Breaking Down Barriers: Achieving Alignment Between Marketing and Sales Teams

align marketing and sales

Why is everyone talking about the alignment between marketing and sales teams? 

It is because of the changes in their roles over the past few years.

  1. The transition from Lead Generation to Demand Generation
  2.  The shift from Siloed Operations to Revenue Operations
  3.  The use of account-based marketing (ABM) to target companies rather than an individual
  4.  The adoption of asynchronous selling methods

Achieving alignment between these teams can present many challenges.

The handoff of leads between Marketing and Sales Teams

One of the biggest challenges is the handoff of leads from marketing to sales and vice versa. 

This comes from a need for more agreement on the qualifying criteria for a lead handoff and defining the appropriate timing for that handoff.  

Teams should meet to agree on the following:

  • What are the parameters for the various lead lifecycle stages?
  • What qualification criteria should be included in the lead scoring model?
  • When should the lead move from Marketing to Sales?
  • When should the lead move from Sales to Marketing?

How this handoff is recorded and communicated to each team is just as important. Having the ability to track the lead’s movement between teams and being able to report on it is vital for transparency as well as accountability. Moving these leads between the teams must be communicated effectively. Get the teams to agree on the best medium for this communication. It is a good idea to include some of the lead’s history and required next steps in the communication for the receiving team.

The use of different systems

Utilising many tools across different departments of an organisation can lead to several problems, especially regarding data accuracy. 

When teams use different tools to track and report on their activities, it can take time to get a clear and accurate picture of what’s happening within the business.

This leads to difficulties with:

  1. context switching, as team members may have to switch between multiple tools to access the information they need; 
  2. syncing issues can arise when data is stored in different systems, leading to data gaps and inconsistencies.

A lack of a single source of truth for data can make it difficult for teams to make informed decisions and lead to a lack of trust between teams and their systems. 

Organisations should consolidate systems and use a single source of truth for data. This can be done by implementing a comprehensive CRM, complete with marketing and sales automation that all teams can use. By having a single source of truth, teams can rely on the data to guide their strategies and drive revenue growth.

Unaligned goals and metrics

Unaligned goals and metrics can create a disconnect between marketing and sales teams, making it difficult for them to work together effectively.

When marketing is focused on increasing brand awareness and generating leads, and sales are focused on closing deals and hitting quotas, it becomes hard for the two teams to see the bigger picture and understand how their roles and efforts fit into the overall strategy.

For example, suppose the marketing team is generating a high number of leads, but the sales team is seeing a different level of success in closing deals. In that case, there may be a disconnect between the two teams regarding what constitutes a qualified lead.

To address this, teams should align their goals and metrics to ensure they are working towards the same objectives. This can be done by holding regular meetings between the teams to discuss progress and challenges and by implementing a CRM that allows for real-time tracking and reporting of leads and sales.

Siloed teams and culture

A lack of collaboration and cooperation can occur when teams are siloed and have distinct cultures. Teams should work on fostering a culture of collaboration and teamwork and break down silos between teams.

Businesses should take a holistic approach to achieve alignment between marketing and sales teams, addressing these challenges through clear communication, shared goals, and a culture of collaboration and cooperation. With the right approach, marketing and sales teams can work together effectively to achieve their common objectives.

Cherine Grove
Cherine Grove
Director of Business Solutions at Cybersolve