Marketing and sales misalignment is costing organizations more than a trillion dollars per year in lost revenue. Often these two essential teams find themselves in competition with each other instead of acting together as a dynamic duo, but that needs to start changing in a hurry.
Truthfully, neither sales nor marketing can truly function without the other. There must be a cooperative partnership to promote company growth, recruit customers, and maximize your budget and resources. This is what SMarketing is all about.
WHAT IS SMARKETING?
In the simplest terms, SMarketing is the alignment of your sales and marketing teams. It’s creating a source of frequent and direct communication to reach common, measurable goals. It offers mutual accountability and opportunities for improvements for both teams.
When done well, according to various research, SMarketing can results in:
- 32% higher revenue, according to Forrester,
- 36% more customer retention and 38% higher win rates, according to MarketingProfs.
It can also generate improved brand awareness and average deal size.
HOW SALES AND MARKETING FUNNELS ARE CHANGING
Most companies today understand the need to be customer-centric and with that the classic marketing-sales funnel is changing. While it is still essential to bring in as many leads as possible, it’s also just as important to ensure that those leads become qualified and customers who will go on to become the company’s best salespeople.
Somebody needs to own the entire funnel from the initial contact in the marketing funnel all the way to closing a sale with the sales team. It is important to ensure that throughout all stages of the funnel, the point of contact has the necessary video and digital materials to share with the potential client and close the sale.
This is why continuous alignment between sales and marketing is so essential. They must work together seamlessly to create more business, through a single sales and marketing funnel.
A SMarketing Playbook is essential to this process.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A SMARKETING PLAYBOOK
Think of a SMarketing Playbook as a map of your company’s internal processes. It’s a completely dynamic document that is continuously updated to provide the sales and marketing teams with everything needed to work together successfully.
A SMarketing Playbook should:
- Create a unified, visible, and easily understood ‘lead to cash’ process for all parties.
- Streamline communication and handoffs between all team members: sales, marketing, and management.
- Simplify day to day lead and opportunity management.
- Improve conversion and velocity.
By outlining the intricate processes behind your sales and marketing relationship, you can ensure that your team understands the entire funnel and their place inside.
WHAT HAPPENS WITHOUT A SMARKETING PLAYBOOK?
Without a SMarketing Playbook, it’s easy to fall back into siloes and miscommunication.
For example, after an event, your marketing team might decide that the most pertinent contact information to upload into the CRM is name, email, and country. At the same time, your sales team might decide that name and state is most important and upload their contacts with that insight.
Now, you have a CRM with a bunch of contact information—none of which is complete or helpful for the sales and marketing funnel—so, you’re stuck with disparate entries that can negatively influence how you assign leads. Instead, you have to be in sync with clear and documented information about what contact information to gather, how to enter it into the CRM system, and what’s the minimum amount of information needed to be effective.
The same goes for the marketing and sales funnels. Oftentimes, these have been siloed. For example, marketing might only focus on bringing in new potential customers—filling the pipeline—and then leave moving customers down the pipeline solely to the sales team. However, in reality both teams need to be a part of every aspect of the funnel.
Sales should be involved from the very beginning to let the marketing team know what type of content and products most customers want. And marketing should stay involved until the very end of the sales process by helping to create content that can move customers down the pipeline.
By crafting a SMarketing Playbook, you ensure that neither team ends up wasting time and energy gathering information that ultimately won’t lead to sales. And you ensure that both teams are constantly working in concert to move customers down the sales funnel.
HOW TO CREATE AND IMPLEMENT A SMARKETING PLAYBOOK
To create and implement a SMarketing Playbook that is easy to understand and use, there are three simple steps:
- Step 1: Get everyone’s agreement that you need a playbook.
- Step 2: Agree who is the owner.
- Step 3: Get all the key players into a room together to discuss and draw out the methods and processes behind the sales and marketing funnels.
First, everyone critical within the company needs to agree that a Playbook is important—starting with the CEO, CMO, and head of sales. Then, you need to encourage these critical individuals to appoint a leader for the Playbook creation process. This leader should be the team member who is the most knowledgeable about the funnel from start to finish.
Next, all stakeholders need to get in the same room and agree upon the complete funnel from first touch with the audience on the marketing side and continue through every step of the sales cycle, customer care, turning customers into evangelists, and so on. All teams need to document their exact methods and processes for implementing their part of the funnel from end to end. The Playbook should cover every single way of generating leads—both digitally and offline.
Ultimately, the SMarketing Playbook should be comprehensive, but not so detailed that it’s impossible to use as needed. The goal is constant sales and marketing alignment, no matter when, where, or how.
WITHOUT DOCUMENTATION NOTHING WORKS
If you don’t have a plan and nothing is documented, it’s not going to work. Things are going to break. Only with a well-written SMarketing Playbook can you ensure you get the greatest benefit from all of your sales and marketing efforts.
When you create your SMarketing Playbook, it becomes your bible for moving forward. It will help you scale your marketing and sales efforts and ensure that everyone is on the same page. The key is taking the agreed-upon processes and implementing them, which takes buy-in and agreements from everyone.
Check out our SMarketing Playbook Template to get started and to help visualize how your sales and marketing funnels work through the different stages.
This SMarketing Playbook Template is only the beginning. Listen to our Podcast episode where we discuss the various ways to take advantage of the SMarketing Playbook’s full potential.
by Shoham Eckhaus on February 23, 2020
As Chief Strategy Officer at Penguin Shoham leads client strategy and manages an internal team of Inbound Consultants. To get her strategy tuned she starts each morning with Yoga and a big smile :)