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Posted by Todd Hockenberry ● Mar 27, 2024

Aligning Marketing, Sales, and Service for Predictable Industrial Manufacturing Revenue Growth

Marketing and sales alignment. Important?

Marketing generates a bunch of leads.

Sales says the leads are not good.

Predictable Rev Stream Creative post 3Marketing says the leads are the target persona and job title.

Sales says we aren't getting any meetings booked from these leads.

Who's right? Who's wrong?


This is a failure of leadership every time.

Setting goals for the company and not aligning all of the people and resources to achieve them is a very common mistake I see with our clients.

My daughter works for an education services company as the lead inbound marketer and she relayed the above conversation from her company almost verbatim to me recently.


My good buddy Dan Tyre of HubSpot coined the term Smarketing to describe the necessary alignment of everyone in the process of generating, nurturing, and closing deals.

There are three key steps to creating a SMarketing department:

  • Develop a common vocabulary
  • Set common goals
  • Create a Service Level Agreement.

Developing a common vocabulary between marketing and sales starts with everyone agreeing on the ideal buyer persona and buyer journey.  SMarketing requires agreement on definitions for leads, deal stages, and team actions. Other areas of common vocabulary include defining lead quality, handoffs between marketing and sales, defining life cycle stages, and responsibilities for taking action steps.

The next step is to create shared goals with a service level agreement (SLA). An SLA is a tool used to ensure that marketing and sales teams are accountable to each other. An SLA details the specific commitments of both teams, including the goals they need to meet and the activities they will perform.

A Marketing SLA will define the number of leads, MQLs, and SQLs for each day of the month. A Sales SLA will define the number of calls, emails, and contact attempts for each lead by type. An SLA consists of numerical goals that lead up to the overall revenue goal. SLAs have proven to be an effective tool, with a recent study finding that 81% of companies having this type of agreement have an effective marketing strategy.

When building a SMarketing SLA, each team is responsible for certain information.

  • Marketers should know details like:
  • Best lead sources for highly rated leads
  • Search, website, email, and social media conversion rate from visit to lead
  • Number of leads each sales rep needs to hit their quota
  • Average lead to customer conversion percentage

Sales should know these details:

  • How many leads can a sales rep handle?
  • How many leads will sales create on their own?
  • How many contact attempts should they make for each lead type and at what pace?
  • Average days to close by lead type

A SMarketing team needs to answer the following questions together:

  • Who is the ideal buyer persona?
  • What are the characteristics of the ideal buyer profile company?
  • How are the buyer stages matched to the sales process?
  • What is the total shared revenue goal?
  • What are the individual sales rep quotas?
  • The pace of sales attempts by lead type?
  • Which dashboards will be used to show progress to goal?
  • What is the average sales deal size?
  • What is the average lead-to-customer close %?

Build alignment by practicing Smarketing.

Not only will the buyers you connect with appreciate the effort so will your bottom line.

But where to start?

Centralized View of the Customer

In our world, it is not uncommon in industrial manufacturing companies for sales, marketing, and service to work as wholly independent departments with little interaction and different tools to track their interactions with prospects and customers.

The problem with this arrangement is that prospects that aren’t ready to buy or have moved beyond the top of the funnel brand awareness tend to get lost.

By contrast, having a centralized view of the customer by aligning your sales and marketing departments ensures that every person, prospect, or customer, no matter where they are in the buyer journey has a valuable and seamless experience.

Creating a centralized view of the customer means having a single record of every event or interaction the prospect has had with your company that is shared across departments and teams. This creates a seamless experience (no providing the same information over and over) and allows every team that deals directly with the prospect to tailor the experience to the individual.

Guess what? You need a CRM. 

Using a CRM creates a centralized view of the customer and forces the alignment that leads to opportunities for improvement.


Want to learn more about creating a centralized view of the customer, smarketing, and creating predictable revenue growth? You can read this article, Predictable Revenue Growth for Industrial Manufacturing Companies (Part 3), on the Stream Creative Blog.

If you are looking for more manufacturing marketing information, check out our guide here.

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Topics: Sales, Inbound Organization, Marketing, Manufacturing