Sales & Marketing Optimization = Smarketing
We’ve heard the term “Smarketing” thrown around loosely dozens of times – maybe because Silicon Valley finds it cool. Apart from being cool however, Smarketing – a combination of sales and marketing optimization- if done correctly can really help boost the revenue engine for your company.
Smarketing really builds a robust marketing funnel – which is not only top-heavy, but also brings in qualified leads which move progressively down the different stages of the funnel. Marketing hands over the lead to sales when they have been established as prospects ( there are several ways to classify a lead as a prospect – here is a post by Crunchbase and one by Sendoso that talks about some common ways to classify leads as prospects) and sales then converts them into opportunities by pitching to them and finally closes them.
Of course, at every stage there is a percentage that drops off – right from the top to the bottom – sales optimization is about minimizing this drop off percentage in the last 3 stages. Here’s a quick representation of this from Hubspot’s blog.
Regular feedback sessions with marketing also helps undoubtedly because talking to leads that become prospects and subsequent opportunities help the sales team to understand the kind of messaging that resonates most with them and also helps them customize this messaging based on industry.
The marketing team then puts out the relevant messaging that resonates most with the different verticals, thereby attracting possibly fewer, but more relevant leads and making the life of Sales much easier. In an ideal world, this is sales and marketing optimization and if done properly can really help boost revenue and overall collaboration.
Sales Enablement Tools to Achieve Sales Optimization
We’ve established how important sales optimization can be and how it can actually be the tool in your arsenal that can make a big difference. Now let’s cover how we can go about achieving sales optimization and how to choose the best tools for it.
Every company has a different set of needs and criteria and therefore choosing the right tool may not be as straightforward as you might think. Here are just a few criteria that can help narrow down your choices:
1. Level of Training Needed – The average human attention span today is shorter than that of a goldfish… I wish I was kidding. We’re very smart creatures, but given the numbers out there, it probably makes sense to use a tool which is relatively easy to get the hang of and doesn’t require extensive training.
This can also be a very important factor for scalability. A relatively complicated tool would take longer to get the hang of and longer to master, which would make it a lot less scalable. You may pick the best tool out there with a multitude of features, but it would be harder to implement. So, a big deciding factor should be the level of familiarity with tools within your team. Can you think of any tools that are so easy to use that you simply need no training and can just ask questions in plain English? 😝
2. Ease of Use and Integration : A second factor is the ease of use once training has been completed and how easily this fits in with your existing systems. Is the UI user-friendly? Is it simple and intuitive?
Sales folks are usually pressed for time – convincing prospects to become opportunities as well as closing opportunities. A tool that is easy-to-use will not only make their lives easier, it will also ensure that chances of every step being documented properly are much higher. Resulting in a much clearer picture of your sales pipeline.
3. Data and Analytics Capabilities: Ease of use is great, but a sales enablement tool that doesn’t reflect the proper data or provide ways to represent said data is not going to cut it. Just a few of the important functionalities are:
- Being able to track KPIs
- Being able to map duplicate leads/prospects or more leads from the same organization and clubbing them together.
- Being able to help spot areas for upsell
And more, depending on the requirements and specificities of your sales org.
4. Data Visualization – Visualizing the data you’ve collected/monitored and representing it in an easy to understand manner, is one of the most important features of a tool. Data is only as good as the way it is represented. Going back to the attention span analogy – data needs to be easy to understand and to tell a story. If it is convoluted or time consuming, then it’s a given that people probably won’t invest all that much time trying to decipher it. The result being that the tool is not being utilized to its full potential – which could be hard to prove in terms of ROI.
5. Pricing – Last but most definitely not the least, there is the little matter of pricing. While evaluating a tool, even if it fits all the above criteria, but is more expensive than the budget you have allocated for this purchase, you’re probably not going to go ahead with buying it. Pricing is something that probably holds more weightage than any of the other factors.
Ultimately it comes down to this, sales optimization in its most basic form is really the fine tuning of a process, and that requires consistent effort, observation, investment, – both in terms of resources and technology – and time. So even if you have the best sales enablement tools for your team, it would definitely need to be put to good use for any significant changes to occur.
According to Gartner, well informed sales reps – “who leverage information”- increase the ease of purchase by 40% – so sales optimization may be well worth your time.