If I asked you to think of the two best things ever put together, you might immediately think of pairings such as peanut butter and jelly, biscuits and gravy, or fish and chips. But what combination really surpasses all others? Smarketing.
Smarketing is the term used to describe an integrated sales and marketing team that effectively works together in a harmonious fashion. It has a funny sounding name, but when Smarketing is in full effect, the impact is serious.
Smarketing may not seem as ground-breaking as fish and chips on the surface, but consider this: Are your company's sales and marketing teams rarely on the same page? This could be detrimental to your organization as it is nearly impossible to increase revenue and expand your client base when these departments are not integrated. Revenue and client growth can only happen when both teams work together toward shared goals that benefit the entire company.
Once a company acknowledges the importance of this partnership, they can start working on making improvements in their planning. This process might begin with asking the question, how can both teams work together more efficiently? The answer lies in communication. Tear down the silos! If your company is fortunate enough to have a sales and marketing team, it could benefit your team and your company to open up communication and discuss the following topics. Or, if you make up the entire sales and marketing team, then have this conversation with yourself (just make sure no one else is around to witness you talking to yourself).
- Understand what a perfect client looks like. Where are they located? Which industries are they in? How are their decisions made? Who makes the decisions, and what are the most common objectives? Have the sales and marketing teams work together to determine what the perfect client looks like, get a list together and determine who your top 100 prospective clients are.
- Sales Team: Show the Marketing folks what the sales funnel looks like. How many touches (any time a prospective client sees your name) does it take for a client to agree to a meeting? How many meetings does it take to provide a proposal? How many proposals does it take to get a sale? After you do the math (see, you thought you would never use algebra in your sales career), the marketing team will know exactly how many touches it will need to make in order to hit the sales goals of the company. Hopefully by going through this exercise, efficiencies and bottlenecks will be identified. Now you are getting somewhere...
- Get together and discuss what and how frequent these touches should be. Examples of touches are phone calls, educational blogs, emails, Linkedin connections, educational events and postcards. Both teams should work to determine the frequency of touches. With an established, consistent plan for implementing touches in place, potential clients will be made more aware of your services for when the need eventually rises (also referred to as drip marketing).
- Build a robust website. It is up to the marketing department to make sure prospective clients have positive experiences with your branding and website. Beyond having an initial touch, prospective clients will look at your website and determine if they want to meet with your sales team based on what should be a professional, educational, easy to navigate and inspiring website.
- Have a story. Why choose your company over the competition? Let prospective clients know why they should work with you. Leave out phrases like "we have the best people, best product/service and best on-time delivery." These characteristics should be assumed about your company, as you wouldn't still be in business if you didn't offer good service. Ask your employees to think of a few important elements to add your story, and share it with your friends, family and business confidants to test its effectiveness.
With all of this integrated communication and work in place, there is no reason your company shouldn't succeed in reaching prospective clients, getting leads and staying competitive. By breaking down silos and aligning strategies, your sales and marketing teams will work together even better than peanut butter and jelly.
Brian Mamo is a Senior Business Solutions Manager at the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, where he provides services and support to manufacturers in Macomb County to enable them to compete, grow and prosper.