Smarketing: Get Marketing and Sales on the Same Team at Your Dealership
In the auto world (and in just about every other industry), there seems to be plenty of fighting between sales and marketing departments. We tend to think of them as two separate teams instead of one team pursuing a common goal.
That’s not good for any worker’s sanity, and it’s not good for your store’s results. Here’s why and how you should work on marketing and sales integration — or “smarketing” — at your dealership in 2017.
What Is “Smarketing”?
Smarketing is defined by our HubSpot friends as “alignment between your sales and marketing teams,” created by persistent, direct communication between the two.
Whether you’re a sales manager who’s frustrated that your marketing team isn’t handing over enough quality leads, a marketing manager who’s frustrated that your salespeople aren’t pursuing leads well enough, or an overwhelmed GM who wishes your two factions would just figure it out already, a strategy focused on dealership marketing and sales integration might be exactly what you need.
The 3 Things You Need to Make Smarketing Work
So what goes into successfully getting sales and marketing to work together? Here’s a breakdown:
1. Common Goals
Aligning the departments means deciding on shared goals — measurable, SMART goals — that both sides are held accountable for reaching. How many leads are marketers responsible for generating each month? How many of them do salespeople need to follow up with?
And what is the main goal — the number of sales — that your dealership sales and marketing teams need to deliver each month?
By establishing clear benchmarks and actively discussing progress on them, your two teams become one team working toward a common goal.
Smarketing goals should be decided upon by both departments and evaluated frequently to look for areas of improvement. Which brings us to . . .
Sales and marketing need to be speaking with each other directly and openly. It doesn’t work for sales staff to speak ill of marketing, or the reverse.
If there are problems, they should be unpacked in a dialogue between sales and marketing, with both parties ready to put effort into a solution.
How you handle communication is up to your store, of course. At 9 Clouds, we have standing weekly meetings where any member of the team can voice concerns, ask questions, and share ideas. Some weeks go by without much being said, but it’s valuable to have the time set aside just in case.
At a weekly or bimonthly smarketing meeting, you can go over successes and break down mishaps. You can review the sales funnel and buyer’s journey together and coordinate on the strategies used to bring leads to closing.
What is most paramount is that the two sides of your team are able to communicate productively.
For the changing world of automotive sales, a working knowledge of marketing efforts is vital to interacting with a customer. Put simply, people don’t buy cars the way they used to.
With all the resources available online, buyers are stepping on your lot armed with better research than ever before. The salesperson is no longer the arbitrator of information. Leads have likely been exposed to online reviews, OEM feature pages, and professional third-party comparisons of different models long before visiting your store.
This is fantastic for consumers, but it means salespeople have had to rethink some strategies. Luckily, your marketing team is (or should be) right there with them — any dealership paying attention to the shifts in the industry has been launching content marketing campaigns for car buyers for a couple years.
Now, sales teams can catch up, making sure that every man and woman knows what kind of information is out there for consumers (both on your site and on the greater web).
Meanwhile, marketers needs to hear the concerns of sales teams on lead quality and what makes an ideal buyer in order to keep refining their methods. Let your marketing team join in on some sales calls to help find where there are hangups.
Don’t shirk blame off on one another. Join forces and make each other better.
Start 2017 on the Same Page
As you seek to unify your dealership’s sales and marketing teams, get a sense of what’s around the corner for the online automotive experience. This Thursday, December 8, we’re covering the five trends of auto marketing that we’re predicting to be vital in 2017.
Join us for the free webinar, live at 11:00 a.m. CST, or just sign up to get yourself a recording with all the insights, questions, and answers that we think will prepare your team (both halves of it) for success in the next year.