How Pairing Smarketing With Software Can Align Your Sales and Marketing Teams
"Smarketing" is a relatively new term that describes the combined efforts of sales and marketing teams toward advancing company revenue. The most successful collaborations require careful coordination and communication between both teams.
Due to differing priorities and available data, the path to alignment can prove treacherous. While today's IT systems were designed with alignment in mind, having the right tools and compatible software is critical.
Companies with multiple, scattered software solutions face inefficiencies and conflicts between sales and marketing when what they really need is alignment.
If you're looking to align and optimize your sales and marketing teams, researching smarketing strategies, and/or trying to optimize your related software selections, this is the guide for you.
Smarketing fundamentals: it's all about communication
Smarketing refers to a shared system of communications, objectives, and methods that empower sales and marketing teams toward increased revenue.
Successful marketing and sales collaboration requires empathy and open communication between representatives. The openness and frequency of communication (e.g., weekly meetings for department leaders and monthly gatherings for the entire team) can boost sales and improve marketing alignment.
You might observe the interdependent relationship between sales and marketing in your company’s lead-qualifying process. Inbound marketers produce content that addresses buyer groups or personas, while salespeople provide specific pieces of marketing content (e.g., white papers or blog articles) to individual buyers.
Based on their sales interactions, reps gain additional insight into buyer interests and preferences and convey that information to the marketing team. Marketers can then apply buyer information to develop better content for an improved response.
3 tips for smarketing success
The advantages of smarketing have been observed across industry reports, showing reduced churn and better deals.
You can find the right software for your company’s sales and marketing alignment needs and achieve success through a three-step process.
1. Replace manual methods with software automation
Manually maintaining client information and records is increasingly unreliable and inefficient in the fast-paced world of digital data.
Spreadsheets and physical files are error-prone and can compromise sales/marketing performance and overall revenue. Additionally, your sales and marketing teams could misplace or delete valuable documents, compromising entire campaigns.
You can prevent such costly errors by choosing a combination of software that consistently automates and optimizes document storage. Successful smarketers often combine the following types of automated software to keep up with even the most complex data demands.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software
These programs consolidate customer information and personalize communications across each buyer journey stage. A secure and shared data location lets sales and marketing members access consistent data, aligning campaign progress and engagement initiatives.
CRM functionalities vary with each platform and subscription plan. Some CRM software offers basic contact and customer tracking functions, while others include social media management and marketing automation.
Sales automation software
Software with sales automation functionality helps sales representatives monitor, manage, and interact with prospects throughout the sales pipeline. The system’s built-in reporting features can help you interpret critical metrics and forecast trends to fine-tune existing sales strategies.
Automated sales software can boost smarketing efforts by providing marketing teams with a reliable customer feedback loop for updating buyer personas and marketing qualified lead (MQL) initiatives.
Marketing automation software
Marketing platforms provide real-time prospect assessment and management. These automated programs empower marketers with lead qualification data before transferring it to the sales team.
Some marketing automation software includes advanced inbound marketing tools and features that optimize content creation and distribution.
2. Integrate your sales and marketing software/tools
Fully integrating your sales and marketing software will drive your optimized alignment strategies. You want your sales and marketing tools to communicate in real time without disruption, keeping data constantly synced and every user on the same page.
While you have the option of mixing and matching applications for your smarketing needs, some vendors offer fully integrated software suites for out-of-the-box use. Fully integrated sales and marketing suites can provide substantial cost and time savings compared to hiring a full-time software developer or using multiple tools.
Keep in mind that incompatible software may lead to inaccurate data and miscommunication, resulting in a limited view of buyer funnels. As a result, sales and marketing teams could end up working in silos, leading to misaligned goals and inefficiencies.
The benefits of integrated software
Integrated software provides marketing and sales teams with a complete view of buyer lifecycles. The transparency that comes from integrated systems fuels collaboration between departments.
Sales can effectively access updated buyer data, predict purchase behavior, and share targeted content for maximum engagement. Meanwhile, marketers can quickly assess content and campaign performance to generate the best response strategy and share it with the sales team.
Ultimately, integrated software empowers sales and marketing with real-time data to collaborate and resolve issues that limit revenue. Both teams can share suggestions and tackle pain points at each stage of the buyer journey, removing all potential blind spots.
3. Lay out shared agreements
While integrated software can help streamline strategies and task management across teams, it is equally essential to establish shared agreements. These agreements help each department focus on relevant information while collaborating.
Specifically, shared agreements help outline precise roles and avoid inefficient communication and misaligned goals. For example, marketers can focus on sharing customer pain points rather than product-centric strategies, empowering sales to resolve a full range of customer queries.
Creating a formal plan promotes smarketing efforts by keeping both departments focused on their roles from the beginning without falling into old habits. Shared agreements can help prevent practices such as sales relying on hard-selling strategies rather than utilizing targeted marketing content.
Laying out shared agreements at the outset helps sales and marketing collaborate seamlessly and keep goals aligned while working with specialized software.
Optimize sales and marketing alignment with your software selection
Ultimately, sales and marketing alignment provides advantages like improved business intelligence. The right software can make your smarketing journey easier.
Start your journey to optimized sales and marketing alignment by browsing our collection of integrated CRM software or connecting with an advisor who can provide real, personalized advice and expertise.