How to Run a Smarketing Meeting
The first time I ever heard the word “smarketing” was in a meeting with my boss. He had just discovered this new term and wanted to implement it across the company. A few days later, I received an email that explained how we were going to run our first smarketing meeting on Wednesday at 2pm. I felt like I didn’t have enough knowledge of what smarketing means so I started reading articles about it online. It turns out smarketing is simply sales + marketing which makes sense since the two go hand-in-hand for any business to be successful
If you work in inbound sales or marketing then you will appreciate the importance of putting the buyer first and why sales and marketing should work together as one team. In comes Smarketing.
This is the process in which we align the sales and marketing teams behind a common purpose to improve the customer experience.
A Smarketing meeting is when sales and marketing come together to work on common problems, share ideas and work together on solutions.
1. Focus on Problem Solving
This can be as simple as discussing and solving one problem per week. What it can’t be is a free for all where everyone in sales and marketing gets to complain about their personal gripes. Set the expectation early that Smarketing meetings are there to help overcome common problems that add friction to the buyer’s journey or prevent leads from becoming customers.
Sales and Marketing alignment can be a tricky task as most organisations silo the two teams, often with completely different reporting lines. Smarketing meetings are your opportunity to work as one team, bringing together problems and solutions.
Setting an Adenda
Try setting a clear agenda like:
- 5 minutes – Review the last meeting
- 10 minutes – Update on progress on current problem-solving deliverables
- 10 minutes – Discuss new problems
- 5 minutes – Set new action items
Notice there’s little wriggle room for other business, if you see a bit of socialising between the teams then great, that actually helps the whole process but do not get dragged into discussing other projects or activities that aren’t related to Smarketing. This time is precious, it’s rare to get both teams together and you’ll get more buy in if people can see real results. For bonus points, consider organising some sales and marketing events outside of work to help build relationships or even create small cross-functional teams where sales and marketing sit and work together. This sort of Smarketing alignment isn’t for every business, but it is the fastest way to break down silos and get sales and marketing on the same page.
2. Give Equal Representation
Be Picky Who you Invite
The last thing you need in a Smarketing meeting is for one team to do all the talking, but equally, you don’t want to single out one or two eager beavers, sales and marketing meetings are for everyone. If you find some people aren’t contributing and when asked say they don’t have anything to contribute then un-invite them. It sounds a bit harsh but depending on the size of your business, if you invite the entire sales and marketing teams, you could have dozens of people sat there with nothing to say.
A good place to start is to have the Sales and Marketing Managers ask their teams who would like to be involved, explain what it is, its purpose and its frequency and see who is interested. Ultimately you want people to speak up and share their ideas. This doesn’t mean it will have to be the same people at every meeting, you can swap people in and out. I’ve found a good balance for my teams is to invite one-third of each team, get into a routine and add in “guest speakers” whenever one of my team would bring up an idea or a problem. Then, rather than me repeating what they said, I can have them present it their selves. Over the long term drastically improves engagement on both sides.
Give Everyone a Turn
Once you’ve got your attendee list sorted, think about structuring the meeting in a way that everyone gets a turn. If we break down my example agenda, we can be very specific with the representation of each person:
- 5 minutes – Review the last meeting (Change the note taker each week so they can present a summary of the last meeting)
- 10 minutes – Update on progress on current problem-solving deliverables (give 2 minutes to each deliverable plus extra question time)
- 10 minutes – Discuss new problems (Open the floor to everyone and go round the grounds, ask every person if they have anything new)
- 5 minutes – Set new action items (Make sure each person knows what they’re responsible for, if someone doesn’t have any action items, consider getting them to collaborate with someone else who does)
3. Set a Frequency and Intensity
Set a Frequency
For me, a 30 minute Smarketing meeting once a week works wonders but give this some good thought before implementing it in your business. The last thing you want is to sit there each week with nothing to say because not enough time has passed but equally, too long between meetings and you’ll have deliverables being rolled out without any feedback or review process.
A good place to start is to survey your teams to see what they think, they will after all be giving up their time to do this. You might find a fortnightly meeting is a good place to start and you can work forwards or backwards from there.
Set an Intensity
I’ve found it immensely beneficial to stick to 30 minutes and not a second more and I make that abundantly clear to everyone from the get go. Again, this isn’t an any business type meeting, this is a problem solving mission. The longer the meeting the more work that will come out of it which might sound like a good thing but at the end of the day, sales and marketing resources are finite and the goal here is to prioritise the most impactful items first and get them done as quickly as possible.
Use a project management tool like Asana or Monday.com to keep track of each action item and give everyone access so they can see what’s being worked on and more importantly what’s been achieved so far. If you’re creating any content within your CRM such as email nurture campaigns, share these so everyone can see what their contacts will be receiving and provide feedback.