- Published: Apr 27, 2023
- Last Updated: Nov 7, 2023
- 11 min. read
Maria CarpenaEmerging Trends & Research Writer
- Maria is an experienced marketing professional in both B2C and B2B spaces. She’s earned certifications in inbound marketing, content marketing, Google Analytics, and PR. Her favorite topics include digital marketing, social media, and AI. When she’s not immersed in digital marketing and writing, she’s running, swimming, biking, or playing with her dogs.
Having your marketing and sales teams working in harmony is the ultimate dream. They’re at their most effective when they work together, target the right customer personas, drive conversions, and grow your sales and revenue.
Effectively align marketing and sales teams and propel your business growth with the help of this page. The topics we’ll cover include:
- What is marketing and sales alignment?
- How to align marketing and sales teams
- 5 benefits of sales and marketing alignment
- 4 problems that sales and marketing collaboration addresses
- By the numbers: 3 marketing and sales alignment statistics
- 3 things marketing must do for sales
- 3 things sales must do for marketing
Want to get the latest sales and marketing info delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for free!
Don’t miss our Marketing Manager Insider emails!
Join 200,000 smart marketers and get the month’s hottest marketing news and insights delivered straight to your inbox!
Enter your email below:
Inline Subscription Form – CTA 72
“*” indicates required fields
(Don’t worry, we’ll never share your information!)
What is marketing and sales alignment?
Marketing and sales alignment is the practice of establishing a shared framework of goals and strategies between your marketing and sales teams. Aligning your marketing and sales teams can help you improve your business’s return on investment (ROI) and sales productivity by eliminating data silos.
What are data silos?
Data silos between marketing and sales teams are a common issue across various industries. Data silos are large bulks of information within your company that are limited solely to one team or department.
Data silos happen when each department gathers information, but doesn’t share them with each other. As a result, marketing teams run campaigns without a clear conversion objective, and sales teams don’t share the customer insights they’ve gathered.
How to align marketing and sales teams
Now that you know what sales and marketing collaboration is, let’s explore how businesses like yours can align their marketing and sales teams. Here are six best practices for sales and marketing collaboration:
- Define and agree on common terms
- Determine the teams’ common goals, strategies, and key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Create a structure for your teams
- Document your system and processes for everyone to understand and appreciate
- Agree on external messages
- Invest in sales enablement
Let’s go through each best practice:
1. Define and agree on common terms
How does your organization define a qualified lead? Your marketing team might define it one way — but what if your sales team defines it differently? You don’t want that, so take the time to ensure your marketing and sales teams define and agree on standard terms.
In addition to qualified leads, some terms that marketing and sales departments should discuss and agree on are:
- Ideal customer profile (ICP)
- Buyer personas
- Customer touchpoints
- Customer journey
- Lead status
- Lead scoring
2. Determine the teams’ common goals, strategies, and key performance indicators (KPIs)
Once upon a time, sales and marketing functioned distinctly and had different goals. Sales roles were focused on revenue, while marketers were focused on driving traffic to their websites and increasing digital ads’ reach.
As the customer journey evolves to become a personalized and smooth one, customers expect a seamless handoff from marketing to sales. As a result, the sales and marketing team’s goals and strategies have evolved – some goals are now shared as both departments can influence them.
Marketing and sales teams can collaborate on reaching KPIs like conversion rate and lead value. What are the other important KPIs that your teams must track? Here are the other sales KPIs you must monitor.
3. Create a structure for your teams
Once you’ve established the teams’ shared goals, create a structure, so you clearly define the responsibilities of each team, thus avoiding confusion on who is accountable for specific tasks.
Identify the roles of each team. For example, you can assign your marketing team brand awareness and lead generation. Meanwhile, your sales team is in charge of converting leads into customers.
4. Document your structure and processes so your team can understand them
Keep a live document of your structure and processes to guide everyone on your team and new members joining your organization. Should you need to improve your processes, your sales and marketing teams can review this document together to create a more streamlined workflow.
Having the live document available for everyone as a reference also helps them appreciate everyone’s contribution toward the shared goals of both teams.
5. Agree on external messages
To provide a seamless and personalized experience for your prospects and customers, marketing and sales teams must agree on the marketing messages and terms they’ll use when communicating externally.
For example, let’s say you’re in the business of home improvement. Ensure your customer-facing team members follow a consistent naming convention for your services so your prospects and customers don’t get your offers confused!
