Smarketing: Integrate Sales And Marketing To Add Value

Sales and marketing are merging and soon the two disciplines could become indistinct. Here's how to join them up seamlessly for better results and more successful selling.

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Sales and marketing are merging and soon the two disciplines could become indistinct. Here's how to join them up seamlessly for better results and more successful selling.


Smarketing: Integrate Sales And Marketing To Add Value

Sales and marketing are merging and soon the two disciplines could become indistinct. Here's how to join them up seamlessly for better results and more successful selling.

Share this article

Should sales be a function of marketing or vice versa? I’ve had many a wine-fuelled, heated debate on this topic particularly with many accountants who often believe that sales is a sub-set of marketing.

But the reality is, that the line between the two business functions is becoming more blurred than ever before, and businesses need to wake up and adapt their sales and marketing functions, hence the new word I’ve coined Smarketing.

Buyer’s are delaying their interaction with your sales team, and can be as far as 70% of the way into their buying decision before you even become aware of them as a prospect.


By 2017 a third of the middle/senior management workforce will be made up of Millennials. You know the type – the digital natives who prefer 24/7 availability online and who think in terms of ‘social’ when it comes to communication.

This generation expects to be communicated with and served differently by companies and brands than the generation before.

Generation X

The challenge is that the majority of middle/senior managers making business decisions now are from generation X, born before 1980, or what I like to call BG – before Google.

Although many consumer brands, particularly those targeting the Millennials, are adjusting to be able to market and communicate through a multi-channel approach, much of mainstream business has failed to grasp both the importance and opportunity this shift has created.

Traditional marketing

The traditional role of marketing is no longer sufficient: identify the gap in the market, create a brand identity for your product or service, create lead opportunities through effective front-end marketing and provide a sales team with the collateral they need to convert.

Sales and marketing – i.e. Smarketing, need to work much more closely together and almost to the end of the complete sales cycle. One of the new roles of marketing is to support sales in winning the mindshare of the customer long before you even know them as a prospect.


A gorilla suit might help you shift stock, but then again it might not


This could involve content management, via a variety of sources including obviously website, social media, blogs, articles (digital and in print), white papers and free downloads. The terms ‘Thought leadership’ and ‘Freemium models’ are not new, but the purpose of either of these strategies should be focused on winning mindshare prior to engagement.


Placing, content on owned or earned platforms is no longer enough. We need to be clear on how people are engaging with it, or if they are not, why not. In addition we now have a glut of free value added information available to the marketplace. So your marketing team needs to be data savvy, to understand what content you’re target client needs and is searching for when they are in their research phase.

Then they need to be certain what format the customer wants to consume it and over what timescale.  This enables your team to effectively nurture your hidden opportunities. This is true whether you sell services or products, regardless of whether your offering is complex or simple.

So the first job of your Smarketing team is to use data analytics tools and develop insights that answer these questions, and then clean out the unwanted content from your pre-customer journey.

Social Selling:

Your ‘traditional’ sales team is not exempt from this change. They now have more ways than ever before to connect with prospects before they engage formally. In fact sales representatives who actively engage in social selling are shown to outperform their peers by 74%*

But it’s going to require a paradigm shift for many, and a willingness to persevere and make sense of the evidence that provides insight into your prospect’s behaviour.

They should be following and engaging their target prospects on relevant social media, or being fed these ‘pre-prospects’ via internal marketing intelligence, so they can track a prospect’s social or digital engagement before deciding on the absolute best time to reach out.

Questions to ask

Does all of your sales teams have the right social media profiles (up to your professional standards) and guidance on how to use them?

Does your marketing team have a multi-channel marketing plan, which includes the tracking of relevant content and successful pre-prospect engagement methods?


Once an initial engagement has been made with a prospect the combined Smarketing approach should continue. No longer is it the sole responsibility of your sales team to simply add the contact to your CRM and maintain the relationship through the pipeline. There are so many platforms and communication methods available today that enable an ongoing nurturing relationship.

Your sales person will likely be focused on using telephone, text, email and face to face, to invite your prospect forward in your pipeline. But a co-ordinated and combined Smarketing approach will help accelerate this process.

Here are some ideas:

  • Interesting discussions in a managed LinkedIn group or Facebook Page that you can invite people to
  • Automated email or print nurture campaigns that are timely, personalised and relevant.
  • Product sampling with social media reviews and features
  • Invitations to VIP client events using member only social media to promote alongside electronic tracking to monitor engagement

An integrated Smarketing team can only happen if you have:

Success factors:

1) Invested in the team with the right competencies to deliver this for your business.

I find it very interesting that even in the past few weeks at some of our Company Shortcuts events I’ve been asked to share with a number of fast growing businesses our role profile template for a ‘Social Media and Digital Marketing Manager’.  So obviously some businesses are waking up to the fact that this is the biggest hole in their Sales Engine currently.

Some have previously invested in outsourced support from a Digital Marketing Agency, but now feel it’s time to bring that role in-house for better clarity and visibility across their whole sales function.

2) Complete integration of sales and marketing technology

There must be interoperability between the intelligence, customer data collected and reporting across these areas. If they do not interact operationally – you cannot win.

Today we have more data available to us about our businesses than ever before, so you have to become obsessed with the numbers. We used to use data to understand business outcomes, now you should be using data to inform your business strategy.

Every touch point in your customer journey matters – it needs to add value. So in my opinion the answer is Sales is no more a function of Marketing than Marketing is of Sales. The answer lies in one combined function, which I’ve affectionately named Smarketing.

You can learn more about how to create a Smarketing leadership team at the Company Shortcuts events.

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Smarketing: Integrate Sales And Marketing To Add Value

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