Integrating the marketing and sales sectors is one way to achieve more consistent goals and increase the conversion rate. See how the SLA helps in this process.
Marketing and sales do not always dialogue with a company. But aligning goals between these two sectors is an efficient way to thrive in business. That is why you need to define an SLA strategy.
This is the acronym for Service Level Agreement. In general terms, it is a question of creating mechanisms for different areas of the company to achieve the same objectives.
When tuning works, you can use Inbound Marketing to generate more qualified leads, which translates into the financial return for the company. Continue reading and discover the advantages of SLA for your business.
Why Implement SLA Between Marketing and Sales
The lack of agreement between the marketing and sales departments is an old problem. Each team works with different goals and has different perspectives. Thus, one group tends to hold the other accountable for poor collective performance.
This recurring issue among corporate gurus was pointed out in a study conducted by the Demand Gen Report website (DGR) and sponsored by Inside View consultancy. The data refer to workers from the United States, but they serve to illustrate the Brazilian reality.
According to the interviewees, the biggest challenge between the two tips is communication.
Soon after, come the internal processes, which fail and never work very well. The 3 biggest complaints are related to the metric discrepancy to evaluate the results of each team.
Nothing more natural. Marketing associates often think of broader strategies, which involve brand building and customer prospecting. The expected return comes in the medium or even long term. Sometimes it is difficult to measure it.
Salespeople work with shorter cycles and with goals measured in numbers. Conversion – the act of buying itself – is what matters most. In this context, the quarterly balance sheets become the parameter to measure performance.
The DGR survey also compared the expectations that one area presents with the other. Again, there are mismatches.
Sales professionals expect the marketing industry to attract more and better leads. Marketers, on the other hand, want colleagues to improve follow-up on leads and use systems, such as CRM with more consistency.
The solution to these impasses is to act in an integrated way. It may seem difficult but it is necessary. Implementing an SLA is part of this path.
How to use SLA for marketing and sales
The Service Level Agreement establishes responsibilities, deadlines, metrics, and goals that should be shared by all employees involved in the process. In other words, each one knows how to act, how much time they have to perform the task, and what the expected results are.
When such an agreement occurs between sales and marketing, everyone wins. The company now has clearer goals and tangible means of assessing performance. Teams better understand not only their role but also the role of others.
Not to mention the biggest advantage: more assertive prospecting and retention of customers. In this way, the resources of the business can be invested with intelligence, guaranteeing the sustainability and the expansion of operations.
Of course, tactics may vary depending on the industry segment. Still, there are some basic tips for entrepreneurs who want to institute SLA in the firm. Here are some of them.
It’s not just about talking more, but about understanding yourself better. Meetings between managers, although necessary, can take a lot of time and little action. The effort ends up being a waste of energy.
Periodic conversations should happen, yes. It is necessary to know what are the problems that arise in the day to day of the company and to think how to solve them. But these discussions must be objective, focused on solutions and opportunities for improvement.
It sounds like a generic conversation, but experience leads to improvement. If the employee knows when and to whom to turn in a certain situation, it is because the procedures are functional. This brings us to the next point.
The great trump of sectors that dialogue is the possibility of reorienting the strategies so that all the same target. It is no use claiming that the leads are not qualified, or that the attracted public is not loyal. The low return may be an indication that marketing and sales have shaped different people.
Therefore, it is essential to define the consumer profiles that the brand intends to achieve. From there, mechanisms of conquest and retention are created, as well as metrics to verify their effectiveness.
Departments can work with deadlines and deadlines. It is estimated, for example, that X people will visit the store’s website within a week. Of these, 20% should subscribe to the newsletter to check promotions and launches – and so on.
In fact, Digital Marketing is an efficient tool to attract and retain customers. We’ll talk more about this feature soon. (I.e.
The Service Level Agreement, especially in small establishments, works very much on the basis of practical experience. Knowledge lies in the head of the owner or managers, so there is no way to replicate it on a large scale.
However, the larger and more complex the company’s actions, the more it is necessary to document internal processes. Workflows, routines for each team, goals and performance indicators should be in the archives – all, of course, after proper meetings to define business objectives.
Standardization is good for inserting and training new employees, as well as reiterating the roles of each team member. The SLA should also predict the behavior adopted at each stage of the sales funnel: who to look for, how to approach the lead, and how to increase conversion.
It is worth remembering that the steps cited so far are not definitive. As the market changes, companies have to change the route and sometimes change strategy.
If metrics prove to be inefficient, or if ROI and conversion collapse, some methods need to be revised. Communication between the marketing and sales areas also serves to define what will be changed in the SLA.
Inbound: Digital Marketing Helps Achieve Goals
In times of crisis, the SLA needs to adjust to a harsh reality: the tight budget. Although advertising the brand is important to detach it from the competition, the cost of advertising campaigns, promotions and point-of-sale actions can be impractical, especially among startups.
The good thing is that there are cheaper and more effective methods to make your business competitive. One of them is Inbound Marketing. This digital marketing technique is used to win consumers spontaneously. To do so, the content distribution is used. Are blog posts, videos and other materials that provide some relevant information and to the public.
The topics covered serve to delight and educate users. A bank can maintain a page with personal finance tips. A grocery store that specializes in organic products may also advertise vegan recipes.
At that time, the so-called funnel top, there is still no commercial approach. The idea is to generate traffic to the site and make the name of the venture known. However, if the visitor signs the newsletter or leaves their phone to receive more news, it is considered a lead.
As subscribers read, enjoy, comment on, and share the content of the company, the chances of conversion increase. This is because, being a reference in a particular niche, the brand tends to reinforce its credibility.
There are different types of leads, ranked according to the degree of engagement. Are they:
It is the subject of the first stage. He even registers on the site, but without showing interest in the products or services that the company has to offer.
The acronym for Marketing Qualified Lead, or Marketing Qualified Lead, designates individuals with some intent to purchase. They are the ones that show more engagement: access links to download eBooks or accompany webinars to delve into the topic. These are typical funnel fund activities – closer to conversion.
With the information that the visitors provided at the time of registration – age, profession, the field of activity, etc. – it is possible to better identify the profile of who is interested in the disclosed material. In this way, it is possible to see if the strategy of Inbound Marketing reaches who should.
The volume of people who reach this stage is usually smaller. It’s all right. If the public is reduced, but receiving solutions to their specific problems, they will probably hire the product or service they offer.
That’s what makes an MQL become SQL. The Sales Qualified Lead, or Sales Qualified Lead, is even more engaged, to the point of being willing to negotiate with the company, including contacting directly. Therefore, it is ready to receive an offer, either by email or by phone. With luck, you’re a customer.
Integration across industries through an effective SLA is the key to boosting the conversion rate of leads. That’s because marketers filter and pass on potential customers to the sales team.
By documenting the profiles of subjects that one wants to convert into clients, the communication of the teams is in tune.
When marketing understands better who has real chances of conversion, the resources of the sales department are allocated with more assertiveness. That is, do not waste time with leads that will not come to naught.
At the same time, if rejection is high and purchases are not successful, marketers can help marketers restructure the lead evaluation process. Sometimes the people imagined at the beginning may not be the ones who, in fact, will be conquered by the brand.
Reiterating, it is the SLA that builds this bridge between marketing and sales, based on processes, metrics, and deadlines shared by all.
As for Inbound Marketing, you should continue to generate content for all stages of the funnel. This ensures the maintenance of the customer base and makes room for higher goals to beat.