Smarketing: The DevOps of Your Brand

By Lauren Inggs - October 13, 2016

"Alone we can do so little – and together we can do so much." - Helen Keller

Collaboration has become an essential part of many businesses. Organisational departments that were previously considered separate and disconnected are finding that working together holistically is proving a far better alternative to going it alone – and nowhere is this example more aptly showcased than in the emergence of the DevOps department.

DevOps, a portmanteau derived from the words "development" and "operations," is a hybrid unit rising from a symbiotic relationship between the latter and the former. Traditionally, development and operations departments often struggled to achieve their goals separately – processes were often clunky, counter-productive and time-consuming, resulting plenty of frustration all around.

By creating a hybrid approach to working together that focuses on improved collaboration, communication, integration, and cooperation, these two departments with separate goals can make significant changes to an organisation's bottom-line.

"What's this got to do with Sales and Marketing?" You may wonder. The answer's pretty simple – Sales and Marketing teams have been crying out for a similar relationship but haven't even realised it.

How the DevOps methodology can transform your Sales and Marketing

Sales and Marketing teams have often found themselves at odds with one another. Classically, Sales teams often found themselves wondering what exactly Marketing has been doing with their time (especially before marketing became a measurable science), while Marketing teams have often thought Sales simply wasn't doing a good enough job at closing leads and making (what else) sales.

And as Marketing operations find themselves under more pressure to prove ROI (something made possible now by new metrics and benchmarks) and Sales feels the pinch of changing buyer behaviour on their monthly targets, this feeling continues to be perpetuated with little solution. Clearly, a change in approach is sorely needed.

Enter the DevOps culture and concept. By adopting a similar tactic in working together closely instead of attempting to work independently of one another, Sales and Marketing teams can become the solution to seeing bigger bottom-lines, creating smart content and improving performance across the board.

Move over DevOps, it's time for Smarketing and smarketers to shine!

5 Solutions Smarketing can offer your business

1. Targeted campaigns that prove their ROI

For marketing teams, running campaign after campaign without seeing success is a frustrating and demoralising situation. And there are many reasons why campaigns sometimes fail. These range from having the incorrect buyer personas, failing to do adequate research beforehand and delivering your content at the wrong stage of the buyer's journey – and the list goes on.

That said, many of the reasons campaigns fail could be addressed by a more symbiotic relationship between sales and marketing teams. Because sales teams deal directly with live customers, they're in an invaluable position to gather more accurate data about the target audience marketing is trying to reach. By collaborating, sales and marketing can create compelling campaigns more targeted to their buyer personas needs and pain points, and all founded on actual data gleaned from customers.

This same collaboration also gives marketing an opportunity to gather feedback on previous campaigns, facilitated by sales representatives equipped to ask the right questions. This can help highlight areas of weakness in marketing campaigns.

2. A powerful value proposition

A business's value proposition is an asset that should be utilised to the greatest extent possible. After all, it's what makes your company stand out from the rest! That said, it's an often an area that can miss the mark if proper research hasn't been done beforehand. By working together, sales and marketing teams can do more comprehensive industry and customer research, leading to better buyer persona development and an increase in the understanding of how to best position their company to stand out from the crowd.

3. Increased lead quality and conversion

When collaboration becomes a focus for sales and marketing departments, lead quality and sales conversions go up. This is due to Sales getting better quality leads from Marketing, and the ability of Marketing to create targeted, effective campaigns that turnover higher quality leads to Sales. Marketing can also boost lead conversions for Sales by building brand awareness and trust before leads even reach Sales.

Lead quality is also greatly impacted by the closed loop reporting characterised by a Smarketing approach. The backwards and forwards of properly established reports and data goes a long way in helping both teams see greater success.

4. An increase in customer satisfaction

Happy customers should be the goal of every business. A Smarketing approach ensures customers receive a consistent approach through their journey through the marketing and sales funnels. This means aligning marketing and sales activities to ensure that everything from language use and offers within campaigns to sales processes is always geared towards delivering the perceived value to the customer. By meeting and exceeding customer expectations through teamwork, Sales and Marketing are more likely to build brand evangelists and a base of delighted clients who feel their needs have been met and exceeded.

5. Happier and more productive teams

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that conflict stresses people out, and can often impede productivity. By fostering a collaborative work ethic between Sales and Marketing, and by putting a strong service level agreement (SLA) in place, it's possible to see both teams flourishing alongside one another while producing excellent results. The key here is determining expectations and defining responsibilities and success metrics.

When each team knows what they're responsible for, and how it ties in with each other's work and ability to perform well, it becomes easier to focus on playing well in collaboration, instead of competition. Which in turn reduces stress, and leads to happier and more productive teams.  

Want your business to thrive?

It's time for the DevOps approach to take flight in Sales and Marketing teams – and to let Smarketing become the gold standard for seeing success in both sales and marketing disciplines. If you'd like to know more, feel free to drop us a line – we'd love to chat with you!

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