How to align sales & marketing teams to best drive revenue


We hear a lot about data silos, but organisations may be just as devastated by the silos that exist within their sales and marketing departments. Never mind the division between how data is stored and shared – there are software solutions for that – team silos create distinct problems within organisations, particularly when they are as intrinsically linked as sales and marketing. This is especially problematic in hybrid and remote working environments, which create a physical separation between staff and departments.

Our research shows that 63% of sales teams aren’t consistently made aware of current marketing campaigns, and 64% of marketing teams say the same thing about sales initiatives. They blame each other for missed quotas, yet the vast majority of companies (80%) don’t consistently contact prospects within 25 minutes of a form fill or inquiry. In fact, 67% of marketing leaders would like sales to follow up on leads within five hours (ideally five minutes!), but salespeople typically take up to 24 hours to do so. In today’s competitive B2B landscape, getting back to leads quickly is paramount to success in reaching buyers and closing deals.

Instead of coming together to improve ROI, they still disagree about sub-optimal results. Fifty-nine percent of sales leaders say sales sources higher-quality leads, but only 17% of marketing leaders agree. Nearly as many marketing leaders (58%) feel that marketing sources higher-quality leads, but only 14% of sales leaders agree. More than two-fifths of marketers (43%) also say that sales teams waste their leads on a regular basis.

There is clearly a disconnect between the two departments, but what can be done? How can businesses align sales and marketing for success?

Work Together Hand-in-Hand

On average, sales and marketing leaders communicate every one to two weeks to discuss upcoming goals, volume and quality of leads, sales pitching insights, and timelines of work. However, they fail to frequently coordinate regarding inbound lead follow-up protocols, personnel gaps, and CRM updates. This lack of coordination causes firms to suffer from disorganisation and misunderstandings – and that, in turn, may prevent goals from being achieved.

This is why it is so important for sales and marketing leaders to work more closely together. Sales teams need to know that the majority of marketers (80%) believe that the most effective lead follow-up strategies include a calendar link within their emails. Marketers should know that 62% of sales leaders think a video embedded in a personalised sales email is the most effective lead follow-up.

Sales and marketing leaders should consider that they both might be right. Calendar links may have yielded outstanding results, but that doesn’t mean that personalised emails with embedded videos are any less effective. It is wholly possible that prospects respond well to both approaches. Could a hybrid follow-up do even better? Neither sales nor marketing will be able to find out if they don’t work together. But if they do, they are likely to see improved results and an increase in ROI.

Sales and marketing leaders have more in common than most realise. For example, both consider sales decks, personalised emails and video case studies to be three of the most effective lead generation tactics. Their preferred lead generation channels include email and social media platforms. And when reaching out to set up a sales appointment, both sales and marketing leaders rely on a combination of phone, text and email.

Even field sales teams can benefit from closer coordination with the marketing department. Field reps should know that marketers have identified customer-centricity and personalization as two of the most effective ways to improve lead conversion rates. This means tailoring emails, messages, and sales pitches in a way that speaks directly to the customer’s needs. When this happens, field sales reps will be better equipped to close deals. Marketers may also view this field sales guide to gain insights into how they may be able to further support the reps in their endeavors. By working together, sales and marketing leaders can ensure that their team is well-equipped to meet the needs of the organization – and that leads to better success.

 Use Data and Insights to Find Common Ground

Higher performing teams are finding that better insights about in-market prospects can make a big difference in achieving better results. In our research, 58% of respondents agreed that intent data helps qualify leads and 60% say lead conversion improves by at least 50% with intent data.

One way to simplify life is to find a single source of intent data that doesn’t require marketers to burn endless hours selecting intent providers, updating and integrating their tech stack, and investing in unproven intent sources – often at a high cost. There are more and more options today for better data and intelligence so that sales and marketing teams can be more efficient in driving revenue growth.

Also, identify a platform provider who uses predictive analytics to find leads with a higher propensity to covert. Advanced analytics techniques including statistical modeling and machine learning can provide insights that can improve ROI and accelerate revenue.

Organisations need to make improving revenue growth a shared goal for sales and marketing teams, and prioritise closing the chasm to generate significantly more success — for their company and culture.

Strive for improvements that impact ROI

Whether in the same room or over video meetings, it’s important for sales and marketing to communicate about what it is they want and expect from each other. Their goals and KPIs may not perfectly align, but their strategies for achieving them may have more in common than they realise, and greater intelligence in revenue generation can change the game. By working together, they can avoid some of the pitfalls that have hindered past organisational growth and alignment, and work toward improvements that have a genuine impact on ROI.