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As an agency owner, chances are you wear many different hats. You probably do a little bit of marketing, a little bit of management, a little bit of sales, a little bit of customer service… and you do all these things with not a whole lot of time. That’s why it’s important to kill two birds with one stone when you can.

Enter “smarketing!” The best way to keep the connection between your sales efforts and marketing strategy strong. Whether you are a one person show or have a team under you, these tried and true tips will help you align sales and marketing and encourage growth.

 

Calendar in Regular Meetings

Statistics show that small businesses who align sales and marketing see a 38% higher close rate and a 200% increase in marketing generated revenue. The first step to seeing this kind of growth is to improve your communication. A great way to do this is through regular meetings. In order to sync up, sales and marketing employees should schedule regular meetings to keep track of shared goals and communicate freely about workflow, obstacles, and wins.

 

Communicate Daily

It’s key to have an ongoing, open flow of communication and ideas running between sales and marketing. Create channels on Slack, Google Hangouts or other communication platforms that allow ideas to flow back and forth. This is also a great way to brainstorm ideas and keep a record of these ideas. Sales and marketing can also help each other solve problems and gain a better understanding of what each other needs in order to do their jobs well.

Coordinate all Content

As you or your marketing team develop new content, offers or promotions, it’s important to keep sales up-to-date so they know what recent initiative your target market is receiving.

It’s also critical to have a central location where content is stored. In fact, almost 80 percent of highly aligned teams reported having a shared content library. This could be as simple as creating a spreadsheet in your shared Google Drive folder with blog posts, guest posts, infographics, ebooks and whitepapers organized by topic. If you have great content, but it’s not easily accessible, it’s not worth near as much as it could be. 

Chances are, you have a history of content that needs to be organized. Perform a content audit by taking inventory of all existing content. Think blogs, ebooks, guides, etc. Create a Google Sheet and include the document tile and hyperlink to its location. Also include a column for a “content wishlist.” This is an easy way to generate new ideas and collaborate together. Check out the example below. 

Set Goals Together

Traditionally, Sales and Marketing function with different key performance indicators (KPIs) and, therefore, different goals. Most goals are separate — Sales may be focused on monthly revenue while Marketing hones in on website traffic. According to Hubspot, a good smarketing strategy prioritizes shared goals. There are a few KPIs — like conversion rate — that both teams can measure and influence. Identify important KPIs for your business and work towards them as a team.

Along with setting goals together, celebrate victories together! Making the extra effort to go to lunch or share a treat will build trust between employees.

 

Collaborate on Content

Content creation should be a joint affair. And it shouldn’t happen behind closed doors. Sales employees have so much valuable insight on needed content since they spend their days talking with prospective customers. They might be able to add certain phrasing or stats that marketing wouldn’t know to think of. Take time during your regular meetings to have a content brainstorming session and add these to your content wishlist we talked about earlier.

Another method to try is having your sales team type down desired content in bullet points and then from there, your content creator (or you – if you’re wearing your agency owner/content creator hat) can make sure it’s consistent with all other content. The moral of the story is use your salespeople as a secret weapon for creating content and strategies that really connect with your potential customers. 

 

Share Data

Coming from the marketing side of things myself, I’m always thankful when sales shares insights on what is and what is not working. It’s also helpful to have access to each other’s analytics. Just as you keep your communication channels open between sales and marketing, make the effort to share what your learn, too. You never know what you could learn from sales and marketing data that appears unrelated at first glance.

 

Sit in on Sales Calls

When I first started doing marketing for Lift Local, one of the most helpful things was to listen to sales calls. This was a great learning experience that helped me understand the ins and outs of our service. It also helped me to step into the sales team’s shoes and understand what approach worked for them and what challenges they faced. After listening, I started to get ideas for content and strategy.

You can record calls and save them as transcripts or invite your marketing employees to shadow. Either way, it’s important for marketing to understand the flow of your sales process. This is an exercise that should be performed every month or so, or as you make changes to your sales script. From a content perspective, marketing will be able to make suggestions to decks, one pagers and email campaigns that will help improve the sales process.

 

It’s Smarketing Time

Hopefully these tips have inspired you to start making an effort to align sales and marketing. When sales and marketing align, revenue increases, the sales cycle shortens, and conversion rates improve. As you improve the connection between your employees, both sides will reach their goals and boost company revenue. It’s all about consistent communication and data-driven strategy. We’d love to answer any questions you might have about your current marketing strategy. Feel free to fill out the form above and we’ll get back to you with answers. Good luck!