How To Hack the Marketing to Sales Handoff  A Presentation by Charles Elmer

How To Hack the Marketing-to-Sales Handoff: A Presentation by Charles Elmer

If you’re a marketer, you’d know that one of the primary goals of marketing is to have increased sales. But the fact remains that you need a certain level of collaboration and correspondence between all departments of a company to succeed. However, as it happens, this discussion is quite often understated when it comes to measuring success at a B2B organization.

The Marketing and Sales sides, in particular, have to withstand a great deal of friction between each other for a plethora of different reasons. This friction can often be harmful to the company’s general success, and hence it’s of absolute significance to eradicate it.

Charles Elmer from Bayard Bradford uses this point as the premise of his presentation and talk on Inbound 2020 and explains how detrimental lack of correspondence between Marketing and Sales can be to your company’s success.

He also shares some handy tips, tricks, and techniques throughout the session to help you get started on Revenue Operations, which the emerging discipline that introduces collaboration between Marketing and Sales.

All in all, he tells you exactly what to do to ensure that the Marketing-to-Sales handoff at your firm remains lucrative and does not hinder its growth.

So let’s look at it.

The Importance of an Adequate Marketing-to-Sales Handoff

Before commencing his presentation, Charles explained the importance of the marketing and sales departments “flexing collaborative muscles” and forming a functional relationship.

According to a survey carried out by Hubspot, regardless of how good your marketing is, it is essentially the number of sales you make that determine how successful your B2B organization is. So sales are indubitably an essential component of measuring the growth of your firm.

However, marketing is also a vital part of the operations. It is supposed to be given the same effort as sales because, according to Charles, it is a part of the sales. The ultimate goal of any marketing project is to generate sales, and the failure of correspondence between the two is bound to lead to some damaging friction.

Hubspot’s research in 2018-2019 shows that most companies lose 15%-35% of their impact because of their conflict and the organization’s spectrums. Therefore, it becomes critical to take the best measures to get rid of this rift.

The Disconnect Between Marketing and Sales

The fact there is a disconnected and unbalanced relationship between the two branches is an undeniable fact. Charles explains the reason behind this disconnect. Traditionally, Marketing has had more to do with branding and advertising.

On the other hand, Sales has always been directly connected to the fun stuff – the revenue. Because of this reason, Sales gets the major spotlight, whereas Marketing is hushed into what Charles describes as the “dog house.”

Why Is It A Problem?

Charles believes that this disconnect is outdated and redundant, given the current corporate atmosphere. Marketing is beneficial; it is advanced and has the right tools and instruments to generate sales teams’ leads. And at the end of the day, it is all in the leads.

Leads feed sales – so it is essentially Marketing that powers sales. But for that to be a reality, there has to be a practical, long-lasting handoff and “massive collaboration” between the two.

What We Mean by Collaboration

Today, the majority of marketing tools are online and automated. In contrast, most of the Sales action happens manually. The paramount collaboration that needs to be introduced here is through a shared space where both the departments can correspond and thrive together, simultaneously and following each other.

The fact that essentially, everyone works for Sales helps. How, you may ask? Well, according to Charles’ presentation, the ultimate goal of Marketing is also to hit the right numbers for Sales. In this regard, everyone truly is working for Sales.

Marketing gives Sales all the hot leads generated online and the warm leads that have been nurtured over time with automation. On the other hand, Sales provide subject matter expertise for content at each stage of the buyer journey. So, Marketing and Sales are closely interconnected.

As such, the best results can only be driven by close and careful collaboration between the two. This, according to Charles, is precisely why platforms like Hubspot are so essential. Hubspot allows the necessary space for Marketing and Sales to collaborate on both a micro and macro level, as shown in the Presentation.

#Smarketing – The New Way to Go

The necessary collaboration between Sales and Marketing is termed as “Smarketing.” Charles explains this concept as the alignment between an organization’s Sales and Marketing teams achieved through frequent communication.

Smarketing, according to Charles, includes mundane things like celebrating wins together, tracking both teams’ progress simultaneously, and sharing product features with both marketers and salespeople.

How to Get Started with Your Dream Handoff?

To help you materialize the ideal handoff between Marketing and Sales, Charles gives three steps to get started:

Step#1: Planning

The first thing that is crucial to get started on the handoff is a plan. Sales and Marketing need to come together and form what Charles labels as a “cohesive revenue growth plan.” Planning together and then taking actions to fit that plan will introduce considerable harmony between the teams and encourage a greater handoff.

Step#2: Correspondence

Charles stresses on the utmost importance of regular correspondence between the team members of Marketing and Sales. He advises establishing an SLA and setting a standard meeting time between representatives of both the teams. He further recommends designating specific tasks to the marketing and Sales representatives, respectively.

For example, Marketing is to be responsible for handling web leads to Sales as well as reviewing recent content that is directly relevant to Sales. On the other hand, Sales should be responsible for providing market trends, being the customer’s voice, and listing target accounts to watch for.

Step#3: Cadence

Charles says that the third step to getting started on your Smarketing dream is to create a “cadence” for reporting. Charles says that the progress on both sides is not validated unless it has been reported back to the upper management. Regular reporting is what creates that collaborative equilibrium for everyone to work in. Essentially, you should develop a cycle of reporting progress from both teams to the leadership for review. This can be done monthly, quarterly, yearly – it’s up to you. You just need to make sure that it is regular so that a beneficial communication rhythm can be established.

What Are The Benefits of Revenue Operations?

So, what do you get from putting in a tad bit of effort into the relationship between Marketing and Sales? Well, according to the examples given by Charles, you may get a lot.

Encouraging better correspondence between the teams can lead to growing your retainer. Charles gave an example of a B2B inbound agency that grew from $10k in projects to $250+k in projects, just in 4 years! This remarkable growth was accelerated by an integrated strategy that allowed the Marketing and Sales teams to work closely together.

According to a customer testimony provided by Charles, eradicating the friction between Sales and Marketing leads to monumental efficiency in all operations. The customer, who is the VP of Sales and Marketing, expresses delight over how the Sales team is passionate about what is being done on the Marketing side – and how that has led to success in other areas of the company.

“The feedback from our client base has been fantastic. The blogs, the monthly newsletters, and the case studies…That’s been an excellent effort, and it’s contributed directly to the growth of the company.” In short, the relationship between Sales and Marketing is absolutely crucial for business efficacy.

Additional Tips and Tricks to Boost the Handoff

Following the presentation, Charles also answered any related questions in a live session. He explained that the divide between teams that comes from not having the same platforms to utilize could be fixed by systematic integration, e.g., between Hubspot and Salesforce.

He also explained that an ideal handoff between Marketing and Sales has everything to do with regular communication. The collaboration you are looking for will come from communicating regularly. Therefore, that should be the primary focus of your strategy.

Key Takeaway

All in all, Charles further pinned the importance of establishing a rapport between the teams to efficiently co-exist, function, and contribute to the company’s success. Revenue Operations is definitely the future for the corporate world, so it’s better to start brushing up on your Smarketing techniques from the get-go!

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