Smarketing business systems are like a delicious PB&J sandwich. Your sales team is the peanut butter, your marketing team is the jelly, and their unified goal acts as the bread that holds them together and makes them an excellent pair.
But imagine there's no bread. You wouldn't even have a sandwich. And without a unified goal for your marketing and sales teams to work toward, you don't have a smarketing strategy, either.
So let me ask you this – is your smarketing system functioning the way it's supposed to, or are you living in bread-less chaos? Let's take a closer at a few key indicators of a faulty system.
What Is Smarketing?
Smarketing is a business approach that integrates the sales and marketing teams together in order to create a seamless, more efficient workflow.
With this approach, the two departments work together to develop a single, unified strategy dedicated to pursuing the same goal.
But what if your departments aren't on the same page?
Why You Can't Afford to Overlook Smarketing
Having misaligned sales and marketing teams can seriously hinder your company’s ability to succeed. Misaligned teams means misaligned goals, and this can lead to a breakdown of your business plan.
If your two teams are working toward different goals, then they’re essentially working against each other. This creates points of friction that negatively impact your ability to effectively deliver to your target audience.
Misaligned sales and marketing teams will have a hard time bringing in quality leads and closing sales, and could even hurt your customer retention rate. Ultimately, if these two core teams fail to meet their goals, then your entire business could fail.
Imagine there are two men in a sinking boat. One man is trying to shovel buckets of water out of the boat, while the other is trying to plug the hole with a cork. The first man can’t shovel water out fast enough, and the second man can’t plug the hole by himself.
One person needs to hold the cork firmly in place, and the other needs to hammer it in.
If both men just focused on plugging the hole, their problem would be solved. But right now, their goals are divided – one is focused on getting rid of water, and one is focused on plugging the hole.
In the end, they both want the same thing – to keep the ship from sinking. But their methods to achieve this are fundamentally different. If they don’t come together to focus on a unified strategy to achieve their goal, then they’ll end up in a very watery grave.
Now, let’s put this into the context of business.
Your sales and marketing teams both want the same thing – for your company to grow and be successful. But if they have fundamentally different approaches on how to achieve that, then your company will likely end up like the boat – sunk.
Where Your Smarketing Is Falling Apart
There are plenty of warning signs to look out for if you suspect that your smarketing business system might be falling apart. But these five issues are the primary indicators that there's a hole in your boat.
1. Receiving Consistently Poor-Quality Leads
If your sales and marketing teams aren’t aligned with the same goal in mind, then it’s highly likely that they’re not targeting the same audience.
If you’re consistently receiving poor-quality leads that aren’t in the best interest of your company, then there’s a good chance of a miscommunication regarding the ideal audience that you should be targeting – and how to do so.
2. Lack of SQLs
A lack of sales qualified leads (SQLs) is an indicator of a massive gap in communication between your marketing and sales teams.
Sales qualified leads are contacts that are analyzed by your marketing team to deem whether or not they meet a specific set of requirements to be an ideal client for your company.
Once your marketing team vets the leads, they pass them on to the sales team to move them through to the next phase of the sales funnel.
Having a lack of SQLs means that your marketing team doesn’t have the correct set of criteria to check whether or not a lead would make an ideal customer. They’re likely passing on leads to the sales team that do not meet the required standards, and thus waste their own time and the sales team’s time.
3. Lack of Content
If there’s a lack of quality content designed to guide prospects through your sales funnel, then your marketing and sales teams clearly aren’t communicating on the best way to attract and convert leads.
Does your company put out consistent material, or is your content marketing strategy lacking?
This lapse is a major indicator that there’s a fault within your greater business strategy, and your teams are not communicating effectively.
Your content marketing strategy plays a big role in increasing brand exposure and attracting organic traffic to your website. If you’re lacking in content, then you’ll likely see a lack of organic traffic and leads.
4. Lost Sales Opportunities
If your sales team is missing out on prospect opportunities or having trouble closing deals, then this could be due to a disconnect in approach of delivering your product to the customer.
Your marketing team might be presenting your products or services in a certain light, while your sales team could be offering them from a completely different angle.
This kind of inconsistency creates confusion for your audience and the appearance of instability, which drives away prospects.
5. Missed Goals
If you’re consistently missing your marketing or sales goals, there’s a reason. This is possibly the biggest indicator that your smarketing strategy is failing. If you have a high-quality product or service to offer and know there's a demand for your stuff, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to meet reasonable goals.
Unfortunately, missing goals happens far too often for many businesses, and it’s due to a misalignment between your marketing and sales teams. Having your two teams work toward different goals is counterproductive and will hold them both back from achieving either goal set.
If you’re consistently missing your growth goals, then your company will remain stagnant and may even experience a particular bout of bad business.
Plug the Hole!
Seamless sales and marketing alignment is absolutely essential to a successful smarketing strategy and ultimately a successful business. Remember, work together to plug the hole, and then shovel out the water, and it’ll be smooth sailing in no time.
Sit your two teams down together and determine what your overall goal is and how you want to go about achieving it.
What can marketing do to bring in sales leads? How can sales segment their contacts and analyze their data to help marketing adjust their strategies to become more effective?
Defining these methods of collaboration can streamline your efforts and remove obstacles within your sales pipeline. But don’t forget it’s easy to get off track sometimes, especially when you get caught up in the process of work. Your teams should meet throughout the year to make sure that they’re still in sync and on track to achieve their goal via the smarketing strategies that have been laid out.