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Why is it so hard for Sales and Marketing to effectively collaborate?

Although both are critical players in revenue generation, the misalignment between the two departments is a well-known issue. Their distinct functions, strategies, behaviors, and activities often result in disjointed efforts.

But to optimize revenue and enhance brand experiences for customers, companies must bridge the gap.

To highlight the significance of alignment between Sales and Marketing, Influ2 analyzed 14 B2B companies that successfully improved their bottom line through better Sales and Marketing collaboration. The outcome of their efforts was the generation of an impressive $500 million pipeline. That tangible result clearly indicates the immense potential of Marketing and Sales when they work together.

Nevertheless, achieving alignment between the two teams is no small feat. The key lies in establishing shared goals, shared metrics, and a common understanding of objectives.

Although that process requires significant effort, it serves as a solid foundation for marketing and sales executives to collaborate effectively.

Why Sales and Marketing Alignment Is Important

1. Cooperative Marketing-Sales play maps to the way modern purchases are made

One compelling reason for aligning Marketing and Sales is the evolution of modern purchasing.

Industry analysts suggest that most buying decisions are now made by committees, often composed of up to 10 people. In contrast to the past, when sales representatives focused on building deep relationships with a select few decision-makers, the game has shifted to engaging a broader group of stakeholders who collectively influence buying decisions.

That change brings about slower sales cycles and increased complexity.

Consequently, marketers must ditch the Marketing-qualified lead (MQL) as their key metric. In addition to raising awareness, marketers need to actively participate in the back end of the sales funnel, extending their involvement beyond closed deals to ensure sustained success.

2. Omnichannel approaches and a hybrid selling model are the future

According to McKinsey, combining in-person and digital methods across various channels is set to supercharge deeper and wider engagement, becoming the leading approach for B2B marketing and sales success. That approach has the potential to generate up to 50% more revenue compared with traditional methods.

In that environment, Marketing can provide digital air cover to reach a wider array of people and departments on the buying committee (such as Marketing, IT, Finance, Legal, and others) in a highly targeted way.

By employing cooperative plays and employing a "multithreading" strategy, marketing and sales teams can maximize their reach across as many touchpoints as possible, tailoring their approach to the preferences of the target audience.

That synergy between sales and marketing resources is pivotal for effective collaboration.

3. You can scoop new opportunities after you convert prospects to customers

By using the aforementioned techniques, Marketing can continue to capture revenue even after a prospect converts into a customer.

Open communication channels between Sales and Marketing, coupled with shared data across teams, allows for the creation of highly personalized programs that engage buying team members wherever they are in their buying journey—whether early in the process or after purchase.

By exchanging customer information and preferences, Marketing and Sales can enhance their ability to personalize their approach and deliver targeted messaging that truly resonates.

Building a deep understanding of B2B decision-makers on a personal level empowers both sales and marketing teams to efficiently engage with customers, improve the overall customer experience, and build trust in the brand.

By aligning their efforts, the two departments can establish a unified front that enhances their collective impact.

Tactics for Alignment

Considering all those factors, it becomes increasingly evident that the way Marketing and Sales operate is rapidly evolving. Capitalizing on the unique skills of both functions for a common purpose is vital to staying ahead of the curve in today's challenging business landscape.

However, maintaining that advantage requires ongoing teamwork and collaboration between Marketing and Sales.

To foster collaboration, organizations can implement various tactics:

  • First, it is crucial to establish a shared vision and common goals. Doing so ensures that both Marketing and Sales are working toward a unified purpose. Regular communication and collaboration platforms should be established to facilitate the exchange of ideas, feedback, and insights between the two teams. Encouraging cross-functional collaboration through joint projects and initiatives can also help break down silos and foster a more cohesive working environment.
  • Also, harnessing technology and data can greatly enhance collaboration between Marketing and Sales. Implementing shared analytics and reporting systems allows both teams to have access to the same data and insights, enabling them to align their efforts and make informed decisions together.
  • Last, fostering a culture of collaboration and mutual respect is essential. Recognizing and rewarding joint successes and encouraging open and constructive dialogue between marketing and sales teams can foster a spirit of collaboration and shared accountability. Creating opportunities for cross-training and knowledge-sharing can also enhance understanding and appreciation of each other's roles and challenges.

* * *

So, are you convinced? The way marketing and sales are done is changing—fast. Harnessing

the unique skills of Marketing and Sales for a common purpose can help you get ahead of the

curve. But staying there? That will require teamwork.

More Resources on Sales and Marketing Alignment

Sales and Marketing Alignment Insights, Strategies, and Success Indicators: Matt Heinz on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]

Can't We All Just Get Along? Why Sales and Marketing Need to Work Together

How to Drive Sales and Marketing Alignment in an Enablement Role

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Better Together: The Importance of Aligning Sales and Marketing Teams

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image of Dmitri Lisitski

Dmitri Lisitski is the CEO and a co-founder of Influ2, a person-based marketing platform for B2B companies.

LinkedIn: Dmitri Lisitski