What is Smarketing?

Smarketing, or integrated sales and marketing, refers to the continual alignment of sales and marketing teams together through management oversight and direction. This unique departmental integration is created through direct and frequent communication and information sharing. The collective goal is to maintain measurable goals that produce mutual cooperation and accountability.

The Integration Process

Integrating sales and marketing operations, personnel and systems require everyone to speak the same language. Management should establish the definition of standard business terms and expectations. For example, management can work backwards from sales to establish shared revenue goals, the expected deal size and average percent of leads to sales. Management should define concepts like market funnels and sales-ready leads. The latter should be a well-fit lead with a high level of interest, such as an online visitor who registered for the monthly newsletter, a company rep who requested a sales demo at an expo or a business contact who makes high-level decisions.

Next, management should set up closed-loop reporting, which ensures that leads are properly and timely sent to the sales department. Reports should include contact information and basic business intelligence about the lead. Closed-loop reporting allows sales and marketing managers to share more information and receive more feedback. The marketing department will learn which marketing programs and techniques are working and which are not, so they can streamline processes and increase their ROI. The sales department will receive up to date contact and personal information. This will help them to reduce duplicate leads and prioritize the most interested candidates.

Continuous Oversight

Sales and marketing managers must measure how each activity and effort performs through the sales and marketing funnels over time. This starts with leads, such as website calls-to-action, and continues with customer inquiries and engagement. This process concludes with various business analytics, such as the average funnel conversion rates between stages and the level of content conversion quality. This is analyzed to determine which content assists the most in nurturing leads and closing customers. Other marketing analysis should analyze the online and in-person interaction and conversion paths of set contact demographics. This could be through downloaded content, clicked links and email inquiries.

Continuous oversight is guaranteed through sales-marketing service level agreements (SLAs) that define what each department must do to accomplish goals and support each other. For marketers, the SLA should include the quality and number of leads required to reach revenue goals. For sales staff, the SLA should focus on the depth and speed of lead follow-ups that make economic sense and profits. SLA calculations for sales people must establish how many leads a certain level of sales rep must meet to make their monthly quota. The revenue goal, when divided by the average profit per customer, will produce the total number of customers needed per month. The number of customers divided by the average lead to customer close percent will produce the total number of leads needed.

Smarketing takes a holistic approach to combining both sales and marketing activities together in order to increase revenue, efficiency and productivity. The BLS says that anyone who wants to work in sales may start out their career with just a high school diploma, but marketing positions will generally require a degree.