Sales Marketing Alignment resized 600As you know, collaborating effectively with your sales team is essential to achieving success with inbound marketing. However, getting sales on board with your inbound efforts can sometimes be quite challenging. Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment grew their annual revenue by 20% in 2010. If your company wasn't one of them, it is time to start in 2013! The February InboundLearning Webinar is dedicated to helping you create a happy Smarketing relationship in your company and will teach you:

  • Why marketing needs to train sales 
  • What sales needs from marketing in terms of qualified leads. 
  • How to bring marketing and sales closer together 
  • How to define your company’s Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

Creating a Smarketing Mindset

Most of the time, marketers hear from sales:

  • "There aren't enough leads coming in the door" 
  • "The leads that do come in suck"
  • "Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) never close" 

We know these statements are no longer true with inbound marketing. A disconnect between Sales and Marketing has grown over time making it difficult to communicate strategies effectively. Sales may be unaware of your inbound marketing efforts and the drastic changes it has made to the quality of your leads. Sales still thinks of marketing in terms of your outbound efforts. They can't measure or prove its effectiveness.

As marketers it is our job to take the first step in aligning sales and marketing into one big, happy Smarketing family. We need to reeducate sales and show them we're on their side and can not only contribute to the bottom line, but prove how we got there with our inbound marketing efforts.

What Sales Needs from Marketing 

Sales needs only a few things from Marketing in order to feel satisfied:

  1. An increase in lead volume
  2. Improvement of lead quality
  3. Greater insight into lead information
  4. Measurement of lead close rates

All of the above can be given to Sales via HubSpot. Create offers, nurture the leads you get from those offers, pass that information to Sales (along with the MQL) and measure the velocity at which your MQLs close. They will LOVE you for it!

How Can Marketing Help Sales

As inbound marketers we can give sales everything they dream of by:

  1. Increasing lead volume by creating optimized top of the buying cycle content like blogs, podcasts, videos, presentations, ebooks, and news releases to drive qualified traffic to the website that can be captured as leads
  2. Promoting the new content to social media and through email campaigns to drive awareness and gain more traffic to the site that can convert into leads
  3. Optimizing the content we create so that the right visitors find the website. This means using keywords and other site optimization strategies to get found in search engines
  4. Nurturing leads to get them to take the next step in the buying process thusly creating a faster sales cycle
  5. Integrating the CRM to HubSpot so that sales sees a complete picture of the lead's lifecycle. This will show them the leads' activity so that all follow-ups can be customized
  6. Measuring each campaign to show whether or not it worked. Sales can work with you to provide information on what they believe a qualified lead will need before comitting to buy. When you run the campaign, you can share the data to encourage even more brainstorming and involvement between each team
  7. Collaborating on what creates a Marketing Qualified Lead. Sales knows their audience and what they need better than most teams. Use this to your company's advantage. Work together to develop the most defined MQL and then target them with your inbound efforts

February's webinar series will not only show you how to get sales on your side. You will also receive a complete Power Point presentation that will help you deliver the Smarketing message and start aligning Sales and Marketing in 2013!

Originally published Jan 22, 2013 3:18:00 PM, updated January 13 2014