Sales + Marketing = SMARKETING
If you’re looking for customers, we need to talk about smarketing. Wait — what?
Smarketing is the communication, alignment and integration of sales and marketing teams and their efforts to find prospects and close sales to generate revenue.
Now, maybe more than ever, marketing and sales have to work together. Why? Think about today’s business environment:
- Creating a company is far less expensive because the startup costs have decreased significantly, lowering the barriers to entry for your competition. There are lots of folks out there hunting the same fish you are.
- Cloud solutions, Software as a Service and website templates give really small businesses the ability to look more established than they actually are. This is what I term “perception is nine-tenths of the law.”
- “Nim-bility” is a true ability. If your company can be nimble and adapt, it’s more likely to get to market first.
- Today there are countless opportunities to cast your prospecting net, given the plethora of traditional media and digital marketing opportunities. If you don’t get your name out there, your competition will.
- Customers expect brands to address their individual needs and interaction in a customized way. Your target fish may actively avoid you if they don’t see the right hook to catch their needs.
In this competitive landscape, smarketers have an early adopter’s advantage: They know how to lure, secure and seal the deal, before their competition can secure a social handle.
And on top of that, smarketers are really effective. They work smart, not hard, and here’s how:
- They implement SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Agreed-upon, Relevant and Time-bound goals.
- Smarketers have the tools to automate their marketing, providing efficiency and measuring against goals.
- They adapt easily during a marketing campaign as events dictate.
- Smarketers learn from real data in campaign and use every nugget of information to iterate, making the next campaign even better.
- Smarketers don’t cast a large net in the ocean; they shoot fish in a barrel.
- Smarketers know how to cultivate customers – they reach out at reasonable intervals to recommend complementary or new products, or incentivize customers to contact you again.
Smarketers understand the benefit of the feedback loop, and they are intentional about collecting useful feedback. They don’t rely on a chance conversation at the point of sale to learn about their customer. They know it takes more than someone asking “How did you hear about us?” and maybe writing that down somewhere or passing it along anecdotally. They are intentional about understanding how customers think and decide to buy. This helps your business figure out how to fish in the right waters.
How does it work?
Before you ever hear from a prospect, they are checking you out. They have a problem, and they often Google to find the solution. Marketing has to understand this early stage, and put out the right lures that attract the customers ideally suited for your solution. If the prospect decides they need to know more, they evaluate your solution to their problem, make their own determination about whether they qualify for your solution, and then take action.
All of these early steps are in the hands of marketing, who should set the path for those who should self-qualify. Then sales steps in to communicate with the prospective customer, finalize a solution and close the deal. Of course, in ecommerce it’s the site that sells, aggregates and closes, so it better make a great impression on the visitor and be easy to use.
Smarketers analyze data from marketing and sales interactions from real people to draw conclusions about performance. Then they use this information as a benchmark (baseline) to improve. They tweak strategies and they develop new campaigns, testing and improving as they go.
I heard a speaker this past week at the Health:Further conference say: Adoption is not a technical problem; it’s a behavioral problem. As a smarketer, you have to understand your target’s behavior and design your own work accordingly. That leads me to this infamous saying: If you aren’t growing, you’re dying. If you aren’t implementing smarketing tools, strategies and tactics, you might just as well have jumped off the boat.
Want to know more? Check out these resources!