How Sales And Marketing Can Work Together

By Madison Taylor
March 17, 2023
Group of people working around a table

Dashboards And Reporting

If you’re not keeping an eye on your goals on a monthly (even daily) basis, you run the risk of being blindsided when the end of the year comes around and you haven’t met them.

You’re also less likely to notice areas of concern or inefficiency until they snowball into much bigger problems.

Daily dashboards turn all the data from your reporting systems into a snapshot of your progress toward your goals. Everyone in the “smarketing team” — sales and marketing alike — should have access to this data, either through your marketing software, CRM software, or even daily emails.

Not only are dashboards a useful tool for tracking progress, they’re accountability boosters as well. If everyone can see everyone else’s daily progress, individuals are more motivated to keep their numbers up.

Your marketing dashboard should be pretty simple: just a graph of the leads you’ve generated to date plotted against the target rate of lead generation for that time period. That way, you can easily see whether you’re on pace, ahead of schedule, or falling behind.

If you’re falling behind, you know your marketing team needs to step it up. That might mean more content, increased spending on PPC or social media or launching new initiatives like an influencer program. If you’re ahead of schedule, on the other hand, you might be able to breathe easily. Save some big content pieces for next month, or start working on longer-term or lower-priority goals.

On the sales side of things, dashboards usually measure the progress the sales team has made from receiving a lead to closing a sale. Useful metrics include number of contact attempts, time between attempts, and close rates. If you really want to dig into the data, you can break those metrics down by lead type and lead scoring to generate more granular reports of what works and what doesn’t.

In order to make sure the sales team is holding up their end of the SLA, make sure to keep track of how many leads are being called within the agreed-upon number of hours, as well as how many leads are being contacted the agreed-upon number of times. Your exact parameters will vary, but whatever they are, they need to be watched.

How to Run a Smarketing Meeting

If you want your sales team to work with your marketing team as one big happy smarketing family, they’re going to need to interact in person. That’s where your meetings come in. Not only does face-to-face time foster interpersonal relationships that make for better unit cohesion, but it’s often easier to hash out problems in person than on an endless string of reply-all emails. You should be having two types of meetings — a weekly all-hands meeting and a monthly management meeting.

The main goal of your weekly meeting is to talk about recent results and what’s coming up for both departments. You should have your daily dashboards handy as a reference.

In large companies, you can avoid getting bogged down by formatting this meeting as a high-level overview by team leaders to keep everyone up to speed. In smaller companies, the weekly meeting can be more interactive — take questions and comments from team members on how your systems might improve.

The monthly meeting has similar goals but on a larger scale. You can use reporting software to take a longer, harder look at the past month’s results and what, if anything, needs to be addressed. Talk about upcoming plans, strategy concerns, and potential problems.

Have an in-depth discussion of your closed-loop reporting data to make sure everyone is meeting their requirements as spelled out in the SLA. If it seems like one team is struggling, consider re-negotiating the SLA, but try to avoid that except as a last resort.

Continual Communication Ideas

Even though you have an SLA, dashboards, and meetings, it’s a good idea for the two departments to interact more in order to show each other the value of their respective roles. Marketers should be thinking in terms of marketing themselves — showing the sales team how valuable they are.

One simple approach is to physically mingle the two teams in your office. Have them sit near each other, not separated in separate areas or rooms. Marketers will get to witness firsthand how salespeople do their jobs, which might even prompt further ideas about how to help them.

Sales reps will benefit, in turn, by having a nearby resource to ask about particular leads or marketing campaigns. The more communication there is, the happier and more efficient the whole smarketing team will be.

Conclusion and Actionable Steps

Company leaders must take an honest look at the sales and marketing alignment. If it’s lacking, identify issues that erode the relationship. Set a plan to begin forging a bridge between the two sides. Get managers on board so they can encourage alignment from the top down and open communication channels more frequently.

Building a well-aligned sales and marketing team takes patience and persistence, but the results of its success are well worth the time and effort.