The Rise of Smarketing and Why
Most decent-sized companies have both a marketing team and a sales team that work separately but are co-dependent in their function. The job of a marketing team usually is to create content, whether it is ads, resources or visuals, to attract the right client leads, and sometimes even monitor them until the analytical data tells them that the leads are now ready to be handled by the sales team. The sales crew then interact with the leads to get the account.
Even though sales and marketing teams are usually looked at as two separate entities, with time, companies are moving towards a collaborative approach between these two components. This approach is important to make sure that while transferring the leads from marketing to sales, there is not any leak (leads might get confused or offended or simply might lose interest). If this transition is not made smoothly, it can cause companies to lose more money than they might anticipate.
What is Smarketing?
Smarketing is basically the method of combining the processes of sales team and the marketing team of a company with the goal to have one shared integrated approach. Studies have shown that organizations with an aligned sales and marketing teams can have an annual revenue growth up to 20%. This alignment can be effectively achieved through introducing tools, resources and processes that serve as a solution to common issues and establish a sense of familiarity between these two teams.
With the evolution of B2B buying process, the need for businesses to get accustomed to the changes has gotten more urgent. Smarketing is soon becoming one such necessary adjustment for any B2B company, primarily because of these following reasons:
- Changed nature of customer buyer dynamics: Usually, the B2B buying process involves marketers targeting multiple individuals, apart from the key decision-makers, to turn the lead into an account. With such a scattered scenario with multiple stakeholders in the decision, it becomes extremely confusing for the buyer to purchase the product. Earlier, the whole purchasing process could be called as a linear one where buyers moved towards the final purchase step by step. However, now, the process is not a straight line anymore. The complexity is such, that now customers are required to complete 6 buying “jobs” before finalising their purchase (according to Gartner research). These six jobs include- identifying the problem, exploring solutions, building requirements, selecting the supplier, validation and creating consensus. Even though these steps may seem very simple, they do not occur isolated but simultaneously, which makes the whole buying process very taxing. Smarketing can help an organization reduce the required effort substantially by providing them with information that help them speed through these steps and boost their chances at bagging the business.
- Self-informed customers: When a business provides ample amount of relevant content, it becomes easier for the buyers to understand which products serve their needs the best and make an educated choice of purchase without having to seek any additional help. But to actually engage potential buyers with your content, it has to be seamless, personalised and high-quality. The content is the very initial interaction a potential buyer has with a company and hence allaying the sales and the marketing teams is important to make sure that the buyer is provided with the best experience during that interaction.
- A chance at higher revenue: It has been
proven in multiple studies that when companies have their sales and marketing
team working as an integrated unit, their performance metrics show a notable
growth. Harvard Business Review attributes this growth to the shorter
sales-cycle, reduced marketing cost and lower sales costs thanks to Smarketing.
A few other stats to keep in mind in this respect would be-
a) 38% more customer retention and sales win rate
b) 24% quicker rate of growth
c) 27% faster growth in revenue
All of that, thanks to Smarketing.
Allaying the two teams does not necessarily mean abruptly dissolving the boundaries that actually separate sales from marketing. It is more of creating a collaborative environment and it will require a lot of experimenting and trials and errors. It is a budding concept and it will involve a lot of process writing and tools testing before the integration being successful. But the benefits are substantial and enough enterprises have already implemented it successfully to serve as noteworthy pioneers.