A service level agreement (SLA) has long been a smart method for fostering internal alignment around expectations and goals. In inbound marketing, having an SLA between sales and marketing is particularly important for building the process and feedback loop necessary to achieve growth. As Marketing begins generating more leads online, Sales needs to have buy-in. This video blog explains why marketers need to step up and sell the Sales team on the SLA-based practices to achieve the growth both teams are seeking.
Transcript - Marketers, Sell Sales on the Value of an SLA
An SLA has a promise of Marketing delivering X number of leads, and Sales is promising this process of effective lead management. So, I think the SLA has to go deeper than just the Sales head and the Marketing head. Understanding really what's happening in an SLA and how it can work all together is going to make everyone more successful.
Within our organization, we report out in monthly staff meetings our progress to our goals when it comes to our service level agreement—our alignment between marketing and sales.
It's so much more than marketing and sales even; everyone in our organization plays a role in business development and growth. Knowing what it is we set out to do and how we're going to do that is, I think, really important. Then, everyone can play a role, and you're more powerful with everyone behind that goal and that process than without.
In a lot of organizations, there isn't a great organization between sales and marketing. [Sales says,] "Yeah, whatever, they're going to get me leads—I'll believe it when I see it. Right!"
But when, you, Marketing can go and share that this is the process in which we're going to manage these leads; let me tell you about this. And when you welcome feedback and participate in the sales process and really understand the process, I think you develop the trust and relationship that helps sales and marketing work together.
The sales team will care about Marketing when they start to see that what Marketing is doing is helping them close more sales. Developing an SLA and being really transparent in the process, I think makes Marketing a very critical part of Sales' day-to-day process.
The more Sales knows—the more they understand—the better they'll be able to manage the leads that they get. But, in addition, the more you can improve the relationship between Sales and Marketing, the less waste there is, the more marketing is in tune with what sales needs, the more sales is in tune with what marketing needs—that's when there's endless possibilities of what you can do.
Posted by Nicole Mertes As Weidert Group's lead salesperson and business development strategist, Nicole heads up the agency's new business strategy and provides sales consulting services to clients.
Prior to her role at the agency, Nicole was an advertising manager at Gannett, one of the nation's largest media companies. With 10+ years of experience in advertising sales, she understands the complex relationship between marketing and sales within organizations.