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 How to Integrate Sales & Marketing
 
Just because sales and marketing should go hand in hand, that doesn’t mean they always do. In fact, it’s actually pretty common for organizations to feel like their sales and marketing teams are operating on different planets.

But if you want to get the most value from the leads you’re attracting, you need your sales and marketing teams to work in harmony via smarketing, which is a shorthand term for alignment between your sales and marketing teams through consistent communication. This ensures that both teams are operating on the same page, and not in a bubble.

So let’s take a deeper dive into what that looks like on a practical level.

Communicate Openly & Frequently

 
First and foremost, if you want your sales and marketing team to speak the same language, you need to get the conversation started. Communication is the foundation of any successful working relationship, and without it, your teams may as well be on those separate planets.

Start by establishing regular meetings so that both teams will have a chance to share processes, best practices, and work through challenges together. Meetings should be held at least monthly, but you should also incorporate weekly check-ins to make sure that projects are staying on track. Managers from each of the teams should also meet monthly to analyze results and then adjust efforts accordingly.

Establish a Solid Content Creation Process

 
Your marketing team is responsible for developing great content, but your sales people should play an important role in the content creation process as well. After all, they're the ones interacting with your customers on a daily basis, so they have valuable firsthand knowledge about what's performing and what isn't. 
 
Have your sales team report back to the marketing team regularly with what content is performing best, as well as ideas for future content based on the conversations they've had and the questions they're being asked.  
 
Try implementing a shared spreadsheet such as Google Docs where your sales team can add notes or ideas for any future content.
 

Start a Closed Loop Reporting System


To avoid some of the issues that arise between sales and marketing such as lack of lead follow-up, lead duplication, and incomplete lead information, implement a closed-loop reporting system so that leads don’t fall through the cracks.

Closed loop reporting is the loop of feedback between the sales and marketing team; sales reports to marketing about the leads they received so that marketing has an understanding of their best and worst lead sources.

So how does it work?

Essentially, it involves the integration of customer relationship management (CRM) software and marketing software, such as HubSpot. This will allow you to connect your marketing communication intelligence with the activities of your sales, marketing, and customer support teams.

The result?

Better alignment between sales and marketing, and the ability to implement lead scoring systems, nurturing campaigns, and monetary goal setting.

Translation?

You’ll keep better track of your most qualified leads which will lead to more sales.
 

Implement a Service Level Agreement


Next, you’ll want to implement a service level agreement (SLA), which is a statement of mutual commitment between sales and marketing to support each other. The SLA should define specifically what each team needs to accomplish to provide the necessary support to the other side.

The more specific you can make these, the better off you’ll be. Simply stating that, for example, “sales will tell marketing about new leads” isn’t going to cut it; you should develop instead something that states “the marketing team will be responsible for scoring leads of a certain quality for sales to close in order to meet a specific quota." It's much more actionable and gives each team a clear direction.

Make sure you're tracking progress regularly, preferably on a daily basis, to ensure that the SLA is being adhered to.

So by keeping the lines of communication open and holding both teams accountable for their responsibilities, you’ll be able to bring in and close the right leads, and everyone can stay on the same planet.
 
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