Smarketing: Aligning Your B2B Sales and Marketing Teams

If you’re in a leadership role in any part of a B2B organization, no one has to tell you that the marketing department is expensive, and the sales department is costly. Marketing campaigns cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars a month to a couple hundred thousand dollars a month — and there’s never just one campaign. On the sales side, salaries, commissions, travel, entertainment, miscellaneous expenses and samples all add up. 

As a result, B2B leadership wants to get the best possible return on its marketing and sales investment. However, unfortunately for many companies, a lack of alignment between sales and marketing causes an ROI implosion, with revenue, customer retention and close rates all suffering as a result. 

A lack of alignment is easy to see if you talk to people in the marketing and sales departments. Sales reps will tell you that the leads from marketing are terrible and marketers will tell you the sales reps don’t participate in their marketing campaigns or communicate them incorrectly. Sales reps are using one standard to measure their success and earn their paycheck while marketers are using an entirely different standard of measurement to gauge success. 

Is it any surprise that in this type of situation customers get confused, grow indifferent and take their business elsewhere?

To improve this problem of misalignment or to take smoothly functioning sales and marketing teams to an even higher level of success, savvy B2B organizations can implement a smarketing strategy. 

What is smarketing? The resource below, Smarketing: Aligning Your B2B Sales & Marketing Teams by ServiceSource,provides an excellent introduction to and overview of what smarketing is. It also explains why it’s fundamentally important and includes some basic steps necessary for rolling out a successful smarketing strategy. 

Smarketing simply means bringing your sales and marketing operations into alignment. It may be simple to explain, but it can be far from easy to achieve. Smarketing requires sales and marketing teams to work together. These teams need to share information, collaborate on sales and marketing activities, work toward shared goals, participate in collective incentive programs, communicate regularly and effectively, and learn to give and take constructive criticism from the other side. For some organizations, the activities just described involve fairly easy-to-digest changes; for others, smarketing may require a grand shift in work habits and the entire company culture.

However easy or challenging smarketing may be for your organization to implement, the payoff is profound: Instead of your sales and marketing departments cancelling each other out, you’ll have them working together — to eliminate the competition. To learn more about smarketing, check out the accompanying resource.  

Author bio: Grant Clarke is Senior Vice President of Global Sales Operations and Pre-Sales Consulting at ServiceSource. His experience and knowledge uniquely position Clarke to scale his capabilities to ensure ServiceSource is focused on improving the customer journey for the company’s clients. 

This infographic was created by ServiceSource

Brian Farrell is a coach, helping clients achieve their personal and professional goals. He's also the creator of the "QA2 Method". For more about Brian, visit