DigitalMarketing, InboundMarketing, InboundSales

Have you ever thought Sales and Marketing Dpt. could work together without being involved in a never-ending fight? I know, it seems weird, but it’s possibile and it helps your business to grow.

Throughout the history of corporate industry, the Sales and the Marketing Teams of any organization have been in a perpetual feud. For two teams who essentially have the same larger goal of generating revenue for the company they are a part of, they sure do have their fair share of disagreements and conflicts.

So, what is the reason behind this conventional fall-out between the Sales and the Marketing Teams?

Even though they are both a part of one bigger picture, their individual roles differ from each other. Each, in its own position has to follow its separate goals. For instance the Marketing Team is supposed to create a favorable image of the company, while at the same time making sure that they bring in prospects, investors, customers, etc. The Sales Team on the other hand, has to focus on, in very crass terms, setting realistic sales target and fulfilling them in the stipulated period of time.

When seen as a sequential process, the Marketing Team is expected to generate leads, and transfer the qualified leads over to the Sales Team, so that they can effectively be converted into customers.

The dispute arises when one is dissatisfied with the other’s performance. Meaning to say when the Sales Team accuses the Marketing Team for passing onto them poorly nourished, and sometimes even irrelevant leads, which leaves the Sales Team no space to work on them and seal deals. The Marketing team, however retaliates by saying that the Sales Team is not effective enough, and that is why they end up losing leads they generated to competitors.

And the blame game continues.

How can you deal with this Sibling Rivalry?

You remember right, the tactic that your parents used whenever you and your sibling(s) were at each other’s throat?

The Corporate World has taken a leaf out of the Guide to Parenting, and decided to make the two teams work together, so that they wouldn’t have an option but to resolve their discords.

It was to get a hold of this idea of integration of the Sales and the Marketing Teams that the word Smarketing has been coined.

Sales + Marketing = Smarketing


What is Smarketing all about?

Smarketing is the alignment of the goals that the Sales and the Marketing teams of a company are supposed to work towards. The idea being that if the two teams have an integrated approach about how to meet their goals, there would be less disputes and more harmony between the two. Not to mention, the obvious result of generating the maximum revenue possible for the company.

Smarketing is a methodology that has over the last couple of years gained popularity as an Inbound Marketing tool. Inbound Marketing is primarily centered on drawing visitors and potential customers who are actually interested in resolving a pain point through a purchase of a product or a service. Smarketing is a way to hold on to the prospective leads and nurture them to make sure that by the time they reach the Sales team they are ready for purchase.

Through Smarketing, Inbound Marketing has figured out a way to coordinate the functioning of these two teams, so that their best attiributes can be put together to create something of more value for the company.

How does Smarketing function?

The easiest way to understand how a process works, is to look at its funnel. The Smarketing Funnel is basically a funnel that begins with the Marketing Team and ends with the Sales Team. And in between lies the smooth transition from one to the other. It means that instead of their separate funnels, the Sales and the Marketing Teams essentially share a common funnel.

How does a Smarketing Funnel work?

The most important thing when it comes to working with another team, is to share a common plan of action, one that is clear, and known to all parties involved. Both teams will tell you how important their Funnels are to them, so to get them to work together, the best way is to give them a common funnel to work with. Given below is the basic structure of a Smarketing Funnel. (Figure 1)


Just like every conversion Funnel, the Smarketing Funnel can also be divided into the three stages of the ToFu (Top-of-the-Funnel), the MoFu (Middle-of-the-Funnel) and the BoFu (Bottom-of-the-Funnel). As usual, the ToFu is the Marketing oriented stage and the BoFu is the Sales oriented stage.

What differentiates a Smarketing Funnel from a regular funnel is the second stage, i.e., the MoFu. This is where the transformation of leads from the Marketing to the Sales team happens. This is the most fluid section of the entire funnel. This is also the most important stage of the Smarketing Funnel as this is where the two Teams are in direct contact with each other as they come together to share responsibility. The only way that leads can be successfully carried on from the ToFu to the BoFu is if the two teams ensure that the transformation is closely monitored and carefully undertaken so that no leads leak during the process.

Now the question that arises is how do the two teams work as one at this stage?

A consumer enters the Smarketing Funnel when he/she, attracted by the Marketing Team’s efforts, visits the website of the company. They might have been intrigued by, for instance, a social media update they came across. And they have showed interest by visiting your website once. This qualifies then as a Prospect or a Visitor.

They move on to becoming a Lead if they, for example, request a demo or pricing, or some such information that shows that they are interested in the product or the service that you have to offer.

Up until this point, everything that happens in the funnel is solely the responsibility of the Marketing Team.


A lead becomes a MQL or a Marketing Qualified Lead, when they are deemed to be prone to successfully making a purchase, as opposed to other leads which are seemingly a dead end. Now the criteria that defines whether a Lead is eligible to be qualified as a MQL varies from company to company. This is where the Marketing Team gets in touch with the Sales Team, and they both put their heads together to create their definitions for MQL and subsequently the SQL, the Sales Qualified Leads. The SQL are the shortlisted prospective customers who have been nurtured and researched by Marketing Team, and have hence, been upgraded into SQL for the Sales Team.

This stage is therefore, the essence of the Smarketing technique which integrates the operations of the two teams, so that they fit together like jigsaw puzzles.

And then again, in the BoFu, comes the sole responsibility of the Sales Team. This is where they seize the Opportunity to convert the SQL, into a Customer, and so reaching the end of the funnel.

So, now that you understand the nitty-gritties of Smarketing, let’s talk about how you can make it more effective.


There are no questions about the ability of Good Communication to solve any dispute between different parties. Communication is a very important aspect of Management. And when you have two teams working together that conventionally don’t get along well, Communication is really the only thing that can get them to resolve their differences and work in harmony.

The problem that arises when the Sales and the Marketing Teams work together is the contradiction in their terminologies. To give an example, when referring to a lead, a marketing person might be talking about a visitor, while a sales person might be thinking about a prospective customer. Such discrepancies in terminologies make it difficult for the two to be on the same page. So, it becomes important that they follow the same definitions.

To be able to do this, they need to sit down together and talk. And come down to certain ground rules and basic definitions. This will make them compatible. They will understand each other clearly, and it will save both their time and efforts in the long run.

You will be surprised at what such basic communication can do to the workplace environment. Imagine a cafeteria where Sales and Marketing teams are intermingling! Smarketing is definitely the way to go forward if you want to improve your workplace atmosphere while also increasing your revenue. Believe us, your employees will thank you for this.


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