Smarketing: Closing the Great B2B Sales and Marketing Divide

Josh Horton

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There’s a great divide between many B2B sales and marketing teams. Generally, the two just don’t seem to like each other - even though their goals are the same. 

However, if you want your business to grow, the two must set aside their differences and work together. This collaboration is what we call smarketing.

The relationship between B2B sales and marketing can make or break your inbound marketing strategy. Sure, they can exist separately, but why would you want them to?

MQLs & SQLs

If you’re familiar with inbound marketing, you’ve probably heard a lot about marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads.

What exactly are we talking about? An MQL can be defined as a lead that comes in from someone you think would be an ideal customer or someone fitting your buyer persona.

An SQL is a lead your sales team feels is a great fit, but also one that is ready to purchase.

Basically, the marketing team should never hand off any leads to sales unless the leads are in the late consideration or decision stages.

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B2B Sales and Marketing Relations

According to HubSpot, 87% of terms marketing and sales use about each other are negative.

Sales teams refer to the marketing teams as the “arts and crafts” department, while the marketing team thinks sales is “lazy”. However, when the two get along, the sky’s the limit.

Companies with strong marketing and sales alignment get 20% more revenue than companies where the two operate separately. So, how do you bring the two together? By smarketing, of course.

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Aligning Your Sales & Marketing Teams

Start by getting the two teams in the same room to identify common goals. Once goals are defined (aka service level agreement), it’s much easier to assign roles. This also helps them hold each other accountable throughout the sales process. When determining your company’s SLA, it’s helpful to use the sales funnel. Here’s an example:

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An administrative assistant who is clearing paper jams all day stumbles upon one of your blog posts about the Top 10 Common Cures for a Copier That Won’t Stop Jamming.

She reads the post and clicks on a CTA to your eBook about How Much Office Supplies Are Really Costing Your Business. She fills out the form and her contact details are immediately entered into the CRM.

Your marketing team sees this administrative assistant from company X read a blog post and converted on a CTA. The marketing team takes the lead to sales and the two decide if this is a lead worth pursuing, as well as what stage of the buyer’s journey she’s in.

Sales decides it’s a good fit, but determines she’s in the consideration stage and isn’t quite ready to change her supplier.

Marketing now nurtures the lead by providing relevant, useful content that makes her job much easier. Three weeks later, she’s moved to the decision stage and is ready to look at her options.

Marketing hands the lead over to sales. Sales closes the lead. Everyone’s happy. That’s smarketing in a nutshell.

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Putting It All Together

Three Things to Remember:
  1. Sales + Marketeing = Smarketing
  2. Work Towards Common Goals
  3. Keep Each Other in the Loop
Communication is key, meaning It’s important to have regular smarketing meetings. This is a great opportunity to keep everyone on the same page by sharing updates.

Whether you’re managing the Chicago Cubs or Dollar Shave Club, you want your key players working together towards common goals. It doesn’t matter if the goal is winning a World Series or hitting 2 million subscribers.

Smarketing opens the door for improved communication, and in turn, greater revenue.

VIEW MORE STORIES IN Buyer Persona, B2B, Buyer's Journey, Inbound Marketing, Smarketing

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