How Inbound Marketing Strategies Align Objectives
– Today, it?s important to have?comprehensive Inbound Marketing Strategies?as the core of your online efforts.? Sales and Marketing teams have traditionally had a sort of sibling rivalry.?The?Sales team feels that Marketing?s efforts are not generating enough quality Leads, while?Marketing believes that Sales are not working Leads diligently. This mistrust and miscommunication can act like a weight around the neck of your company.
Alignment = Growth
A study by The Aberdeen Group found that companies with a healthy relationship between Sales and Marketing saw overall sales growth of 20% in 2010, while companies with poor Sales and Marketing alignment saw a 4% drop in revenues.
This is reason enough to work hard to improve communications between your teams and develop Inbound Marketing Strategies. Unfortunately, if your effort isn?t ongoing, rifts can resurface.
Treating Sales and Marketing as a single revenue-generating source can help create alignment. HubSpot, refers to this as creating a ?SMarketing? team. The key to the ?SMarketing? approach is technology based.
By establishing Inbound Marketing Strategies using?data driven tools and practices, your Sales and Marketing teams can better access the information needed to work together. Defining key points in your lead funnel and creating a clear outline of each teams’ expectations leaves little room for arguing about performance. The results of each team?s efforts become easier for both to see.
Constant open communication and data is key. By offering feedback on lead quality, Sales can better inform Marketing to help them understand which types of leads are most likely to close.
Marketing can then focus Inbound Marketing Strategies to generate better quality leads. Marketers should?be allowed to sit in on Sales calls and help close leads when asked, to better understand the value of each marketing generated lead.
- Technology and Process
Open communication needs to be backed up with data. Your Inbound Marketing Strategies should include?the technology to support both team?s efforts.
- Monitor results: set-up a closed loop system
Data is crucial for measuring results. Up-to-the-minute data streams measure progress towards your team?s goals, analyze lead quality and measure marketing ROI. Include technological solutions in your Inbound Marketing Strategies:
- Marketing software – to assist with lead generation and management.
- Customer Relationship Management – A CRM system helps to track, monitor and measure your sales activities.
Any systems put in place should be integrated to allow both teams to track leads from creation to close. This can help determine which marketing channels are generating quality leads.
Define Your Lead Process
Sales and Marketing alignment includes defining your lead funnel. Have clear terminology and procedures for each step in the process. For example:
- Visitors, prompted through CTAs, enter information to become leads.
- Leads are defined to determine origin. Marketing driven leads are classified MQL (Marketing Qualified Leads).
- MQLs are passed to sales.
- Opportunities are defined by sales and closed.
Identifying?MQLs?is an important step in the process. This is the hand-off point between your Marketing and Sales teams.
??????????? ?? Create a Service Level Agreement
To clearly define the process, create an SLA. This is a formal commitment entered into by both teams to meet shared goals for revenue growth. This two-way agreement clearly defines marketing?s targets for delivering a specific quantity and quality of leads. Sales then commits to following-up those leads promptly and makes a specific number of contact attempts before dropping the lead.
Does your company have a plan? HubSpot offers a free demo to help you develop comprehensive Inbound Marketing Strategies?and move you down the road towards Sales and Marketing alignment.
Marketing Matters Inbound?is an inbound marketing firm specializing in online conversions, content?strategy, call-to-action mapping and traditional media placement. Our experience in?B2B digital?marketing?and traditional media allows us to deliver results through a strategic media mix. We believe in?aligning and merging marketing and sales/operations for optimal return on your marketing investment.