As the New Zealand governing coalition has finally been decided, now starts the real work to determine the policies and legislation required to implement their vision.  Their ability to deliver on this vision will have a lot to do with the alignment of the three quite different coalition partners – Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens.

Cooperation between parties with different agendas, and varying worldviews, is something also played out every day in tech companies between the sales team and those responsible for marketing.

Getting alignment between sales and marketing doesn’t just make for a harmonious workplace, it can improve annual revenue growth by 20%*.  Each needs to know and understand the desired outcome from the ‘coalition’ and work together to strive for the common goal.

Companies where the sales and marketing teams regularly meet, agree goals for completion within specific timeframes and, once agreed sign up to deliverables on each side of the relationship will not fail to improve their annual growth. The relatively cringe-worthy name given to this aligned sales and marketing focus is ‘smarketing.’

So what’s the magic formula?

1. Determine what constitutes a marketing qualified lead (MQL)

What criteria needs to be met to qualify a lead as ready to pass to sales? By leading a prospect through a nurturing programme, marketing can glean more information to help identify their needs as well as what type, size, quality of prospect they present.

2. Set the Smarketing team goals

In other words agree the number of leads that Marketing need to supply for Sales to convert, and identify the time Sales should spend on converting a MQL to a sale.

3. Draft a Smarketing service level agreement (SLA)

Document points 1 & 2 above into an agreement for all to be measured against.  Regularly meet to assess progress on both sides and gather timely updates (weekly, monthly, quarterly).  With data collected it’s easier to see results (both good and bad) and if necessary re-evaluate the Smarketing goals. Here’s an example SLA from HubSpot.

4. Track progress regularly

Measure marketing’s number of leads against the target and track both the speed of sales follow up as well as number of attempts to connect for each lead. Make this available and transparent to all members of the Smarketing team. Use the data to address any shortfalls.

5. Grease the wheels of the Smarketing machine with technology

By adding a layer of smart technology to a ‘smarketing’ approach, much of the follow up and qualifying processes can be automated, enabling people to focus on high value sales and marketing tasks and less on administration.

One advantage you have over Ms Ardern and her Labour-led government is that your guys are all on the same team to start with.

Greasing the selling machine for tech companies

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*2010 study, The Aberdeen Group

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