The rules of business have changed with time, and smarketing could be the key to success.
Writer and thinker George Bernard Shaw had this to say about change:
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
Change lies at the core of life, and minds that are not open to change are like closed parachutes – they just will not work when they are needed the most!
Any business, small or large, is nothing without sales and marketing. The twin disciplines of sales and marketing have been the driving forces of business since time immemorial. While that has not yet changed, evolving times and the associated changes in technology have necessitated new thinking, bringing about a paradigm shift in the way businesses of today prospect for new clients.
And just the way two businesses with aligned interests could produce synergy in association with one another, the two integral and closely aligned disciplines of business – sales and marketing – have combined to gear up to the new challenges and enormous opportunities of the information age … welcome to the era of smarketing!
[ Editor update: Great minds think alike! The term Smarketing is a registered trademark of Peter Strohkorb Consulting International Pty Ltd, describing the alignment of sales, marketing and customer experience. Learn more ]
What is Smarketing?
Smarketing is not a new buzzword that came from nowhere, nor will it disappear when the fad sets into the horizon. Rather, it is a fundamental rehash of two crucial functions of business in a way that holds the customer at the core, with the functions integrated seamlessly to provide unique opportunities for the organisation.
Smarketing is all about aligning the disciplines of sales and marketing – two individual disciplines that are closely related, and yet tend to be separated by large businesses. A huge advantage soloists have is that you normally run both so you really need to ensure that you do not have a marketing hat and a sales hat, you just need one smarketing hat.
For instance, if you just focus on sales you will be obsessed with chasing up prospects, making cold calls, knocking on doors, and meeting targets and KPIs. What’s life without targets and KPIs after all?
On the other hand if you are totally focused on marketing you could end up spending your days immersed in the analytical side of things, overly focused on targeting, remarketing and budgeting.
Being totally sales focused would have made perfect sense in the olden days where information technology was in its infancy, when data had to be entered manually, and valuable information was not really available to small business owners. But this is no longer the reality.
How can Smarketing help your business?
Small businesses invariably face the problem of lead conversion. While marketing aggressively qualifies leads with an eye on conversions, lead quality tends to be compromised unless the two departments work in tandem.
Smarketing lets businesses integrate their two vital functions to achieve a competitive edge by leveraging the power of synergy between the departments. Sales and marketing strategies should be integrated as much as possible.
One of the key principles of smarketing is that what gets measured gets managed better. What is the proportion of leads generated in relation to the goals set? Have Service Level Agreements (SLAs) been re-evaluated from time to time in line with performance measures and industry standards? Are there mechanisms in place to generate client feedback and act on them?
Questions such as these should be addressed and converted into systems and processes that are followed within the business. Use of the right metrics to measure performance could make the difference in terms of business success.
So ask yourself: Is smarketing something your business should be investing time in?