Smarketing refers to the successful alignment of sales and marketing strategies and industry reports suggest that when both of these strategies are aligned, companies can achieve 208% increased revenue! However, according to our research, only 1 in 4 senior B2B marketers have aligned their strategies with sales, with only 27% claiming to have done so successfully.
We surveyed 100 B2B marketing professionals to examine the main challenges facing the senior decision makers in the UK and it seems that despite the huge commercial attraction of aligning these teams, there is still a big divide between the two sides.
Interestingly, our findings revealed that over half (54%) believe that they had a good relationship with the sales teams and 28% felt that their sales teams were actively looking to them to create more content. However, disappointingly almost three quarters are failing to align their plans with sales strategies with a further 27% admitting that they don’t think sales fully understands the impact of marketing.
In today’s competitive marketplace, the onus is on marketing to work with sales to better understand customer challenges and purchasing decision making behaviours. The growing trend of Account Based Marketing (ABM), where B2B marketing activity is focused specifically on the needs and behaviours of individual target customers, makes this relationship even more critical.
Buyers are hungry for content that helps them make informed decisions about whether a product or solution is right for their business. Prospects begin their research into the products or services they want to purchase early in buying cycle. It is therefore essential that marketing content, whether digital or physical, is an integral part of that sales journey.
So we’ve talked about the importance of Smarketing and what can be achieved by successful alignment of both sales and marketing strategies, but what can you do to ensure a fully aligned sales and marketing strategy?
Here are our top tips:
1. Ensure that both sales and marketing teams have more face to face time. It doesn’t have to be in a formal capacity but by bringing both teams together, huge learnings can be made. By opening up discussions, the sales teams can provide valuable insight into the market landscape, customer priorities and objections, all of which can be fed back into the PR and marketing programmes.
2. Make communication easy between the two teams. From group emails to cloud-based systems and shared filing systems, as long as content and regular updates are implemented, both teams can be actively kept updated.
3. Involve the same teams in marketing programmes. Make good use of their optimum market insight and knowledge and ask them to provide input via blogs or articles or interviews on industry and future trends. Encourage them to be more active and engaged in social media activity and attend trade shows/events together to build relationships between them.
4. Keep your eye on the sales funnel and ensure that each activity/aspect? is delivering against it. Whether it’s creating content that is relevant to the lifecycle of the lead or content that nudges the lead through the funnel, it’s important not to lose sight of the business’ sales funnel.
For more information and insights into Smarketing, take a look at our dedicated resource centre where you’ll find more content to help you to take the first step to Smarketing within your business.