Welcome to Part 3 in my exploration of Hubspot’s 2017 State of Inbound Marketing report. After focusing on the continued value of email marketing and the realized advantages of inbound marketing, I now dive into a key trait of most successful companies’ sales and marketing teams.
More companies say that their top marketing strategy priority is converting leads over generating them, which shows a deeper understanding of the value of the buyer’s journey and a long-term strategy (as opposed to a quick win mentality). The second highest marketing strategy priority is “growing traffic to website”, which provides value for both lead nurturing and lead generation efforts.
Seeing marketing as an investment is essential to continued success, and this report shows the drastic difference in the performance of companies with tightly aligned sales and marketing teams (smarketing for short) versus poorly aligned ones. When the sales team buys into the value of inbound marketing and companies have a shared service level agreement in place, 81% of respondents say that the marketing strategy is effective. When a company has misaligned sales and marketing teams, the response is almost inverse with 73% saying that the marketing strategy is not effective.
If you work at a company with poorly aligned sales and marketing teams, getting the initial buy-in can be difficult. A lot of employees may think sales and marketing teams are competing for budget dollars, but this survey shows that rising tides raise all ships: 70% of companies with tightly aligned smarketing teams saw an increase in the size of the sales team (2% saw a decrease). Only 52% of companies with misaligned sales and marketing teams saw an increase in the size of their sales team and 13% saw a decrease. That is a 550% increase in lost sales jobs!
How does a company get started aligning into a smarketing team? The first step in starting the conversation: review your marketing strategy with the sales team, leverage their expertise to sharpen your buyer personas, talk with them about your messaging, and get their feedback. The sales team is in the trenches, talking with the real-life versions of your personas every day. Your sales team members are the experts that can provide details on prospects’ struggles and needs. They are also the lead conversion closers on your team that will turn qualified prospects into valuable customers.
If you are looking to increase your conversion rate and generate more marketing qualified leads so that your sales team can work smarter, let’s talk!