Heard of “smarketing” yet? More than a cute word mash-up, it’s the “meeting-of-the-minds” between sales and marketing with the goal of optimizing every part of the sales process.
But how do you get two rival departments to work together on an ongoing basis? The answer is simple: regular smarketing meetings that generate ideas for a bigger-picture sales enablement program.
If you’re interested in implementing these types of brainstorming sessions at your software or technology organization, keep reading for three of the most important elements of successful smarketing meetings.
#1: Be Choosy About Invitees
Smarketing meetings are not the place for the CEO and COO. You'll want participants to freely and openly discuss vulnerable problems…and let’s be honest— that isn’t going to happen with the president of your tech company in the room.
That said, you don’t have to limit invitees to just members of the sales and marketing departments, either. At a software company, the top help desk support agent might have some great ideas about common troubleshooting questions that could be valuable to answer during the pre-sale stage.
Don’t be afraid to rotate meeting attendees, either. You’ll get a more diverse point of view and can easily stop inviting people who aren’t participating. (If attendees say stuff like “I’m happy just to listen” or “I don’t want to be a don't have anything to say” then they’re out!)
Just remember: the general consensus is that groups are most effective with fewer than 10 people.
#2: Establish a Rhythm
How often should you have smarketing meetings? In general, most companies find that bi-weekly or monthly is reasonable. But, adjust your cadence for what works for your company. Just be sure to schedule events on a regular and repeating basis in advance, otherwise it will slip off everyone’s radar—not to mention, calendar.
If you want to have meetings more frequently…good for you! To keep things from getting redundant, try making one meeting per month a longer session where you take extra time to expand on the regular agenda by recognizing top performers or unique creative solutions to problems. Or, consider making one meeting each quarter an offsite retreat (emphasis on the "treat" part).
#3: Focus on Solving Problems
As much as we love a good ol’ pat on the back, smarketing meetings should be focused on solving problems first (vs. handing out trophies or giving motivational speeches—that's a whole separate gathering). To keep these meetings short n’ sweet, follow this very simple agenda:
- Identify problems and focus on those that will have the biggest impact
- Brainstorm solutions
- Assign people to follow through
When brainstorming potential solutions, don’t be afraid to get creative and take risks. (See tip #1: no executives allowed in the room!) Since you’re having smarketing meetings on a regular basis, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to course correct if your experiments don’t go as planned.
Get by with a Little Help from Your Friends
If you’re already having successful internal smarketing meetings, but don’t have the internal resources to bring all of your awesome sales enablement goals to life, consider hiring an outside agency specializing in software and technology to help out. ↓ (Nudge, nudge—wink, wink!)