CEOs, Listen Up: Effective SLAs Aren’t Just for External Relations

We get it: Sales and Marketing alignment has become a bit of a cliche in the modern business world; there are countless blogs, articles, and papers on the subject. But at Skaled, we’re dedicated to simplifying complex problems with people, process, and technology-based changes.

Our upcoming eBook Sales and Marketing: Bridging the Gap is our data-backed guide to help enterprise-level Sales leaders find these technological and process-based solutions for themselves, aligning their goals of increasing sales revenue and optimizing lead gen.

We dig deeper than what sales and marketing misalignment is in order to demonstrate what true alignment looks like, and where an effective SLA comes in. Our statistically proven tips and tricks for future-forward Sales and Marketing Leaders not only make sense of how small decisions can change overarching business operations, but provides the basis for synergy and growth between Sales and Marketing: a clear and effective SLA.

Effective SLAs Aren’t Just for B2Cs

SLAs for Marketing and Sales teams are more important now than ever before, as the 2017 State of Inbound Report found that less than half of marketers can describe their company’s Sales and Marketing teams as even “generally” aligned.

Inter-departmental relationships mean just as much – if not more – than vendor-client relationships. In business, teams tend to assume that their department is the backbone of the entire operation of their company. While yes, companies without Sales teams (obviously) will not generate revenue; sales wouldn’t have leads to push through the sales pipeline without the Marketing department.

A lack of guidelines means that both Sales and Marketing teams tend to live in their own bubbles and have varying ideas of how their relationship should play out. But companies with an SLA in place are 34% more likely to have a better year-over-year ROI, as found by Hubspot.

A well-defined SLA provides a basis of accountability for all other Smarketing alignment steps to stem from. It outlines the responsibilities that fall under both teams and creates a clear path for alignment while streamlining cooperation between both people and the technologies used to increase what counts: the bottom line.

Creating a Bang-On SLA

You don’t want to waste your time by creating an SLA that doesn’t hit the nail on the head when it comes to your alignment issues. An SLA between internal Sales and Marketing teams should include:

  • A clear, identifiable definition of what a “Qualified Lead” is for your business.
  • A broken-down description of the Sales team’s role in finding and maintaining leads.
  • The materials both departments will need to meet their goals.
  • An accessible and clear cadence of communication to be used between teams.

Post-development, the most effective SLAs for Smarketing alignment are frequently reviewed for effectiveness using metrics that demonstrate a level of understanding and effective inter-departmental communication, such as:

  • MQL to Sales accepted leads.
  • The complete length of the buying cycle.
  • The number of leads sent back to marketing automation software.

Through the accurate measurement of these metrics, the 40% of Marketers who report their top marketing challenge as proving the ROI of their marketing activities can hit two birds with one data-backed stone.

Our upcoming eBook Sales and Marketing: Bridging the Gap is designed for CEOs and enterprise-level Sales Leaders dedicated to aligning their Sales and Marketing departments to close quality deals and become best-in-class Sales organizations. Sign up for our newsletter to be notified when it’s released.

Looking for more in-depth sales industry insights from Skaled? Download our eBook Hiring Superior Salespeople and sink your teeth into our series of accompanying blog posts.

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