Sales and marketing alignment is key to a successful Sales Enablement strategy. It is an aspect that can often be improved in companies. Today, it even has its name: Smarketing. Indeed, despite the close relationship between both departments, it is surprisingly common that their actions diverge.
Smarketing is not vital, as it is a fairly new concept, but it sure helps companies do better and capitalize on their efforts. To put it simply: you can move forward a vehicle with misaligned wheels, but the effort to keep it on track will be greater.
However, companies are not necessarily aligning Marketing and Sales. Understandable, as deep change in an organization and its process is no piece of cake.
In this article, we will explore what Smarketing is, why is it is needed and its increased importance followed by some astonishing statistics that will convince anyone that Smarketing is key to Sales Enablement.
What is Smarketing?
Smarketing, or sales and marketing alignment, is when both teams work with more transparency, better communication, and collaboration for greater efficiency. The end goal is to convert more leads and, in the long run, enhance profitability and revenue altogether.
Sales and Marketing alignment is therefore crucial for any successful Sales Enablement strategy, as it contributes to its goal: increased sales efficiency.
Historically, Sales and Marketing teams are closely related. However, they have developed independently: working in different spaces, reporting with different metrics, or using different tools. To leverage Smarketing as well as a Sales Enablement strategy implies breaking down these barriers to create synergies and allow both teams to collaborate.
As statistics listed later, this article will show, marketing and sales alignment is beneficial. It has a positive impact on return on investment (ROI), sales efficiency, and eventually revenue.
Why is sales and marketing alignment necessary?
If some pioneer companies had been working for greater alignment between their Marketing and Sales teams, the idea has only recently been democratized. This can be explained by the shift in society and consumers’ behavior. Today, we are in a rather customer-centric reality which was not the case before.
In other words, it is the age of the customer and, to stay a step ahead, companies must level up. The effort concerns communication and content, even in B2B businesses.
B2B prospects are now conducting the first steps on the buyer’s journey on their own. This means that Sales teams are only directly involved later in the buyer’s journey. Leads conduct their research and build their interest based on the content available online. Moreover, they will even follow through the evaluation or consideration phase on their own analyzing and comparing vendors.
Buyers are eager for information and, in the age of the internet, they can fetch it for themselves. It is equally important to point out that information does not necessarily come from brands directly, as customers have also become more distrustful. They will include social media and user reviews in their research to gather insights.
In this context, the smart use of marketing comes before any contact with salespeople. Attracting leads implies having great content that builds the brand’s credibility in its area of expertise. To do this, both teams need to collaborate. Indeed, sales teams hold valuable insights regarding prospects, and this can help marketing build solid buyer personas.
Once solid buyer personas are constructed, the collaboration continues in content creation and distribution. Marketing teams handle and manage content creation, whilst Sales teams oversee using it when the right time comes. Moreover, insights given by salespeople can also orientate content creation, as they are aware of the latest market tendencies as well as customer feedback.
All in all, now more than ever, Sales and Marketing teams need to work alongside each other. Together, they can nurture leads and lead them smoothly through the sales funnel, until a deal is closed. If both teams are aligned, synergies are created, and a virtuous circle situation appears.
7 astonishing Smarketing statistics
If past arguments advocating for systematic Sales and Marketing alignment have not been enough to convince you that it is a necessary change, these surprising statistics might:
- People complete 57% of their buyer journey before they talk to a sales rep.
- 59% of marketers believe they know what kind of content sales teams need them to create. On the other hand, only 35% of sales reps agree with that.
- When marketers align content on specific stages of the buyer’s journey, they can achieve up to 73% higher conversion rates.
- When sales and marketing teams work in coordination, businesses see a 27% faster profit growth.
- Aligned organizations save 30% on their customer acquisition cost. Moreover, their customers have a 20% higher lifetime value.
- Businesses with aligned sales and marketing teams experience a 36% higher customer retention.
7.56% of aligned companies meet their revenue goals. Furthermore, an additional 19% manage to beat their targets.