Mr. Jackson

Five steps to improve alignment between marketing and sales

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Five steps to improve alignment between marketing and sales
  • 7 months ago

Companies are 67% more successful in closing deals when marketing and sales collaborate.

In the 30 years, I’ve worked to build an effective B2B marketing team, my most commonly used (but quite precise) assertion is that marketing and sales are not “not on the same page.” This is a major issue.

Relating to analyze done by Marketo and ReachForce companies, they have a 67% higher success rate in closing deals when marketing and sales are working together.

It is possible to argue that there are numerous reasons marketing and sales do not work together. On a higher level, it may boil down to the hiring process and leadership. For instance, if, for example, the director of sales is a brand strategist, which do you believe this person would consider to be the top thing to concentrate on?

In contrast, if the director of sales has no experience working in the marketing field, do you think they’ll understand how to make the most of the many marketing tools to make the most impact on revenue? Most likely not.

My company in telecom, Ciena, views the close relationship between marketing and sales as an exciting changer. Achieving great business results begins with deliberate and complete alignment between these two areas of operation.

In fact, since the beginning of 2017, we have increased revenue by almost 50 percent in a marketplace that grows between 1% and 2 percent per year on average. In addition, we have risen to market share in every competing industry.

These results are the result of crucial and thoughtful choices. To achieve true alignment, both operational and behavioral changes must be worthwhile.

Changes to the organization chart alone won’t suffice. A shift in culture and a change in perspective will lead to teams with unified goals, which can help increase marketing and sales contribution to the company’s success.

Here’s the road map we’ve created to drive a deep alignment.


One reason marketing isn’t aligned with sales is that they do not give equal weight to the fundamental functions of branding and digital campaigns as opposed to the field marketing process and customer engagement.

There is the same importance in encouraging field marketing’s alignment with the revenue plan and assisting with the corporation’s goals and long-term strategy. This means that sales feel they are fully engaged in the revenue objectives of the business.

The easiest way to construct a strong relationship between marketing and sales begins with getting marketing’s home in order and its priorities balanced.


marketing and sales

The senior management of a company must behave and talk about marketing and sales in the same manner as a single go-to-market force.

Marketing and sales have frequently conflicted because senior executives often have different approaches to resources and treat them differently.

Conflicts rage regarding strategy and funding that can lead to lost time, energy, and even frustration. The purposeful alignment and the development of funding and strategy centered around the customer and the revenue plan eliminates this tension.

The sales and marketing heads must take action and convey to the entire company their relationship’s importance. Together, they form a team of leaders and deeply understand the company’s goals, allowing their teams to use a creative and unified approach to support the business’s strategy.


Although marketing and sales require different tech stacks, The connection between the two systems should focus on delivering the best customer experience from the first marketing interaction to the post-sales follow-up.

Data from sales can provide marketers with insight into the customer’s issues that can be addressed with prospective customers through awareness campaigns. In addition, the marketing data showing how leads interact with the brand may give sales a head start on the most efficient method to reach out to a specific customer.

At Ciena, leaders in marketing and sales hold a summit each year to discuss technical and operational concerns throughout the company.

We frequently meet to keep one another up-to-date and develop workstreams managed by both of us that will drive significant adjustments and investment decisions.


Measurement systems that are based on transactional methods no longer suffice. A more sophisticated approach is crucial. For instance, keeping track of “quality of engagement” scores can give more precise and current images of the range, depth of engagement, frequency, and the impact of selling on the customers.

We compare QoE scores with our marketing engagement dashboard, also known as”an “EKG.” Combined, these tools provide us with an ongoing, live digital image of every contact with each customer.

Engagement scores that are high translate to more interest, better opportunities to “land and expand” revenue, and generally better results. Lower scores indicate to marketing and sales that we should rethink our strategy for managing accounts, or they may indicate competition pressures. They’re only a few samples of how the combination of accurate measures can impact marketing and sales results.


Covid-19 had a significant effect on the operation of B2-B businesses. At the same time, some aspects are returning to pre-pandemic levels while others have been altered for the better.

Companies will need to present their solutions, sell and build relationships with customers via the internet. That means sales will depend much more on marketing to connect with prospective leads electronically and guide them through the funnel to sales, ensuring the interest of current customers with fewer in-person interactions.

A strong alignment between teams allows rapid changes to be made quickly and naturally.

A true alignment of marketing and sales can be to say than do. Certain businesses might pay lip service to integrated functions but not tackle the necessary structural processes and cultural shifts.

Taking a comprehensive and deliberate top-to-bottom strategy will allow companies to reap the benefits of fully coordinated go-to-market functions and end the common misconception that marketing and sales don’t have a good relationship.

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Digital Marketing

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