I have to admit, when I first started learning about the inbound sales and marketing process, I was overwhelmed by how different the process was than traditional sales. One of the most important epiphanies I had was my understanding of the necessity for improved sales and marketing collaboration. Leveraging collaboration between your sales and marketing operation can dramatically improve the results of your inbound program. Collaboration begins with the creation and annual review of your buyer personas. The needs of your customers are continually changing, and sales can provide valuable insight as to current customers concerns, questions and demographics. Marketing in turn can create the persona that drives your content calendar.
Collaboration Between Sales & Marketing with a Service Level Agreement
Another way to encourage collaboration between sales and marketing is to create an annual service level agreement. A service level agreement outlines agreed upon terminology for your inbound program, performance of sales and marketing in the prior year as it pertains to conversions and revenue goals, and outlines the goals for the year to come.
Collaboration at its core is what creates a truly aligned sales and marketing operation. Traditionally, sales and marketing in our industry worked in silos, with very little collaboration. Marketing generated the leads, and sales was expected to close them. The challenge is that when occupancy isn’t headed in the right direction, marketing becomes frustrated with sales (believing that sales isn’t carrying through on their end of the bargain by converting enough leads) and sales becomes frustrated with marketing, feeling like the quality of the leads leaves much to be desired. With a solid inbound program, troubleshooting where the problem lies becomes scientific rather than an emotional response to stress.