Editor's note: This first article of a series focusing on lead nurturing asks and answers, "How do you achieve alignment between Marketing and Sales?" The series will cover 15 questions that are top of mind for companies.

Question 1: How do you achieve alignment between Marketing and Sales?

The essential question that the various stakeholders often ask themselves is this: Will I be better off collaborating or going it alone?

If you believe your company can better achieve its goals via collaboration and alignment, then you can achieve that alignment by first offering proof that it's worth the time, and then showing how alignment is easily achieved.

First, show them the problem

Give specific examples of where alignment issues in BOTH Sales and Marketing are potentially costing revenue. For example show how your definition of terms differ and how  applications differ, show that communication is missing, and so on. Ask, What would happen if you shared a bowler*?

Show them the win

According to a 2010 report by Aberdeen Research, companies that are "best-in-class" at aligning Marketing and Sales had 20% average growth in annual revenue vs. a 4% decline in "laggard" organizations. Moreover, in many best-in-class organizations, Sales and Marketing organizations tend to both report to a single person who responsible for both lead generation and closing business.

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image of Sid Smith
Sid Smith is lead copywriter and marketing automation specialist for Albertson Performance Group. Sid has written on topics ranging from flex circuits to motherhood, but gets a real kick out of putting together the puzzle pieces of complex marketing automation strategies. Reach him via sid.smith@apg7.com.