The coronavirus pandemic has forever changed the way we see and do things on so many levels. The way we work is changing. The way we consume is changing. Whichever way you look at things, the COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation in the business world. The relationship between your sales and marketing departments (or as it is nicknamed ‘Smarketing’) is not what it used to be, especially if they have transitioned into fully remote teams.
The fact is, that companies with well-aligned sales and marketing teams generate more revenue than companies that treat sales and marketing as two completely separate entities.
Being a sales rep or a marketer that use to collaborate in the same office, how does this relationship work when everyone is remote?
The secret answer is that it’s mostly the same as it would be if you were all working in the same building! When your sales and marketing team are working together, rather than separately, it is easier for your business to track how marketing efforts affect sales results. This must be your main goal no matter where your teams are located.
Getting your team to work together but yet independently is what needs extra work in a remote world. When your sales and marketing team are working from home (WFH) or remotely, it can be difficult to have everyone aligned for common goals, unless you lay a healthy groundwork that does the job.
Align “Smarketing” Goals
In the evolving technological society, we currently live in, it’s important that both your sales and marketing team are operating towards a mutual clear identified goal. Without an aligned goal, it can be very easy for your remote team to lose sight of their shared priorities.
Aligning goals is more than the decision to work together but seeing the results of a job well done. For the sake of progress visibility across both team's WFH, team members should track their progress in a project management system to keep everyone up to date.
Most importantly, it makes life easier for your customers when your sales and marketing team goals are aligned. When both teams are well-aligned, every individual member is able to effectively perform their roles.
Listen Up and Listen In
When a sales rep is working from home, they primarily use conference calls and video chats to close deals with clients. The good thing is with this method your marketing team can easily be integrated into the sales process.
This way your marketing team will get to know their consumer persona and develop an understanding of what branded messaging successfully resonates in a hand (or ears!) on experience.
If (video) calls don’t prove to be a realistic expectation for your teams, do the next best thing, and have your sales team report detailed consumer success stories to marketers. Success comes from alignment, and alignment can only be achieved when sales and marketing team members are transparent about their experience with one another.
Pro Tip: When shared, customer success stories make for excellent Case Studies (which make for great content that can be shared by both marketing and sales individual representatives).
Play Tool Catchup
Bringing your sales and marketing teams together out of the office means that collaboration and communication are going to be happening over a set of different tools. Make sure that your teams are all using the same platforms to work together effectively. When your sales teams are using Zoom and your marketing team prefers Google Meet, for example, this will make communication that much harder among your entire organization.
Ideally, it is best to run a software audit! Create a spreadsheet of all the tools your team members use, and why they prefer to use them (communication, organization, collaboration, etc.). Then, look for any tools that have a similar function and purpose, and choose the one that is a centralized tool for all of your teams. You will have a better understanding of what works for each team and getting them all on the same page. Make sure your setup training for your team on the tools that you have all agreed on. This will help you get your marketing and sales team set up to be successful and productive.
In order for any team to be successful, each member has to be constantly learning and growing. This means to plan a regular session after every big project to ask what went well, what went about as expected, and what could have gone better. You will get a sense of how each process is working for your team and how they can work better together project by project.
Collaborate Formally and Informally
The way to approach the relationship between your sales and marketing teams is a delicate balance. There must be alignment and bonding. In order to facilitate team bonding remotely, start by setting clear expectations in a transparent manner such as implementing cross-department monthly meetings. If the remote work lifestyle is something new for your sales and marketing teams, use these meetings as an opportunity to introduce the team members to one another as well as taking to field questions and concerns about working remotely.
When your sales team is knowledgeable of your marketing strategies, and your marketing team can speak to your sales team’s priorities you are steps away from complete cohesion.
Then, when your team members are more familiar with their personal schedules and how they align with the shared goals of the teams and more, support them in collaborating informally. To support this shift toward informal, begin by hosting weekly happy half-hours during the end of the workday on Friday where members of both teams can virtually toast one another on a week’s job well done.
Ultimately, supporting informal cross-team collaboration is all about showing your remote employees that you take their well-being seriously. When you are unable or uncomfortable communicating with your teammates informally, valuable insights are lost. The last thing you want is for your remote collaborators to feel isolated and unable to ask for help when they need it.
An outside look can help you identify the processes that your team can best benefit from. So do not hesitate to contact us at Six& Ten Production to help you streamline your Smarketing strategy. Your growth is our business so we will analyze, advice, supervise and execute whatever is in your best growth interest!