Today, every savvy marketer and salesperson has heard of SMarketing, the term coined by HubSpot describing alignment between sales and marketing departments.

But SMarketing wasn’t always a thing. Many sales and marketing departments used to focus on their own goals, ignoring the objectives of their counterparts. Some still do.

HubSpot wanted to change that, so they pioneered the concept of SMarketing.

One of the players involved in the early days of SMarketing at HubSpot was Chief Revenue Officer Mark Roberge. He’s a big advocate of holding teams accountable with a service-level agreement (SLA). He wrote about creating a service-level agreement back in 2010, which HubSpot has since elaborated on.

In HubSpot’s popular slide deck on The Power of SMarketing, they outline five steps to integrate SMarketing:

    1. Speak the same language
    2. Set up closed-loop reporting
    3. Implement a Service-Level Agreement (SLA)
    4. Maintain open communication
    5. Rely on data

Creating a service-level agreement is an essential part of adopting the SMarketing philosophy.

But is an internal contract like this actually effective in holding teams accountable? Well, we had the chance to speak with Mark Roberge himself to find out how to create an SLA that works.

Roberge is a fan of the SLA because it helps sales and marketing teams emphasize what’s needed to reach the bookings number. It’s basically a contract (of sorts) that holds both sales and marketing accountable.

What’s In A Service-Level Agreement?

For marketing teams:

  • How a lead is qualified before it’s ready to be passed along to sales.
  • The number of qualified leads needed each month.

This ensures that the marketing team is consistently providing the sales team with a certain quantity and quality of leads. Every marketer knows that it’s critical to have a quantifiable lead goal; it’s the lead quality goal that trips people up. With predictive lead scoring, this goal becomes much easier to manage.

For sales teams:

  • How quickly sales reps must attempt to contact a lead.
  • How many attempts each rep makes to contact that lead.

This holds the sales team accountable for following up with leads in a timely fashion, which is crucial for inbound leads. When sales reps contact leads five minutes after they’ve downloaded your marketing content, they are nine times more likely to convert. This also makes reps responsible for attempting each lead a certain number of times.

These SLA metrics increase sales and marketing alignment drastically by setting goals directly tied to the bookings number, so everyone knows why they’re important.

Want to find out what HubSpot’s SLA looks like? Check out our eBook: How to Create an SLA.

Who knows, you may end up growing your revenue by 20%.