This is a slightly longer section but stay with me because it’s a really important concept.

If you’re in sales, I’m sure you’ve heard this one before…

The leads that the marketing department send over are really poor quality. They are a waste of time to follow up.

You may be surprised to hear that there is a similar conversation going on over in the marketing department.

Sales never follow up on our leads properly. We send leads over and hear nothing. Then when they close deals they think they did all the work and marketing never get recognition.

This polarisation makes is very hard for sales to close leads from marketing and marketing to improve lead quality. There is, however, a solution. It’s called a Sales and Marketing SLA.

But before I expand on what this SLA is, let me explain to you – the sales professional – why you need the marketing team more than ever.

Power has shifted in today’s purchasing process

When I started in sales, my sales manager dumped a Yellow Pages on my desk on my first day and told me to get calling. 100% outbound. 100% cold calling. This doesn’t work anymore.

The power has shifted to the buyer. The explosion of information available on the internet has allowed buyers to research what they want and need long before they talk to a salesperson.

Buyers today research independently. They then select the vendors they wish to engage with, and only then reach out two or three of them.

When that buyer calls in they are pre-qualified and the salesperson has at least a 33% chance of closing them. (Provided they are an ICP of course.)

This shift in power makes the marketing team a critical part of the modern sales process. The sales strategies that work hand in hand with marketing will win.

According to HubSpot, companies with formalised Sales and Marketing SLAs are:

  • 34% more likely to experience greater year-over-year ROI
  • 21% more likely to get greater budget allocations
  • 31% more likely to be hiring additional salespeople to meet demand
  • 4X as likely to say their marketing is effective

Ok, so what is a Sales and Marketing SLA?

SLAs are commonplace when signing on new customers. But they are a little foreign between departments in the same business.

A Sales and Marketing SLA agrees on the marketing goals, like the number of qualified leads delivered, the sales activities that will follow up and support them, and the feedback between the teams.

The sales and marketing teams will both use this document as a guide to support each other in their core functions of sales and marketing.

If they are off track the other team can call them out and hold them accountable.

The end result is a relationship between both teams that starts to synergise and accelerate results for both sides.