To achieve the best possible results for both the marketing and sales department there has to be a close working relationship between the two, so-called inbound sales and sales enablement. But what needs to be in place for this collaboration to work for both parties? Here are three key factors for inbound sales success.
You can deny it all you want, but the truth is that marketers play an important part in making you the hero of sales – and you as a salesperson is key in a successful marketing strategy.
As a salesperson, you can provide key insights into what content is useful and what resonates with potential clients. Sales can also benefit from having the right content at hand during the sales process in order to close deals efficiently.
A seamless collaboration between marketing and sales is key. If this is not in place, you might have a high conversion rate from visitors to leads, but that might also be the end of your company’s success. Without inbound sales and sales enablement, it can be difficult to turn those leads into sales. And at the end of the day, what do you need lots of leads for if you cannot close the deal?
To achieve success with your inbound sales enablement, there are mainly three key factors that need to be in place: an SLA (Service Level Agreement), a collaboration on content across the department and regular smarketing meetings.
An SLA is simply an agreement between someone delivering a service and the client. It sets out to guarantee a specific result. In this case, looking at the sales and marketing departments, the agreement will go both ways.
Marketing will promise to deliver a specific number of leads to the sales department and sale promise to contact these leads within a certain time limit.
Such an agreement will help the departments understand the role they play in helping the company achieve their revenue goals, as well as their deliverables. To create an SLA for your organisation you must have these numbers:
- Average conversion rate from leads to sales qualified lead
- Average conversion rate from sales qualified lead to closed deal
- Average deal amount
With this information, you can easily calculate how many qualified leads the marketing department needs to provide sales with if the company is to reach its revenue goals. You now have marketing’s end of the bargain, but what goals should you set for the sales department in terms of a deadline for contacting leads?
The right answer, as always, is: as soon as possible. According to HubSpot, the chance of a lead becoming sales qualified is 21 times higher if the lead is contacted within 5 min of the lead being sent from marketing to sales, versus 30 minutes.
“ASAP” is not a specific enough goal to have in an SLA, however, it should be the approach the sales team has at all times. The sooner a lead can be contacted, the warmer it is, and the more likely it is that the deal can be closed.
2) Collaboration on content
What department do you think create the most content, sales or marketing? Docurated asked their clients this. A staggering 80 percent said it had to be the marketing department creating the most content. The answer?
When Docurated took a closer look at their data, they discovered that 40 percent of the content they had access to was created by the sales department, and only 30 percent was created by the marketing department. An additional 30 percent was created by other roles at the respective companies.
They also discovered that the amount of content created by the marketing department that was read by the sales department more than five times only equated to 9 percent.
This means that more than 90 percent of the content marketing departments create might never be used. Looking at the content created by sales departments, the salespeople themselves are five times more likely to have read it five times or more.
If the marketing department is working hard to create content, but not communicating with other departments internally the content might not be useful for anyone but the marketing department.
Even though marketers are better equipped at creating content, the sales department is more often in contact with prospects and clients, and know what they are wondering about.
3) Regular smarketing meetings
Smarketing is simply a mashup of the words sales and marketing, a term used to describe the collaboration between the two departments. To ensure sales enablement success the company should have regular smarketing meetings allowing marketing and sales to meet and discuss issues and solutions.
When establishing the company’s inbound sales enablement strategy, the two departments have to agree upon the goals, define an SLA and identify the personas the company will target.
Next, it is important to book regular smarketing meetings to follow-up what has been agreed upon. This will help ensure that you are all pulling in the same direction.
Three key steps to successful smarketing meetings:
1) Focus on a solution to the problems
Smarketing meetings should be a place where people can discuss what is not working as well as it should, as well as come up with ideas on how to fix these issues. This is the arena to delegate responsibilities and tasks to drive solutions.
2) Find a time that suits everyone
Not all organisations need to have these meetings often but aim for at least once a month.
3) Consider who should really be at the meeting
Studies show that meetings are most efficient and productive when there are less than 10 people taking part.
Invite only the key players needed to solve challenges and implement changes. If needs be, you can even rotate who takes part in the meetings to avoid the group getting too big.