Now before you leave offended, please take a moment to hear me out, as this post comes from a good place, aimed at chipping away at the visible gap we so commonly see between marketing and sales.
First and foremost, I am approved to make derogatory claims against sales reps because I'm a salesperson myself. With 15+ years of selling everything from bottled water to high technology under my belt, I’ve observed the lengths that many sales reps go to avoid extra work, take credit for results, and complain about unqualified leads from marketing. In fact, I’ve been known to do all those things myself.
Co-founding and leading sales for Docalytics, however, has opened my eyes to the power of what we call ‘Smarketing’ - Sales + Marketing teams aligned by shared objectives. By building a smarketing culture at Docalytics, both teams have grown professionally by learning from the other. We’re all speaking the same language. It’s because of this collaboration, we’ve generated results that neither group could replicate if they operated in Silos. Where once I viewed the marketing team as ‘colleagues who get me stuff,’ I am now on the verge of placing a giant I <3 MARKETING bumper sticker on the front, sides and back of my car. Okay...maybe that’s an exaggeration, but we really do work better together.
Now this kumbaya energy didn’t happen over night, in fact there was a series of awkward interactions as each group struggled to understand the other. Like early explorers learning to understand and embrace the seemingly odd differences encountered in new cultures, our smarketing team first had to learn to co-exist well before they excelled in collaboration. But don’t take my word for it, there are literally jillions of data-driven statistics out there that show why understanding and adapting to your counterparts’ shortcomings will drive ‘smarketing’ success.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- B2B organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing operations achieved 24% faster three-year revenue growth, and 27% faster three-year profit growth (SiriusDecisions)
- Organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing functions enjoyed 36% higher customer retention rates (MarketingProfs)
- When sales and marketing teams are in sync, companies became 67% better at closing deals (Marketo)
- Companies with aligned sales and marketing generated 208% more revenue from marketing (MarketingProfs)
But keep in mind that 87.2% of the statistics you read online are made up (including that one), so my simple advice is whether you are on the sales or marketing team, make your own push to build true smarketing synergies within your organization. The first, unavoidable step is to understand those seemingly strange colleagues in the cubicles on the third floor. To help with that understanding, I’ll focus this post on being honest about the shortcomings of my own kind, and provide some tips to marketers to excel despite these inherent flaws. But don’t worry, for those subscribed to our blog (hint, hint), we’ll soon hear from our marketing team, who’s been working hard to place the ‘shortcoming spotlight’ on themselves, in an effort to help us simple- minded sales people understand the other side of the smarketing equation.
So let’s remove our gloves and dive right in...