6. Invest in sales enablement
Sales enablement is a process that provides your sales department with insightful data, content, and tools to help them qualify and nurture leads and close more deals. It sets up your marketing and sales teams for success, as they can access the information and tools they need to grow your bottom line.
Sales enablement tools like MarketingCloudFX (MCFX) equip your sales and marketing teams with valuable insights about your leads. MCFX also offers other features that can help you improve your sales processes:
- LeadManagerFX: How many leads visit your landing pages? Which campaigns effectively drive conversions? LeadManagerFX lets you easily answer those questions and manage your leads through active daily reporting and real-time info about your site visitors’ actions.
- CallTrackerFX: This tool tracks phone call sources and gives you real-time data on those calls. You can even generate specific phone numbers for each marketing campaign to gain better insights into each campaign’s performance.
5 benefits of sales and marketing alignment
Creating a process that aligns your marketing and sales teams can be tricky, but it helps you:
- Better understand your customers and their needs
- Map your customer journey more accurately
- Improve your conversion rates
- Shorten your sales cycle
- Increase your revenue
Let’s go through each of those benefits in more detail.
1. Better understand your customers and their needs
Your marketing and sales teams must know your customers well and understand their pain points. By working together and sharing intel about your prospects, sales and marketing teams can understand your customers better to attract, nurture, and convert leads.
In addition, they can create accurate buyer personas. What marketing messages resonate well with each persona? What is your customers’ feedback on your product? By aligning marketing and sales, you’ll have valuable customer insights to fuel your strategies.
2. Map your customer journey more accurately
At which touchpoints do your customers stop engaging with your business? Which touchpoints drive your prospects to proceed with their purchase?
Your sales and marketing teams gather the answers to these questions. Together, they also collect information about your prospects and customers’ journey with your business.
By piecing together the information each department gathers, you map a clearer picture of your customer journey. Sharing behavior and preferences can help your marketing and sales teams identify and prioritize the prospects closer to purchase.
3. Improve conversion rates
Fueled by the wealth of information about your customers’ behavior and preferences, your sales and marketing teams can optimize your customer journey. As a result, they can increase your conversion rates by reducing the friction and hurdles along the customer journey.
Do your prospects bounce off your landing page instead of filling out your form? Did most of your closed deals request a free trial before converting into paying customers? Break the walls between your marketing and sales teams so they can drive more conversions for your business.
4. Shorten your sales cycle
Consumers’ purchasing behaviors have evolved, so businesses must also evaluate and update their strategies. By sharing customer data with each other, marketing and sales teams can reduce the sales cycle by as much as 14%.
By working in tandem, sales and marketing teams can:
- Segment their prospects and customers more effectively
- Reach target audiences more efficiently
- Craft effective marketing and sales strategies for different stages of the buyers’ journey
- Nurture and engage prospects
- Provide better customer support throughout the sales journey
5. Increase revenue
When sales and marketing teams collaborate, both teams consider each other as allies to reach common business goals. They look at the bigger picture and value the contribution of each team.
4 problems that sales and marketing collaboration addresses
Friction between sales and marketing teams is common. However, aligning both departments can help address these problems:
- Limited insights on customer data
- Underused marketing collaterals and content
- Rough lead handoffs from marketing to sales
- Lack of marketing attribution
Let’s discuss how marketing and sales alignment can address each problem:
1. Limited insights into customer data
Today, many organizations have various sources of prospect and customer data, but insights from their heaps of data are limited because sales and marketing teams often form data silos.
Marketing and sales alignment can help organize and analyze data available to your businesses. The insights you gain can inform your strategies moving forward.
2. Underused marketing collaterals and content
Does your marketing team produce content and marketing collaterals that your sales team rarely uses? Marketing collaterals are content-based materials used to promote your business. Infographics, case studies, and ebooks are examples of collaterals that marketing teams create for sales teams.
Marketing and sales alignment can help you maximize your content and marketing collaterals. Crafted with inputs from both teams, your content and marketing collaterals contain verified helpful information for branding, marketing, and selling.
3. Rough lead handoffs from marketing to sales
Lead handoff is a typical point of conflict between marketing and sales teams. Marketing may generate many leads from a campaign, but the sales team may feel that they’re not qualified enough.
Sales and marketing collaboration can lead to both teams agreeing on the lead scoring system and an acceptable speed to lead.
