Let’s explore this age old question. We’re going to avoid using the word “smarketing” too much, but let’s just get it out of the way. HubSpot defines smarketing as “the alignment between your sales and marketing teams created through frequent and direct communication between the two.” And, we align with that way of thinking.
Diving into the difference
Simply put, marketing is the intelligence and sales is the execution. In commercial real estate, we see a clear workflow.
Marketing collects rent data, market research, and scope of the real estate industry, and then hands it to sales. They provide the leads for sales to execute. Sales takes this to educate the public, build relationships, and drive new business. They also acquire the on-the-ground insights.
On the outside, marketing and sales may seem very different. It takes two different personalities to do each job. Day-to-day roles are very different. Not to mention, there’s the whole salary vs. commission part. If you work among the ranks, there’s clearly a finger pointing back and forth on where the value lies.
Marketing likely thinks sales should take their great leads and close them, blaming them for not being a good salesman if they can’t. On the other hand, sales expects marketing to take their insights back and readjust their research. It’s common for these mindsets to stay stubborn and headstrong when considering who’s dominating in value.
However, there’s a delicate balancing act.
Finding the balance
Let’s face it. Sales and marketing have their fair share of differences.
For instance, 87% of the terms sales & marketing use to describe each other are negative via HubSpot.
But when marketing is the strategy and sales is the tactical execution, you simply can’t do one without the other.
You’ve likely heard of the feedback loop—the approach where marketing and sales communicate in a continuous loop, providing feedback back-and-forth and adapting their approaches based on this feedback. When this is broken, the ability to generate strong leads is also broken.
Sales must rely on marketing to provide aggregated data, market research, ongoing analysis, and audience information in order to be educated in the overall business strategy. What good does it do for a salesman to go rogue and ignore the research that defines their ideal customer in the market.
Marketing, on the other hand, must rely on sales to provide on-the-ground insights from their specific markets. While marketing teams have great insight on markets as a whole based on aggregated data and averages, they may not know the true responses or feedback from their potential customers. Sales teams funnel information back to marketing about what the marketplace looks like realistically, what prospects are saying, and how it matches the data.
No matter how large or small a company, it exists all the time; the disconnect between marketing and sales. However, truth is that the two teams are much more closely related than companies truly give credit. The goal here is to create unity and support between the two.
According to Shanker Chalekode, Chief Marketing Officer at Criterion.B, “Before getting promoted to a Sales or Marketing VP position, each should be required to have some experience in the opposite role, because you get better doing both jobs.”
It’s important to learn the other’s perspective. This automatically creates a connection between the two. Is your team doing that?
Make sure sales and marketing cohesion is built into the culture. Neither sales or marketing can feel like their king of the mountain. They’re both pivotal generals of the company. Whether a real estate vendor or developer, it’s always practical to create an equilibrium between sales and marketing counterparts to keep things truly even. A Sales Manager or Sales VP and Marketing Manager or Marketing VP should be at the same lateral level. It’s time to slash the “us versus them” mindset.
Growing your leads
The ultimate success that comes from balancing marketing and sales is the bottom line: better leads. When sales and marketing are united and practicing inbound marketing, it’s surprisingly easy to get better leads. With inbound marketing, marketing teams are putting out informative content to educate and address pain points of the target customer through the buyer’s journey.
Therefore, the time spent educating potential clients get shorter for the sales team. The potential client essentially knows what they’re looking for and what the offered services are before sales even approaches them.
By putting out excellent content (whitepapers, blog, social media, etc.) it’s easier to educate the target market up to speed organically and on their own time. Once they start following the content, they learn what general services can help drive business growth — they become aware that this service even exists (awareness stage). Before making a decision, they research further, trying to understand how this would look for their business (consideration stage). Once they’re ready to make a decision, they’re get in touch and ask highly informative questions (decision stage).
Inbound marketing doesn’t work without unity marketing and sales first.
So, the answer to our blog title is an obvious yes, but we hope you feel confident in building that symbiotic relationship between marketing and sales in order to see the inbound marketing process truly come to life.