How to Align Sales and Marketing for B2B Success

Ziera Soda

There’s a line often drawn between sales and marketing. After all, both have distinct roles, activities, and goals. At the end of the day, though, both cogs operate within the same machine–growing the business. And the truth is, high-functioning B2B organizations cannot work at their best when one department isn’t aligned with the other.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the various facets of sales and marketing alignment and why shared goals and procedures are critical to maintaining optimal performance. We’ll examine how businesses can foster better collaboration between these departments and the tangible benefits they can compound.

employee downshot of hands working on paperwork, scrolling on tablet, collaboration

Why Sales and Marketing Alignment is Critical for Business Growth

The Divided House of Sales and Marketing

Historically, sales and marketing have operated independently. Each department has its KPIs, methodologies, and jargon, often leading to a clash of priorities and misunderstandings. Sales teams are focused on immediate, tangible results and relationship building. They work in the here and now, striving to convert leads into paying customers.

Marketers, on the other hand, often have a longer-term and more strategic focus. They are tasked with building brand awareness, generating leads, and creating messaging that resonates with potential buyers. Their success often hinges on their ability to forecast and measure the impact of their activities over time, usually through data and analytics.

This divide is essential to remodeling our data-driven, customer-centric world that is rewriting the rules of engagement and business areas.

Silos and Their Impact

When sales and marketing operate in isolation, it creates silos within an organization. These silos lead to inefficiencies in operation and result in a poor customer experience.

Frequent miscommunication and misunderstanding about market trends, customer feedback, and lead quality can lead to lost opportunities. You have probably seen this blame game before. Sales blamed marketing for poor-quality leads, while marketing might attribute slow sales to ineffective sales strategies or execution. A cohesive and consistent brand representation is needed across the customer’s buying journey.

The solution? Marrying the two.

Bridging the Gap for Better Outcomes

An aligned sales and marketing approach is centered around a shared understanding of the customer, the market, and the overarching company objectives. It involves integrating processes, goals, and technology to ensure that every interaction with a prospect builds on the last, leading to a smoother and more effective sales process.

Common Objectives and Shared KPIs

Aligning sales and marketing starts with having common objectives and shared KPIs. This ensures both teams can work toward the same end, ensuring a more synergistic effort. KPIs can be leads, revenue, retention rate, etc. It is essential to identify those and work toward them together.

Collaboration on Content and Messaging

Sales learn prospective clients’ pain points and needs, and marketers solve them. Knowledge sharing empowers sales and marketing to collaborate on content creation and messaging to ensure that the customer is receiving the right message. Once the messaging is finalized, marketers can use it to execute the content. However, a monthly check-in with sales and marketing department heads may be required to stay up to date on customer behavior and market trends.

Mutual Respect and Recognition

Building mutual respect and recognition between sales and marketing teams can go a long way in fostering a productive and collaborative workplace environment. For example, this could include frequent check-ins and celebrating success together. These successes highlight how marketing and sales efforts came together to drive results. Celebrating successes together will help break down the silos and build a more cohesive team.

Tools and Technologies for Alignment

Technology plays a pivotal role in facilitating alignment between sales and marketing. From customer relationship management (CRM) systems like ActiveCampaign to marketing automation platforms like HubSpot, these tools streamline processes, deliver insights, and enhance collaboration, keeping sales and marketing aligned.

Marketing Automation for Smoother Handoffs

A well-integrated CRM system can provide both sales and marketing with a unified view of the customer, enabling better targeting, more effective lead scoring, and improved tracking of the customer life cycle.

In addition, marketing automation platforms enable smoother handoffs between marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and sales-qualified leads (SQLs), ensuring that sales teams are equipped with the correct information to close deals effectively. Marketers can also access the CRM and marketing automation platforms to stay on top of current pipeline activity, keeping everyone on the same page regarding sales activity.

The Benefits of a Unified Approach

When sales and marketing are in alignment, the benefits are significant. Businesses successfully bridging the gap between these two functions experience improved lead conversion rates, higher customer retention, and increased revenue.

Improved Customer Experience and Loyalty

A unified approach to sales and marketing means a seamless customer experience. Prospects and customers are more likely to respond positively to a consistent and relevant team when managing the partnership and executing tactics. Any discrepancy between sales and marketing can indicate division and misalignment. Customers want consistent, reliable, and committed partners, a partnership they can stay loyal to.

More Effective Sales Process

Marketing can empower the sales process by providing support and materials that address common customer questions and assist in overcoming challenges. Having marketing and sales work together can lead to a detailed and consultative approach during sales calls. This approach can lead to a higher close rate and help shorten the sales cycle.

Better Insights and Analytics

By leveraging customer data, sales and marketing teams can identify trends, preferences, and opportunities, yielding tangible results. Analytics platforms like Databox and Google Looker Studio empower team members to track, monitor, and report on their efforts seamlessly. Shared insights and analytics foster alignment between sales and marketing, ensuring concerted action toward shared objectives.

The Road to Alignment

Achieving sales and marketing alignment is a journey, not a destination. It requires a commitment to ongoing communication, shared objectives, and a willingness to adapt and innovate.

Leadership's Support and Vision

An aligned sales and marketing approach starts with leadership. Executives must support the alignment and provide the necessary resources and support for efforts to succeed.

Training and Development

Investing in the training and development of sales and marketing teams can help them understand the other departments’ roles, challenges, and perspectives. Training may include workshops, courses, certifications, on-ones and more. Investing in training and professional development for your sales and marketing team empowers and fosters a greater sense of teamwork within both sales and marketing.

Frequent Check-ins

Leadership check-ins with departmental heads from sales and marketing can ensure that sales and marketing adhere to the company’s goals and tactics. Some things to cover in this meeting may include:

  • Updates
  • Current client performance overviews
  • Employee performance overviews
  • Areas of opportunity
  • Questions


Sales and marketing may have operated in silos for decades, but alignment between these functions is essential for sustainable growth. By breaking down the barriers and fostering collaboration, businesses can unlock new levels of efficiency, customer satisfaction, and revenue.

Companies that recognize the importance of sales and marketing alignment and take proactive steps to achieve it will be best positioned to outperform the competition and meet customers’ evolving needs.

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Ziera Soda

As Marketing Manager, Ziera is responsible for overseeing and implementing a variety of initiatives aimed at increasing Altitude’s brand visibility and lead generation. Ziera holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management and dance education from Muhlenberg College and a master’s in communications from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.