Marketing In a Sales-Focused Organization
Examples of B2B sales-focused companies that have their sales and marketing departments work together to successfully close deals include Salesforce, HubSpot, and Aligence Inc. This research provides details of how each of these companies gets their marketing and sales departments to work together and increase conversion, as requested.
SALES AND MARKETING WORKING TOGETHER
When the marketing and sales department of an organization work together, the process is called sales level agreement, SLA, as well as "smarketing," as per reports by HubSpot and Vainu.io, respectively. The benefits of aligning the sales and marketing departments of B2B companies are enormous, according to HubSpot, whose data revealed that businesses with effective marketing and sales alignment achieved about 208% higher marketing revenues than companies having disjointed teams.
By integrating the sales and marketing department at an organization effectively, a process called "smarketing," according to Vainu.io's report, the objective leads to 100% alignment for both departments who then work together to achieve common business goals focused on increasing revenues. The importance of getting the sales and marketing departments of a B2B organization to work together is essential, because according to Vainu.io's report, research revealed that 60% of buying cycles are over before the sales representative in an organization even steps into the picture.
However, more than half of the sales process depends on marketing efforts, according to HubSpot's report, meaning that sales and marketing teams need to work together to ensure leads acquired via marketing efforts convert into customers. Furthermore, HubSpot observed that marketing departments in an organization generate leads for their sales team, but around 79% of those leads never convert into sales or customers, as a result of inconsistent lead nurturing between sales and marketing teams. Also, out of the leads that eventually go through to the sales department, 73% of them are never contacted if sales and marketing teams do not work together, according to HubSpot.
According to Jill Rowley, an executive of Salesforce, "the key to successful sales and marketing alignment is aligning to, for, with, and around the customer." In a report by Cetrix Cloud Services, Jill Rowley said that to get Salesforce's sales and marketing teams to work together, the company created an enhanced Pardot Salesforce/HubSpot Salesforce sync that allowed their marketing team to partner more comprehensively with the sales teams. To do this, the company used a methodology that defined B2B marketing and sales infrastructure to the best capacity for both platforms. Cetrix Cloud Services' report observed that the process used by Salesforce to get its sales and marketing teams to work together more efficiently revolved around creating a solution that ideally combines "Pipeline Marketing, Smarketing, and Analytics."
The first step to align the Salesforce sales and marketing team, according to the report by Cetrix Cloud Services, is pipeline marketing. This process brings the marketing and sales team together around the common goal of generating revenue for the organization at large. Hence, although the steps to getting customers and sales involve lead generation, lead scoring or qualification, and others, both teams focus on the sale expected at the ends of the sales funnel, called "pipeline." This means that the focal point for both departments would be to increase revenue. Secondly, to get the sales and marketing teams at Salesforce working together, according to Cetrix Cloud Service's report, the two departments align their efforts and goals, otherwise called smarketing. Thirdly, once the sales and marketing have built, implemented, as well as tested a solution that aligns their efforts, they use analytics to track key performance indicators, collaborate, and monitor the overall growth in the defined sales and marketing "pipeline," according to the report by Cetrix Cloud Services.
The Principal Marketing Strategist at HubSpot, Sam Mallikarjunan, in a webinar report by Mention, discussed how the company's sales and marketing teams work together to close deals. Sam Mallikarjunan started by saying that "60% of the cycle is over before a sales rep even comes in the picture." He observed that the two departments at HubSpot align on the "smarketing" technique, which implies that the company ensures that marketing efforts or activities tie directly to sales objectives. Furthermore, he noted that together, both teams ask and address questions such as "How is this helping us generate leads for sales?" and "How is this making it easier for sales reps to close their deals?"
As per the report by Mention, HubSpot understands that the way people buy things has changed, leaving customers to research information about what they want to buy on their own through search engines and other online mediums. So, they adjusted their sales process accordingly by using the inbound methodology, which involves the marketing team creating and distributing marketing contents, lead magnets, and other assets that educate potential customers before they contact the sales team. Then, through the organization's defined "smarketing" process that aligns the sales and marketing department and helps the sales team to identify the contents a potential customer interacted with, they are equipped with the best approach to convert calls into sales, as prospects would not be cold, according to the webinar report by Mention.
Sam Mallijarjunan, HubSpot's Principal Marketing Strategist, observed that its organization's smarketing alignment between the sales and marketing department make sales calls to prospects to go like this: "Hi, this is Sam from HubSpot. I saw you downloaded the guide about using Pinterest for business – what challenges do you have with Pinterest for business? What are your company's goals and how can I help?"
HubSpot has six steps the organization uses to get its sales and marketing department to work together using the smarketing technique. These six steps, as per a report by Mention, include:
- Having regular smarketing meetings for both departments to align goals
- Both departments come together to create a sale-level agreement, SLA, related to quota and revenue
- Agree on the defined SLA activity
- Measure the entire sales funnel together
- Invest in sales enablements across the organization, and
- Respect the customer cycle.
Aligence Inc. is a B2B company that offers a store-level reporting technology platform that helps organizations in retail, grocery, pharmacy, restaurant, and convenience, to overcome retail-losses and enhance their operations. The organization was losing about 40% of the leads generated from its front-end marketing efforts when passed to the sales department due to inconsistencies between the two departments, which led to misinformation, loss of urgency, duplication, and others, according to a report by Cetrix Cloud Services. However, both teams worked together to overcome this problem and increase the company's sales conversion by 20%, as per Cetrix Cloud Services' report.
To get both departments working together, Agilence Inc. employed the services of Cetrix Cloud Services to assess a series of the knowledge-gathering and reach-out efforts of the organization's sales and marketing departments, respectively. Then, they developed a combined sales and marketing process that helped the two departments to align their efforts and create defined best practices to generate and manage leads with a singular roadmap. This unique roadmap helped both departments to allocate leads to relevant platforms where the different teams could know the stage on the customer journey prospects were. By doing this, both departments could incorporate data cleansing processes and validation that helped the organization analyze, classify, and approve leads based on the defined best practices set by both departments, as per the report by Cetrix Cloud Services.