Coming to grips with the rapidly evolving behavior of consumers and business customers is challenging executives across every sector.

Today's customers chart their own course; they are in control. Now that buyers can avoid sales contact for much of the buying process, a lot of responsibility belongs to the marketing team. Companies that haven't made the shift to persuasive marketing risk elimination before their salespeople have a chance to do their job. In many companies, the marketing function is best positioned to orchestrate customer engagement for the entire organization.

The alignment of Marketing with Sales can significantly improve revenue by streamlining the customer's path to purchase. And though 38% of CMOs say that aligning and integrating sales and marketing is a top priority this year, only 30% have a clear process or program to make this priority a reality.

Whether your company is dealing with consumers or business customers, taking advantage of what Sales can learn from Marketing and what Marketing can learn from Sales can develop the ultimate revenue-generating powerhouse.

The following is an excerpt from MC2's new report, "Sales vs. Marketing: Who's Got the Lead?"

What Sales Can Learn From Marketing

The proliferation of social media and mobile devices has completely changed how prospects interact with sales professionals.

CEOs don't respond to cold calls, and the return on cold-calling has decreased so drastically that it is essentially extinct.

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Rob Murphy is the former chief marketing officer of MC2, a global exhibit and event marketing company. Check out the eConnections Digest blog and find MC2 on Twitter (@MC2experience_ and @MC2_FastTrak) and Facebook.