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The Ultimate Guide to Service-Level Agreements (SLAs)

Marketing Alignment with Sales
The Ultimate Guide to Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) 60% of global respondents in a LinkedIn survey believed that misalignment between sales and marketing could damage financial performance (LinkedIn 2020), yet there are a number of disconnects between the teams from strategy to process. At many companies, it can feel as if there are 100 miles between sales and marketing. One of the most critical steps to aligning your sales and marketing efforts is creating a service level agreement (SLA). Traditionally, an SLA serves to define exactly what a customer will receive from a service provider. But SLAs serve internal operations as well, and sales and marketing agreements are among the most crucial. Ultimately, an service-level agreement is designed to create alignment between two parties by setting clear expectations and mitigating any issues before they happen. With that in mind, there are multiple types of SLA depending on your use case. 1. Customer Service-Level Agreement A customer SLA is precisely what it sounds like: an agreement by a vendor to deliver a certain level of service to a particular customer. Here's a fun example: In the TV show The Office, the company, Dunder Mifflin, supplies paper to various organizations. They might have a customer SLA stipulating that Dunder Mifflin will supply with 50 reams of paper per month, shipped every Monday to and by Darryl Philbin -- with a confirmation of delivery sent to Jim Halpert. (Sorry, we had a little too much fun with the references...