Written by: Cristina García
With the boom of Inbound Marketing have been coined or rescued terms that we should take into account and even implement although we do not carry out the Inbound Methodology. One of these terms is ‘Smarketing’, that is, the process of bringing together sales and marketing teams based on the common goals of your tourism business.
Marketing and sales teams don’t have to be antagonistic in you business story. In fact, this would be counterproductive for you. Your company has one ultimate goal: getting more reservations or online purchases.
We don’t want misunderstandings, so both teams should speak and understand the same jargon, use the same language. To facilitate this process, both should use the conversion funnel (Marketing and Sales) and concepts like Top, Middle and Bottom. Traditionally, the Top of the Funnel (TOFU) is the responsibility of the marketing team. The Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) is sales team responsibility. And the Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) is shared responsibility of both.
In each section of this funnel there are more specific life cycle stages to be defined. Both teams must know and use each concept equally. In order not to confuse the terms, it is important that both agree on the definition of each concept and commit to use them, mainly in the middle part of the funnel.
For example, in the Middle of the Funnel, the MQL (Marketing Qualified Leads) are those more active sales opportunities, those prospects that consume a more specific content, that they share in our social networks, that is, that is closer to the Objectives of our business. For these leads you can activate questions on the website forms that give you better knowledge of your purchasing preferences.
This stage allows defining the quantity and valuing the quality of the sales opportunities that pass from the marketing team to the sales team. And once the sales team has considered that an MQL should be a SQL (Sales Qualified Lead), its goal is to turn it into an opportunity. When this opportunity finally closes the sale, you get a new customer for the business.
You must avoid transferring contacts to Sales that are unfit or uninterested. Therefore, in order to identify the MQL (Marketing Qualified Leads) that Sales should focus on, you must have sufficient contact information to evaluate if they are really interested in using your products and / or services.
For example, if a lead doesn’t show much interest, Marketing should feed its interest with specifically targeted content, for example via email. A content that is focused on bringing value to this prospect. But if there is interest, you must ensure it as MQL and try to have Sales follow up with service emails to assure this prospect that when he is ready to make the purchase or reservation, he will have the right assistance.
However, the funnel is not always linear. There are MQL that can return to an earlier state. If they had switched to SQL, the sales team has to evaluate how much interest they have in order to be at that stage or if otherwise the responsibility has to move to the Marketing team again. If an SQL turns out to be unfit for sale, the most sensible thing is to reconsider its state in the funnel.
The key is to know what funnel states each team works with, what content and strategies they should use, and how they can help each other. In order to communicate with prospects, each team must learn to communicate and work together.