Service Level Agreement: What Are They and How Do You Create Them
From housing contracts to pre-nuptial agreement, it is important to define what is expected when two parties come together. A Marketing team and a Sales team coming together to work is no different. That’s where Sales and Marketing Service Level Agreements come into the picture.
A Sales and Marketing Service Level Agreement, or a SLA, is between a Sales and Marketing team. The idea behind a Sales and Marketing SLA is to start a collaboration between the two teams.
The SLA creates a set of standards, expectations, and requirements between sales and marketing.
It is up to the two teams to work together to properly market to leads and transform them into sales. Establishing a standards is critical to both sides succeeding in what they do best—market and sell.
Service Level Agreements help add definition to a pipeline by helping the sales team know A. what characterized a marketing-qualified lead and B. how it becomes a sales-qualified lead. They help add clarity to the funnel for marketing teams in A. clearing defining the definition of a sales-qualified lead and B. establishing the opportunity to lead status path.
SLAs benefits BOTH Marketing and Sales teams. By creating an SLA, the Sales and Marketing teams have already made clear agreements and expectations that build off of their goals for moving forward.
So now that you know what a Service Level Agreement is and how it can help, how do you create one?
STEP 1: WHO
The first step to creating an SLA is to decide who will actually be the individuals creating the agreement. It is important to have both the Sales and Marketing teams represented fairly. It is up to these representatives to look at all the teams involved and decide how they should be represented in the agreement.
STEP 2: WHO and WHAT
Once the team to create the SLA is decided, they should determine upcoming dates that are important and what deliverables should be included. Create a document that decides who is responsible for what and how certain actions will impact the Sales and Marketing teams.
STEP 3: BUILD OUT
The SLA directly affects the pipeline. The creation committee needs to build out terms and definitions for each scenario the teams may encounter. What does your company define as an MQL? How do you define an SQL? Is the marketing team is responsible for creating all content that will be pushed out to potential customers? It’s important to look at and define what type of content will be pushed out at different stages in the pipeline.
A service level agreement has many important factors but one of the most important parts is to remember the two teams are working together. Marketing teams work hard to create content and Sales teams work hard to close deals. SLAs help reinforce the hard work both teams are putting in for the overall benefit of the company as a whole.
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