Aligning Marketing and Sales With Exceptional Results: Ventarketing
Understand the concept of Ventarketing and the importance of having your company’s sales and marketing teams aligned.
The term Ventarketing (which, as you may have noticed, is a combination of the words sales + marketing), represents a union of these two departments through an alignment of objectives, metrics, and processes to drastically increase the efficiency of customer acquisition.
This term comes from English Smarketing (Sales + Marketing ).
The good news is that companies dedicated to content marketing are already one step ahead in the implementation of Ventarketing since a good content strategy goes beyond just attracting the attention of the public.
Through the content mapping in the funnel, it is possible to accompany it until the purchase decision is made (or almost), which already naturally brings the marketing and sales departments closer together.
And you don’t need to just believe what I’m saying: according to a study by the Aberdeen Group, organizations with aligned sales and marketing teams “achieved 20% annual growth in their turnover while the others saw their turnover fall 4% year over year.
But, what is really needed to implement a Ventarketing strategy?
1. Everyone speaking the same language
In “traditional” companies, the gulf that sometimes exists between the marketing and sales department is incredible.
One department simply does not know how the other works and they basically speak “different languages” within the company.
In the end: Who is the ideal customer? What is the goal of the other department? Which marketing actions impact sales the most? What is the length of the sales cycle?
When both departments fail to answer questions like that, there is a loss of information, alignment, and efficiency in the process.
A marketing team that focuses only on producing content – for an audience that it considers being the ideal – does little help to the sales team.
At the same time, a sales team that takes marketing as a subordinate department, that only serves to make beautiful flyers to aid in the sale, is not helping the acquisition process at all.
For this reason, the two departments must be aligned in relation to definitions, terms, and basic processes, such as:
- Who is the person the company wants to reach?
- What is a lead?
- What is the ultimate goal of the acquisition process?
- How is the customer process in marketing?
- What are the stages of the sales process?
Basically, the whole process should be the same in the heads of all the professionals involved.
This creates a conceptual unity that avoids misinterpretation in the communication between the two teams.
2. Communication between teams
It is useless for the head of a department to create a glossary, hand it out to everyone and say that now the departments speak the same language.
The day-to-day of the marketing and sales departments is extremely dynamic and the exchange of information must be constant so that there is always learning.
For Ventarketing to be well implemented, there needs to be structured and constant communication between the two teams to exchange information.
Finally, how is the marketing team going to know that the leads sent are good or if the campaigns are working? Or on the other hand, how can the sales team prepare for a specific action from the marketing team?
Create frequent meetings between the teams (I suggest they be at least weekly) to share information, use some communication software – like Slack, for example – and always encourage members of both departments to get up from their chairs and go to clarify their doubts with other work colleagues.
This exchange of information will naturally lead to more efficient processes, decisions made with more bases, and in the process, it will reduce the isolated groups at the company’s end-of-year party.
3. A formal employment agreement (SLA)
So far, all the points shown for the implementation of Ventarketing are focused on improving communication between teams, which is essential for the company to achieve its objectives.
Now is the time to determine, within the customer acquisition process, what each department must do to make all of that work efficiently.
And for that to happen it is essential that there is an agreement between the departments, known as the SLA ( Service Level Agreement ).
In practice, an SLA is the set of rules that determines the actions and related documents at each point of contact between departments, preventing subjective factors from causing one team to blame the other in case the objectives are not achieved (if you already worked in a more traditional company, you know that happens all the time and is extremely stressful).
Here are some examples of SLA’s that can be implemented in a Ventarketing process:
- Deliver 100 MQLs ( Marketing Qualified Leads ) per month to the sales team.
- An MQL is a company with more than 100 employees, who interacted with some company content in the last month and with a marketing budget in excess of $ 30,000 per month.
- Get in touch with each lead in a maximum of 1 hour after it was passed through marketing.
- Try at least 4 connections before giving up on a lead.
When such rules are well defined, the roles of each department are clear and measurable.
From there, no salesperson will be able to claim more that the leads are bad and the marketing department will have no more argument to say that they are the salespeople who are not knowing how to work with the leads.
As long as everyone follows the agreement, subjective perceptions are out of the process.
Ah! And it also helps a lot to bring peace and harmony to the work environment.
Finally, do not forget to evaluate the SLAs to see if it is possible to improve them so that each time they bring even better results.
4. Metrics, metrics, and more metrics
This is my favorite part of all Ventarketing, but one that some professionals have difficulty understanding (salespeople tend to be more used to it): everyone involved in the process must have specific and numerical objectives.
In addition, the performance of each department in each stage of the process must be measured so that it is possible to understand the points of failure and opportunities, and it is possible to financially measure the impact of each of these stages.
There is much to analyze and improve in this funnel, such as conversion rates, cost per lead, etc; but we go for the simplest thing: the cost of acquisition of each client (CAC) is $ 2,500. Can you tell me if that’s a good number?
Ok, ok, I admit that the question itself is a joke because you still lack the essential information to know the answer: what is selling?
If the product in question is a $ 400 microwave, that acquisition cost is very high, but if it is an $ 80,000 car, the situation is reversed and the cost is very good. As I always say, the important thing is ROI.
In my opinion, the focus on metrics is the best thing that can happen in any marketing team.
Think well, without Ventarketing the marketing department is only a cost center, which is cut when there is a crisis or a cost reduction.
In the end, how would you measure the ROI of an outdoor or a flyer, for example, or even that of an ad on Facebook, if the generated leads were not tracked to the sale?
From the moment when marketing shows that with $ 2,500 of investment you generate 50,000 leads, and for example, you sell a car for $ 80,000, the game changes and it becomes a source of revenue.
That way you just have to ask your manager to increase the budget and with that, you will increase sales (ok, I simplified it, but it is almost that).
So, marketers and advertisers, it’s time to lose your fear of Excel.
5. Software integration
This is one of the “secrets” that make the Contents sales team extremely efficient: when they receive a lead through CRM, they already have the entire history of their interactions with content and marketing actions.
With that, the seller already knows much more about the maturity stage of the client in relation to the service, their interests, among several other things.
Many of the calls from the sales team begin like this:
This type of connection is very powerful.
For it to work well it is very important that the information is not lost between the software used by the sales team and the marketing team. And you don’t need to use complex systems for that:
- If you are already in a more advanced stage, connect your marketing automation platform to your CRM through API.
- In case you don’t use a CRM yet, give your salespeople access to the automation platform.
- Or, in the last case, if you use spreadsheets, make sure everyone has access to them.
- Now, if you’re not tracking anything, it’s time to seriously rethink your marketing and sales.
If you got this far, I hope you have understood that Ventarketing is, above all, a change in mentality in relation to the way companies deal with customer acquisition.
All the processes and tips cited here are just a practical consequence of that mindset, and so if you want to create your own processes, feel free to do so, there is nothing wrong with that.
Actually, if you have any good ideas, share them with us.
Do you want to learn everything about content marketing? Then do not stop reading our articles on this website.