’s journey before becoming an actual customer (the so-called Buyer’s Journey), as well as after, with up-selling and cross-selling activities (the Customer Journey). Smarketing eliminates the division of the funnel between marketing and sales and instead leads to a holistic view of the buyer’s journey , from start to finish. This mapping provides a much more realistic understanding of the prospect’s experience , reducing the risk of making wrong assumptions about who is involved at what stages. IV. Smarketing allows an increase in company revenues Numerous studies have shown that close collaboration between sales and marketing teams can lead to dramatic revenue improvements. Smarketing improves individual departments’ understanding of potential customers and their journey to purchase. Here are some facts about smarketing , according to LinkedIn research: 58% more customer retention 58% more efficiency of sales & marketing team actions 54% more financial performance 52% more productivity It’s interesting to consider what respondents mean by financial performance : First, they’re referring to revenue growth and profit increases . Overall, smarketing appears to result in more qualified leads, which deliver revenue growth . Alignment can also provide increased customer retention , which makes a strong positive contribution to bottom line . Smarketing – sales & marketing alignmentA marketing team grappling with the customer journey 3. Five tips to activate smarketing We have already mentioned it: the world of sales is changing and, on closer inspection, not only that. It is no longer sufficient to rely on marketing in the first phase of the lead generation strategy and then pass the contacts on to sales. The realization of smarketing , the alignment between marketing and sales is a goal that requires the commitment of all members of both teams , who need to acquire a somewhat new mentality and working methodology. So how to do? Here are 5 tips for implementing smarketing in business. 1. Smarketing: adopt continuous and constant communication The first step in making sales & marketing collaborate is to promote communication between the two teams : they must understand that they are fighting the same battle and a continuous exchange of information and feedback is necessary in order to win it. Each team must know the progress of the other at all times ; in this way each group will have a global view not only on their own work, but also on that of the others. It is therefore necessary to create communication channels , physical or virtual, to establish a dialogue that is constructive and goal-oriented for mutual support. A first approach to favor this communication can be the adoption of corporate social networks , where to create targeted communication flows and groups according to the objectives. sales-transformation-social-selling 2. A single language, for a single marketing process It may seem trivial, but for effective communication between the two teams it is necessary to speak the same language . Those who work in sales or marketing may have already experienced this problem: when we talk about qualified leads, for example, we don’t always mean the same thing . On the subject of terminology in use, alignment must be total. It will be necessary to plan moments of comparison with periodic deadlines not only to identify the different types of leads, but also to set up a correct management towards each of them aimed at achieving coordinated and, for this reason, useful objectives. For example, if a lead has shown early signs of interest, but isn’t quite ready to make the purchase, marketers will need to adopt a lead nurturing strategy with targeted content. However, if a lead has already shown an interest in buying , you will need to notify your sales managers so they can take action. It is therefore essential to define a model shared by both company teams for the optimization of all activities and a common language and vocabulary for communication efficiency. dictionary smarketingTo collaborate, sales and marketing teams need to share a common language, as well as goals 3. With smarketing your goals are my goals The two historic rival teams must have shared goals today . But how? One of the most effective ways to implement this sharing is the creation of a Service Level Agreement : an agreement that describes the responsibilities and activities of both teams to be implemented for mutual support. It is a defined commitment , numerically quantified and which must be constantly monitored and updated . The SLA crystallizes alignment around goals, defining the number and quality of leads marketing should generate and the speed and depth of follow-up the sales team should achieve. 4. Smarketing must be a data-driven relationship Today there are many channels that provide us with data in real time . For the integration of a smarketing process, an essential aspect of data management is not only the collection and interpretation of data, but above all the timely distribution of information within the company. Too often the sales force remains extraneous to strategic information flows for the generation of new customers. Sales should receive instant warnings every time a contact iterates with a company’s content. Windows of opportunity are often short. According to research from HubSpot , businesses that attempt to reach out to prospects within an hour of receiving the interaction are nearly 7 times more likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers than businesses that try to reach out to prospects more than one hour later. 5. Smarketing = stronger together. How much? Last tip for smarketing: how to understand if joint efforts are giving the expected results? You will need to use a Closed-Loop Reporting (CLR) system . To make it easy, Closed-Loop reports show every interaction a customer has had on a company’s website, from their first visit to becoming a customer. Using the CLR allows marketing to promptly transfer contact information to the sales team and to the latter to communicate a series of feedback on which of its contacts are turning into customers, also remaining always updated on the path of the buyer personas . Furthermore, the CLR can support the analysis of which marketing sources are producing the greatest number of leads and understand which contents are more performing . Closed-Loop Reporting can be simplified by using one software for both teams. This will allow you to access the information at any time, which can be easily shared. Do you want to receive more information? Click the button below! contact us-sales-transformation 4. Sales and marketing software: smarketing with HubSpot One of the most complete and functional software for smarketing is HubSpot , the all-in-one CRM platform for marketing, sales and customer service processes. With HubSpot, teams can collaborate to resolve internal friction and inefficiencies, working together to improve lead generation, lead-to-customer, and customer-to-ambassador transformation. HubSpot allows you to implement a strategy all along the prospective buyer journey , as shown in the image below. HubSpot Marketing With HubSpot, essentially, your marketing team can create and manage content, capture leads, and nurture them until they’re qualified and ready to buy. The sales team can engage potential buyers, demonstrate the value of their offer and close deals. Customer service can solve any customer problems, collect feedback and offer personalized experiences that transform them into real ambassadors. sales-transformation-empower-sales 5. Digital Dictionary for smarketing We at Digital Dictionary are HubSpot Platinum Partners . We employ the most innovative methodologies and technologies that digital transformation has allowed us to develop for marketing, communication, sales and customer service. The combination of method, creativity and technology guide marketing and communication to generate tangible value (lead generation) within increasingly automated processes for target management. In 2020 , a very critical year for all humanity, we won the HubSpot Impact Awards , a real certificate of quality that testifies to the professionalism and skills of our team and the validity of the methodology and technologies applied. Digital Dictionary platinum partner HubSpot In Digital Dictionary we have also started a Sales Transformation process for ourselves which , touching on current topics such as sales enablement and digital selling, directly concerns the marketing and sales teams , also including smarketing . We live in a well-established physical-digital reality and, for businesses, new technologies are increasingly accessible and oriented towards enhancing business results. However, by themselves they are not enough to lead the company to the desired results: they can enable new ways of working , interacting, collecting data on the market and customers, but without the right mindset and the reinforcement of human skills in managing change,this can not be done in the most effective way . Marketing and sales transformation training Precisely to develop the right mindset and the skills necessary to face the changes of digital transformation in the company, we created Tentacle Learning Platform : a cutting-edge Learning Management System, developed with modern and intuitive logic for an immersive, serial and on-demand, just as the top entertainment players are used to. The course on smarketing will be available on the platform : a successful strategy based on the continuous comparison of the two corporate marketing and sales teams to achieve shared, measurable and above all fruitful objectives. But that’s not all: within the platform you will find other paths dedicated to the best practices of Sales Transformation and more generally of the inbound methodology applied to marketing, sales and customer service.