4. Lack of marketing attribution
Can your team identify the customer touchpoints that influenced your prospects to purchase from you?
Marketing and sales teams must know what’s driving results, so aligning the departments is critical so they can identify which strategies are effective and which investments are contributing to your bottom line.
By the numbers: 3 marketing and sales alignment statistics
When marketing and sales teams are aligned, they’re like a well-oiled machine that attracts and nurtures leads, closes deals, and keeps customers happy. In addition, the team members are also empowered because they are equipped with insights and tools to succeed, and their efforts directly impact the bottom line.
Here are three sales and marketing alignment statistics to convince you to align marketing and sales teams:
- Your deal closing rate can increase by 67% when you align your sales and marketing teams.
- 36% is the potential growth of your customer retention rate if you align your marketing and sales team with account-based marketing (ABM) efforts.
- Aligned sales and marketing teams are 6% more likely to exceed their revenue targets.
3 things marketing must do for sales
Marketing teams are responsible for supporting sales teams to grow the company’s revenue. They focus on providing a seamless experience in the first stages of the buyer’s journey and preparing them for the later stage.
Your marketing team must do the following for your sales team:
- Educate your target audience: Why do your prospects need your product or service? Tell a compelling story through your content marketing strategy about the problem that your target audience is facing and how your offerings can enable them to conquer their pain points.
- Increase your brand awareness: While your target audience isn’t ready to purchase yet, your marketing team can still introduce them to your brand.
- Nurture leads and keep your customers engaged: Using your customer relationship management (CRM) software, cultivate a relationship with your leads and customers by sending them personalized messages, like anniversaries with your business or discount codes on their preferred products.
3 things sales must do for marketing
While sales teams are primarily responsible for selling, they also must support marketing teams. Because most sales team members are customer-facing, they have a lot of valuable customer insights they can share with the marketing team.
Your sales team must:
- Review and contribute to the marketing team’s strategies and content
- Share real-world applications of your products or services
- Share customer and industry insights
Our digital marketing campaigns impact the metrics that improve your bottom line.See More Results
WebFX has driven the following results for clients:
In client revenue
Leads for our clients
Client phone calls
Align your marketing and sales teams’ strategies with WebFX
Marketing and sales team alignment streamlines your process, makes both teams efficient, and fuels bottom-line growth. If you need help crafting winning marketing and sales strategies or aligning both departments, let WebFX help.
We’re a full-service digital marketing agency with over 25 years of experience in 200+ industries. We’ve helped our clients generate $6 billion in revenue. We’d be glad to deliver the same results to your business by enabling you to align your marketing and sales teams’ strategies.
In addition, our proprietary growth platform and sales enablement tool, MarketingCloudFX, can help you track leads, attribute your ROI, and provide insights on your campaigns.
Maria is an experienced marketing professional in both B2C and B2B spaces. She’s earned certifications in inbound marketing, content marketing, Google Analytics, and PR. Her favorite topics include digital marketing, social media, and AI. When she’s not immersed in digital marketing and writing, she’s running, swimming, biking, or playing with her dogs.
WebFX is a full-service marketing agency with 1000+ client reviews and a 4.9-star rating on Clutch! Find out how our expert team and revenue-accelerating tech can drive results for you! Learn more
- What is Marketing and Sales Alignment?
- What Are Data Silos?
- How to Align Marketing and Sales Teams
- 1. Define and Agree on Common Terms
- 2. Determine the Teams’ Common Goals, Strategies, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- 3. Create a Structure for Your Teams
- 4. Document Your Structure and Processes So Your Team Can Understand Them
- 5. Agree on External Messages
- 6. Invest in Sales Enablement
- 5 Benefits of Sales and Marketing Alignment
- 1. Better Understand Your Customers and Their Needs
- 2. Map Your Customer Journey More Accurately
- 3. Improve Conversion Rates
- 4. Shorten Your Sales Cycle
- 5. Increase Revenue
- 4 Problems That Sales and Marketing Collaboration Addresses
- 1. Limited Insights into Customer Data
- 2. Underused Marketing Collaterals and Content
- 3. Rough Lead Handoffs from Marketing to Sales
- 4. Lack of Marketing Attribution
- By the Numbers: 3 Marketing and Sales Alignment Statistics
- 3 Things Marketing Must Do for Sales
- 3 Things Sales Must Do for Marketing
- Align Your Marketing and Sales Teams’ Strategies with WebFX