How Marketers Win When They Align with Sales

March 20, 2018

Sales & Marketing Alignment

The discussion surrounding sales and marketing alignment isn’t new. At this point, you may wonder if it’s one of those trends that gets a lot of airplay but provides little value.

While we’ve all seen a hot industry topic fizzle over time, the data says sales and marketing alignment delivers substantive results and is here to stay. The practice has been institutionalized by a range of B2B companies, and those companies are reaping the rewards.

Our new guide makes a compelling case for pursuing alignment as a competitive advantage. Read on to learn how your marketing team can reap the glorious benefits that come from tighter alignment with sales.

Sales and Marketing Alignment Delivers Business Value

LinkedIn and Join the Dots surveyed 7,140 sales and marketing professionals to learn about their experiences with alignment. The responses connected alignment with desirable business outcomes, with 58% of sales and marketing professionals reporting that collaboration delivers improved customer retention, and 54% noting its positive contribution to financial performance.

Where Should Alignment Start?

Should alignment start in the trenches or at the executive level? Of the teams that collaborate well, 82% of believe leadership actively encourages it, suggesting that deep collaboration between sales and marketing requires leadership support. But that shouldn’t deter marketers from proactively collaborating with their sales colleagues when organizational alignment doesn’t exist. Some collaboration is better than no collaboration at all.

How Sales and Marketing Alignment Benefits Marketers

In a simplified sense, marketing’s purpose is to attract attention and gain interest from ideal buyers. Sales is to turn that interest into commitment and purchase. Executing those assignments requires clear objectives, an understanding of key performance indicators, and knowledge of lead definitions and hand-off points that take into account the customer’s path to purchase.

Although each team has a respective set of primary responsibilities, customer attraction and conversion are best accomplished collaboratively. Our survey data shows in organizations where sales and marketing work together and share more customer and account information, 58% experience improved efficiency and 52% enjoy enhanced productivity. That’s the definition of working smarter, not harder.

Among the sales and marketing teams that reported collaborating well together, 76% of marketers cite holding a shared understanding of the customer journey with sales, and 71% believe they more effectively address customer needs because of the collaboration. For marketers, that means you’re better prepared to identify which content works, and which content you still need to create.

Alignment Helps Marketers Connect Marketing to Revenue

Giles House, Chief Marketing Officer for CallidusCloud, found that after the marketing and sales teams were realigned, the fog hanging around marketing attribution lifted.

“Operationally, we’re able to attribute a lot more revenue to marketing programs, which is exactly what you need to do when you’re battling for budget in the boardroom.”

There are plenty of great reasons to pursue sales and marketing alignment at your company. Collaboration benefits marketers through stronger financial performance, improved culture, accurate attribution, and greater relevance to the customer.

Learn more ways your company can benefit from tighter sales and marketing alignment in our new guide, Driving Intelligent Customer Experiences.