How to align outsourced marketing and insourced sales

Posted by Ryan Nofal on April 11, 2017 at 8:02 PM
outsorced marketing and insourced sales

The challenge of aligning sales and marketing is tenfold when your marketing services are outsourced – even if the outsourced team is packed full of insight and expertise, their ability to integrate with your salesforce is a vital piece of the puzzle.

 

It’s time to put to rest the myth that sales and marketing work at odds with each other, or are at the very least begrudging work fellows. In fact, sales and marketing are two intertwined entities that work at the core of a highly-functioning business – and while ensuring that they work together smoothly and seamlessly can be a challenge, the reward is an organisation with a coherent strategy that leads to happier customers and bigger pay-offs. In fact, there are some convincing statistics that show that aligning sales and marketing can result in 38% higher sales win rates and a 20% annual growth rate - but only 8% of companies manage to achieve this alignment.

This phenomenon is taking hold to such an extent that marketing and sales platform Hubspot has dubbed it “smarketing” – the alignment of sales and marketing in a way that can move your business forward. However, this can be challenging in any environment, even when teams are sitting a few offices apart. The challenge can be tenfold when your marketing services are outsourced – even if the outsourced team is packed full of insight and expertise, their ability to integrate with your salesforce is a vital piece of the puzzle.

 


So, how can smarketing be made smarter and more successful? Luckily, there are a few slick strategies that can be employed to ensure that both teams merge smoothly.


 

  • Create a team environment
A total cliché – or is it? Many people entering an organisation only interact with their department and adopt the culture and values of that environment. As suggested by Hubspot, design a process from the outset that sets up a shared environment that sales and marketing can participate in. This can range from creating a new-employee (or new agency) on-boarding programme that highlights the shared goals, values and ideals of the smarketing team, to setting up regular meetings, both formal and informal, to encourage the sharing of ideas and a more collegial atmosphere, to sharing resources such as presentations and mailers, to getting input from sales during content creation. The smarketing team is working together toward a common goal and that should be constantly emphasised.

Even though this can be challenging when using an outsourced marketing agency, it is possible to create open, frequent and direct lines of communication, using innovative digital platforms and methods of communication such as Google documents, shared calendars and setting up an email address that works as a team alias. It is also important to set up regular (non-negotiable) meetings. All of this can create this sense of unity. In some of our most successful relationships with client, we’ve gone in not as an agency looking solely at their marketing, but rather as colleagues looking at their business goals with an objective to make their whole company work better.  Everyone plays on the same team!

 

  • Don’t underestimate the power of listening

Your sales team sits at the coalface of your business and has valuable information to share. Give them a voice and let them become a goldmine of information for marketers to use to build powerful content. Create an internal feedback loop and let sales provide information where customers got lost or didn’t understand the messaging so that marketing can strengthen and improve it. Additionally, the sales team will feel empowered and buy into the smarketing process.

 

  • Set up a joint project and create some buyer personas
Get the sales and marketing team on the same side by assigning them a joint task: go on a buyer’s journey and find the core personas of your top customers. Get feedback from sales on what your customers want and need and use the marketing know-how to create realistic profiles of who your business is serving. Stick to three to five personas and use the exercise to build solidarity between the two facets of your smarketing squad.

  • Set goals
It’s essential to develop long and short term goals together with the company and their sales team.  Get input from both teams and set shared objectives with metrics in place, with results that are reported and discussed with the smarketing unit. Measurable objectives help to build accountability and make the team  feel like they have achieved something, which strengthens it from within, and helps to identify problem areas. This process should be non-judgemental and constructive, which can require tactful leadership. Darren Leishman, former MD of Penquin, agrees:Matching KPIs and metrics (used in sales, and not as often in marketing) will help drive sales and marketing to the same goal and increase team dynamics, with less destructive competition.”

 

For more information on how you can find an outsourced agency that understands how to make smarketing work for your business, contact us and let us find a solution tailored to your needs.  

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Topics: Client agency relationships, Integrated Marketing

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