The 2 Most Important Elements of a Tech Sales and Marketing SLA

Overwhelmed by the thought of creating a service level agreement (SLA) between sales and marketing? Don’t be. While tech companies are used to complex software SLAs, the most basic sales enablement SLA requires only two elements:

  • The dollar amount of lead value that marketing will deliver to sales
  • And the amount of time sales has to follow up

For example:

Each month, marketing will deliver $150K in lead value to sales, and sales will contact every marketing qualified lead (MQL) within 24 hours of receiving a lead.

But how do you know what specific numbers are right for your tech company? Here goes…

1. Marketing’s SLA Promise

Break out the calculator…here’s how to figure out a reasonable dollar amount for monthly lead value. First, gather up these stats:

  • Average conversion rate from lead to opportunity
  • Average conversion rate from opportunity to closed sale
  • Average value of a sale

So, for example, let’s say you’re a tech company that gets 100 leads every month that turn into 30 calls, that turn into 15 demos, that turn into 5 customers with an average value of $20,000. Instead of saying you’ll deliver a certain number of MQLs, write your SLA to pledge to deliver $100K in lead value every month.

2. Sale’s SLA Promise

Common sense tells you not to let hot leads sit for days (or weeks!) before you contact them. But, did you know that calling within five minutes increases your chances of connecting by 100x? (The average contact time is 42 hours.)

Chances are that’s an unreasonable goal for your tech company, so what would be doable? Shoot for no longer than one business day after they’ve been passed on from marketing. But of course, faster is better.

(Bonus!) Advanced SLA Requirements

Want to take your SLA to the next level? Here are some additional "advanced rules" you could consider including in your SLA:

  • How many times sales should follow up with a lead? Should that follow a specific cadence?
  • What specific types of MQLs should marketing send to sales? (For example:; people requesting a demo are more qualified than people downloading content.)
  • What will happen if sales rejects a lead previously qualified by marketing?

The Importance of an SLA

An SLA between sales and marketing aligns the two teams and holds each accountable to contributing toward one goal. And, according to HubSpot, companies with formal 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

So, what are you waiting for? Schedule your first smarketing (sales + marketing) meeting today and start laying some groundwork. In no time, your teams will cooperating, congratulating each other and your SLA will evolve proving the value of both departments to the success of the company.  


Sales Enablement Guide for B2B Tech Marketers

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Smarketing

Jen Lombardi

Written by Jen Lombardi

Jen Lombardi is the Head Honcho and Creative Genius at Kiwi Creative, a creative marketing studio for B2B technology companies. She has an award-winning background in print design, but is also a marketing maven, wizard of the web, grammar geek and all-around fun person.

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