The longstanding tension between marketing and sales is no secret. One side (marketing) runs great campaigns and is disappointed by the way sales teams put those leads to use. The other side (sales) doesn’t think the quality of leads is high enough and responds to marketing generated leads with a less than enthusiastic attitude. Story Collaborative recently joined the elite group of “Sales Lions” after completing the transformative Pipeline Generation Bootcamp provided by our partner, HubSpot. We learned better sales-marketing alignment through smarketing.
A Great Partnership for Smarketing
Story Collaborative began partnering with HubSpot in 2016. We originally made this shift because we were constantly cobbling together diverse marketing software, and HubSpot brought all of that together around a powerful CRM. HubSpot’s 100 Million dollar investment in software, along with a focused support team, have made them amazing partners. Since then we’ve helped multiplied dozens of companies and nonprofits streamline and expand their marketing.
While the role of marketing has always been to deliver qualified prospects, the inbound approach pioneered by HubSpot lends itself to a unique kind of warm selling. Because inbound builds value and trust, while it tracks the interaction of every prospect, it presents the opportunity to -
“Never Call a Cold Lead Again”
Silo Incineration Training
This year, our understanding of smarketing went to a whole new level. As Chief Growth Officer, I participated in the 8-week Pipeline Generation Bootcamp. Lead by HubSpot employee #6, Dan Tyre, a veteran of Global sales and business growth, this challenging process forced us to crush these two silos within our own organization. And in the process it brought a new sense of value and life to both marketing and sales.
When you crush silos with smarketing, neither sales or marketing lose anything. Because they work in alignment, both groups improve and become more effective. Centered around a CRM that ties both marketing and sales together, the value of leads that marketing creates, and the interaction that sales has with those leads, does not get buried in a sales spreadsheet somewhere. Through the process of marketing and sales alignment, sales outcomes and needs inform the marketing process and empower sales people to have a constant flow of warm leads. Marketing and sales alignment, or “smarketing”, is empowering and motivating to both sales and marketing teams.
The heart of the training was the application of powerful sales skills coupled with HubSpot's best in class CRM and Sales tools. The interaction by sales team members with marketing leads shared in the CRM provides detailed and powerful feedback that sharpens the marketing process and provides a new level of accountability for the sales team. The HubSpot dashboard allows everyone to see which leads, and how many leads, are progressing in the deals pipeline and tracks activity both ways - back to the marketing content that created the lead and throughout the sales communication with that lead.
Smarketing reduces lost sales time and marketing inefficiency while driving revenue.
From a financial perspective, smarketing saves budget and drives revenue. Sales feedback to marketing makes marketing investments more effective. Increased sales productivity, including time-savings and increased lead value, increase the number and size of closed deals.
What Story Collaborative Learned in the Pipeline Training
- We learned that our inbound leads driven by great online content are extremely valuable because they empower our sales team with warm connections.
- We learned that our sales team needed to understand how to use inbound leads.
- We learned that feedback between sales and marketing empowers both teams.
- We learned that increasing transparency between marketing and sales brings new energy to each effort.
What is Smarketing?
Smarketing happens when the goals, outcomes and processes for sales and marketing teams come into alignment
Smarketing provides both the process and the tools for sales and marketing alignment. The process engages sales teams to share insights into customer questions and lead quality. The marketing team puts those insights to work to improve the quality and quantity of leads, followed by shared evaluation of the outcomes. Goals, content and lead quality become a shared discussion and the alignment can bring dramatic improvements to sales outcomes.
In addition to this ongoing process, the right software makes the process effective. Consistent CRM use has been a painful topic for many sales teams and sales managers, with the time spent on reporting coming right out of valuable sales activity. The HubSpot CRM and sales combination allows seamless tracking, email client logging, and phone call options from any device while creating a record of interaction that fuels the smarketing partnership between the sales and marketing teams.