It’s very important for B2B marketing and sales to work together. The online marketplace demands it and enables it. There’s even a special term — smarketing. It seems unfair that the word ‘sales’ contributes only minimally to this term, because both marketing and sales are equally important. After all, the goal is the same — to win and retain customers.
So how to align these two teams? Do you think using the word ‘team’ instead of ‘teams’ might be a good start? To get a better idea of what it all means, let’s explain how a smarketing team works
Smarketing Team: The Essentials
The smarketing team collaborates seamlessly to attract, engage and retain customers.
Here are a few questions to ask to determine if this collaborative function can work within your company:
- Have sales and marketing agreed on the customer’s persona?
- Do both teams have an understanding of how customers move through the smarketing funnel?
- Do they share detailed feedback during handover of leads?
- Are they ready and able to pick up the customer journey from any point?
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to all of these, congratulations, your company has a smarketing team and your business probably has high lead-to-sales conversion rates and retains more customers.
However, if you have work to do, now is the perfect time to start integrating your sales and marketing teams into a smarketing team. We’re here to help you get started :).
Let’s do it!
How To Align B2B Marketing and Sales Teams in 5 Steps
1. Create an ideal customer profile (ICP)
Collaboration between sales and marketing is crucial when it comes to understanding who you want to sell to. Has your sales team ever complained that their leads are no good? If they have, your next step should be to create an ideal customer profile.
Depending on your business, your customer profile may be an individual or a company. Think about who your ideal customer is, what they’re looking for and what challenges they might have. The more details you can capture, the better.
Here’s an example of information to include in a buyer persona:
- Where do they work?
- What’s their income range?
- What are their interests and behavioral patterns?
- What do they need?
- What problems do they have?
- How can your product solve them?
Once you create an ideal customer profile you can use this information to attract hyper-relevant leads with tools like Signum.ai’s B2B Lookalike Finder.
2. Create a single customer journey
Imagine if you could predict a customers’ next step? That would make it so much easier for your teams to provide customers with the right information at every stage. From discovering your company online, to purchasing, through to the loyalty stage — everything should be a cohesive experience.
Sounds like an ideal world, right? But keep in mind that a customer’s journey is not always a linear one. A customer might not be ready to buy when we expect — they move backward and forward through the funnel. Or they might buy straight away.
It’s now especially common for customers to have tons of information at hand and therefore make decisions to buy independently. How can you adjust to these changes in behavior?
You need to try to ensure that both teams share data back and forth and are ready to back each other up at any step of the customer journey. This is where technology steps in to help you.
There are plenty of tools that can do that. For example, a CRM system will bring together all the information from across departments to create a single view showing which step of the journey a customer is now on.
3. Work on a content strategy together
Marketers attract new customers with high-value and relevant content, which is handed out to the sales department. This is an example of the customers’ journey is supported by content strategy. Their progress through the funnel, as we’ve already mentioned, is limited in scope and can be improved upon.
B2B Marketing and sales working as two separate teams is no longer a guarantee of success. One team, with shared goals, is what you’re looking for to create content and nourish customers throughout their journey.
Here are a few ways that you can manage your content strategy more effectively:
- Manage the alignment between what marketing says and what sales does. Sales and marketing should have one message about a company’s products. If they don’t, customers will receive inconsistent or irrelevant information and end up taking their business elsewhere.
- Build your content strategy based on your model of your customer’s journey. For example, start by building awareness with blog posts and guest posts, follow up with webinars when customers consider buying, and then use demos and personal consultations to seal the deal.
- Update your content with information from marketing and sales. For example, sales, as they are closer to customers, can inform marketers on the type of content customers need or even help them to refine your product offering. And marketers can show sales ways to guide leads through the funnel with the help of content.
4. Set collaborative team goals
If you are still confused about where to start, setting team goals is a good option. It’s a great idea to start small and set short-term, achievable goals. The faster they get there, the faster they will understand how cooperation can benefit them.
When they do reach collaborative team goals, don’t forget to share success stories. Talk about sales closing deals and marketers whose content influenced those customers. Celebrate your wins together 🙂
5. Set shared Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
Once you’ve worked through and implemented some or all of the smarketing tools and techniques we’ve already explored, setting common metrics is your final step.
But what to measure? Customer lifetime value and acquisition cost are all great places to start. But remember, no matter what metrics you choose, these numbers should always drive you towards your primary goal — revenue growth.
Market environments change, new products and services appear. Even your products can change — you should keep your eye on the ball, test, and measure techniques and tools together with your smarketing team.
Olga Pankrateva | Copywriter at Signum.ai
Signum.ai is a US-based company that develops AI-powered lead generation solutions for companies that strive to get hyper-targeted leads, take full advantage of real-time sales, and multiply revenue.
Signum.ai experts also provide consultation services on sales outreach and help businesses boost their sales with a small budget.