What is the definition of smarketing? The purpose of smarketing is to merge the marketing and sales functions to help stakeholders understand each other better and work efficiently.
Marketing towards a merger of sales and marketing functions in B2B?
The final goal is to harmonize methods and tools as well as all processes related to lead generation, lead qualification and sales closing.
Trends and innovations
Digital is profoundly transforming the B2B Smarketing buying journey (read our definition on buyer behavior: the B2B buying act).
Today, when a prospect meets with a salesperson, they have already completed between 65 and 90% of the sales journey. This discovery and appropriation of the first elements of the company’s offer can be done independently by the prospect thanks to the company’s website and the content it offers in various forms. The marketing department is in the front line in this approach phase.
When the prospect gets in touch with a salesperson, he expects other elements than what he has already read on the website of his potential future supplier.
They expect material that is more in line with their business and their expectations. The marketing department intervenes again in this consolidation phase, by providing salespeople with high-value-added content, capable of winning the prospect’s total support.
But without the help of salespeople, without their active participation in the creation of this quality content, the latter is often bland, insipid, and unrelated to the real needs of the field.
Thus, close collaboration is required between marketing and sales to achieve relevant content.
This is the reason why more and more companies are merging marketing and sales departments. This forces the two “populations” to talk to each other, to design tools together, to no longer consider that it is the other’s job to do the work (“it’s up to marketing to generate qualified leads” vs. “it’s up to sales to make sales”).
Smarketing definition: what are the limitations?
When a merger is made between the marketing and sales departments, it is important to pay attention to the tools used by both populations. The tools can interfere with the smooth functioning of the marketing and sales teams.
According to Frédéric Bonneton, a french specialist in sales excellence and emotional negotiation: “What is very difficult for marketing is to understand what sales tools the salesperson needs. And at the same time, the salesperson himself doesn’t really know what he needs. He also often thinks that marketing tools are sales tools.
Confusion about the purpose of the tools is therefore possible, which can – in the end – alter the results.
Tools and methods for B2B sales marketing fusion
It is now common to have, on the marketing side, a person in charge of offline communication (trade shows, brochures…) and a person responsible for online lead generation (social selling, SEO…).
As for the sales side, there is often a unit responsible for qualifying and monitoring prospects and managing the customer base, and a few key account sales engineers responsible for closing.
This new organization means that smarketing works with each other. Key accounts are getting into social selling thanks to the content generated by marketing, which also feeds teleprospecting. Everyone’s arguments are aligned, and everyone “pulls” in the same direction.
This type of organization also allows you to stop focusing on the squabbles around “bad leads” and adopt a different method such as Account Based Marketing (read our definition of ABM), an approach that reverses the sales funnel to focus solely on the accounts you are targeting.