According to the Harvard Business Review, B2B sales staff are in serious need of rethinking their relationship with marketing. Furthermore, its imperative that marketers use data to measure their impact on positive business growth. Each relies on the other for overall business development. In this video blog, we explain the value of service level agreements in our clients' business development intiatives.
Transcript - The Value of Sales and Marketing Alignment
Sales and Marketing alignment means getting both sides of your business development efforts on the same page. In essence, sales and marketing should form a 360-degree customer contract with each other, where the sales team recognizes that marketing is there to get them in front of opportunities. So, it’s their responsibility to get marketing to understand what the ideal customer looks like, and really help them know what they’re looking for so that marketing can serve the sales team well, by getting them leads that are the most attractive, the most valuable; the best fit for what they do well.
If you put a Service Level Agreement or SLA in place, you would quickly begin identifying opportunities to improve how you do business development. Because both parties have a hand in setting expectations and both parties are responsible to each other, you have a two way street.
That’s something that a lot of organizations don’t have. They have one direction: a linear path, where Marketing helps create leads and then Sales is off and running – they aren’t responsible. There is no quality check in either direction. When you have that SLA in place you have quality checks in both directions, and you have a very explicit, volunteered accountability – from each to each, and that’s powerful.
We sometimes get a response from traditional sales and marketing management that having an SLA in place, or going through the process of creating an SLA might lead to a more of an adversarial relationship between the two functions. That just isn’t the reality from our experience. Our experience tells us that going through the steps of each function viewing the other as their customer, and working to come to an agreement on how they’re going to operate opens the channels and get’s them on the same page. It leads to a better appreciation of what the other is doing.
So, in a lot of ways, an SLA is a lean approach. It’s eliminating the waste, it’s eliminating unnecessary steps, and it’s focusing on the steps that add the most value to business development.
Posted by Greg Linnemanstons With 18+ years in senior management roles at Fortune 500® and medium-sized companies, Greg has deep marketing and sales experience with CPGs and manufacturing. He leads strategic initiatives with clients and is involved in developing client inbound marketing plans. Greg holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and a B.A. in Economics from Lawrence University.