The “State of Inbound Marketing and Sales 2015” soft-released by marketing automation leader HubSpot this week shows that companies in which marketing teams and sales staff cooperate and purchase software together produce better business results.

The study has been expanded in its seventh year to include the area of sales (in addition to inbound marketing) and offers actionable insights for top and middle management looking for better ways of qualified lead generation online, closing business, and growing their sales.

The State of Inbound clearly shows the C-suite to better understand the bottom-line value inbound delivers better than their marketing teams and sales managers. They therefore buy into the inbound methodology more readily and seem to be exerting more pressure on their marketers and salespeople to show results in the form of a measurable ROI (Return On Investment).

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How Marketing & Sales Deliver Better Results When Working Together

Aligning the marketing with the sales process and people, as well as using integrated marketing automation and CRM software (Customer Relationship Management) involves much closer cooperation between the two disciplines. Such an arrangement is ideally signed off in a Service-Level Agreement (SLA). Businesses working that way see better results, so ignoring integrated marketing and sales is done at their peril.

Sales and marketing staff are more likely to see a decrease in their budgets or, worse yet, downsizing of their teams without such an agreement in place and successfully acted upon.

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The SLA: Key Elements and Benefits

It is critical that marketing and sales departments and staff find metrics they can agree on. They need to not only see critical KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), such as a prospect’s expected Life-Time Value (LTV), the dollar (or Euro) value per lead, but measure against mutually agreed on goals and do so regularly: implement, measure, learn, repeat.

87% of remarks made about each other between marketing and sales staff are negative, which shows potential for significant and measurable bottom-line performance improvement.

sla-lovedallasstylecopyright  2013, Voltage Productions

The important areas that need to be covered in an SLA are:

  • Look at who does what how often (email nurturing, active contacting)
  • Online benchmarks & metrics (KPIs)
  • Very strong mutual accountability (e.g. number of qualified leads)
  • Extensive cooperation through regular meetings (track, report)

The above area of sales and marketing integration is only a small part of the extensive, 72-page study. Get the full picture of how to hunt more effectively with your marketing and sales by getting your own copy using the link below.

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Stephan Burckhardt

This marketing vet is based in Greater Vancouver, Canada. He has worked in B2B marketing in Silicon Valley and Europe, was CEO of a large agency serving B2B startups, trans-nationals, and everything in between. Focus: technology, healthcare, professional services.
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