Insights | Sales

4 Reasons You Need a Sales and Marketing SLA Today

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Loren Straub

July 15, 2016

A Sales and Marketing Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a contract defining certain key performance metrics and the working relationship between Sales and Marketing Team. SLAs are becoming much more common in all kinds of companies, as they are the number one way to keep sales and marketing teams on the same page. These agreements, in short, map out a company’s sales and marketing goals, while aligning certain company views such as Lead Definitions and Ideal Buyer Personas. In doing this, the Sales and Marketing Teams as well as the rest of the company have a clear view on protocol within these departments. This ensures that there is no confusion or miscommunication occurring between employees, which is important for any business.

Not convinced? Here are four reasons your company should have a Sales and Marketing SLA:

1. Sales and Marketing Alignment = Growth: Alignment between Sales and Marketing is crucial not only for spreading the word of your product, but also to securing your initial customers. However, more often than not, these two teams have differing views (i.e. what is a “workable lead” or how should sales interactive with leads), which are detrimental to growth. These teams need to have the same idea of what their priorities should be, and how they should focus their efforts towards accomplishing those priorities. Having a Sales and Marketing SLA allows them to be in communication often, which ensures that they will never develop differing views or protocols over time, keeping everyone in check. This communication will also lead to more unity within the teams, and more success overall.

2. Agreed Upon Ideal Buyer Personas = Efficiency: Both the Sales and Marketing Teams at a company need to have an ideal Buyer Persona defined, in order to know what type of customer they are trying to secure. Without this alignment, these teams will end end up with the marketing team providing their definition of leads to the sales team who define them totally differently. As a result, causing inefficiency and ineffectiveness in your sales process overall. Thus, it is critical to clearly state and agree upon the profile of your Ideal Buyer Persona, in order to maximize the prosperity of both the Sales and Marketing Teams.

3. Setting Sales and Marketing Goals = Accountability: This ensures that both the Sales and Marketing teams know what their responsibilities are, and how effective they need to be. Establish some Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to use to measure success, and define the extent to which both of the teams need to be performing with these metrics in mind. This allows both teams to have full knowledge of their respective expectations, while also making it easy to review the goals at the end of the month or quarter, so that the teams may improve for the next cycle.

4. Managing and Exchanging Leads = Conversion: Knowing how to handle leads correctly from their first discovery to their first day as a client is a very meticulous process, and thus must be managed with care. Both teams need to know how to handle the various steps throughout the process, and what not to do along the way. The Marketing Team needs to know how and when to contact leads, and when they are far enough along the sales process to be passed to the Sales Team. Next, the Sales Team needs to know how to manage the leads once received, in order to maximize the rate of leads becoming clients. Having a Sales and Marketing SLA will ensure that both departments know the protocol behind handling leads and the timing behind the process, allowing them to maximize their own success.

Ready to make your first Sales and Marketing SLA? Check out this Hubspot blog with a free SLA template and additional detail on creating your first SLA.

Special thanks for Jack Blattman for his contributions to this post!