Misalignment between sales and marketing only happens in traditional, dinosaur-esque type business, right? Software and tech companies are far to evolved and well equipped to have friction between these two departments, no?
The truth is, outdated business practices and poor communication between these two critical teams can creep into even the most forward-thinking companies. SaaS enterprises can fall victim to this precisely because the nature of the industry is to upgrade and improve continuously. Digital media and advertising will also frequently present business with new promotional opportunities and strategies to pursue. This makes the propensity for each department to veer off in its own – sometimes misguided – direction very high.
HubSpot refers to the alignment between sales and marketing as Smarketing – and by all accounts, this is a healthy marriage. Smarketing helps these departments to decide on the common goals that they will cohesively work towards to drive conversions and increase retention. This effort to collaborate, communicate, and work towards mutual objectives produces significant cost savings for SaaS companies. This is because, as software has a predominantly digital facet to its sales process, many businesses invest in pricey content creation and essential digital assets such as websites, explainer videos, and user tutorials. And they wouldn't be wrong to do so. But if your sales department isn't leveraging these tools in the sales funnel, you may as well be pouring money down the drain.
What does 'Smarketing' look like for Software as a Service companies?
Sales and marketing each have their own unique insights into the customer journey. When they operate in silos, this can confuse the prospect – and, as you know, selling an intangible product requires a thorough value demonstration and plenty of trust-building. If each department is sending out mixed messages or if there are inconsistencies in communication, the customer may wonder if this is a reflection of the after-sales support they have to look forward to after purchasing.
Now, imagine sales and marketing met up regularly to share their findings and experiences in order to come up with a standardised customer journey that gives everyone a clear overview of what the target for each stage in the sales funnel is? That's what sales and marketing alignment is all about. With a focus on sustained growth, a hybrid smarketing team can be far more responsive to changes in customer demands and tailor more compelling content.
Signs of a solid smarketing team:
- Defined roles within the team result in increased accountability.
- A collaborative effort to carve out a more accurate ideal buyer persona results in better targeting.
- More warm or ready-to-covert leads for your sales team to contact.
- Lower churn rates as customers are nurtured more effectively through the buyer's journey and have a better onboarding experience.
- Consistency in messaging and a standardised customer journey that enables the smarketing team to monitor and test campaigns more effectively.
- Technology alignment between teams to ensure the use of a single platform for essential smarketing information sharing.
Smarketing is part of a broader cultural shift in your organisation that encourages employees to align with your company values. In an industry that's all about innovation, bringing your marketing and sales teams closer together will help to build consistency in your branding and help your SaaS business to grow sustainably.
As part of the GamePlan formulation for your business, we will take a look at how your sales and marketing team interact and assess whether any bottlenecks in the relationship are potentially hindering growth and progress. We will then come up with the tools and strategies to help you unify the efforts of these departments.
Get in touch with us today if you'd like to learn more about how smarketing fits into the GamePlan and how you can start aligning your teams, closing sales faster and retaining customers for longer.
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