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Four Keys for Motivating Your Sales Team to Embrace the System… and Create Data-Driven Accountability
Kerri Martinek, Head of Global Brand and Marketing, Sandler


Sales and marketing alignment: leaders talk about it. They say it’s what they want. They notice when it’s not happening. But they don’t always offer a clear explanation of what sales and marketing alignment really is.

For most of the teams we talk to, this is a major problem. It’s the reason that the goal of harmonious cooperation between these two departments remains elusive for so many organizations. Nobody knows for sure what alignment between sales and marketing looks like. They just have a gut feeling that it isn’t happening.

Sales and Marketing Alignment: What Is It?

Here’s our definition of sales and marketing alignment.

Sales and marketing alignment is a shared understanding and agreement on target markets, ideal customer profiles, messaging, value propositions, and definitions of marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads. It includes close collaboration and coordination between teams to ensure a seamless buyer experience from lead generation to qualifying to retaining clients, with smooth handoffs between each. True alignment requires shared responsibility to drive business growth, feedback loops, and continuous refinement of strategies to adjust to the market.

That’s not where most organizations are. But, as a marketing professional with 25 years of experience in working with sales teams, I know it is where your organization could be.

By aligning sales and marketing efforts, organizations can benefit from increased efficiency, improved lead quality, higher conversion rates, better customer targeting, fewer wasted efforts, and ultimately, increased revenue. And the test of whether sales and marketing are aligned looks like this:

People from both teams choose, based on their personal experience, to use the CRM as a tool for moving revenue opportunities forward.

If no one needs to be talked into using the CRM, if everyone is using it optimally as a collaborative tool, you’re in alignment.

If you’re a sales leader, and you would bet your paycheck that your team would use the CRM optimally even if you forgot, for some reason, to mention the CRM for a whole month, then sales and marketing are in alignment.

If you wouldn’t make that bet (and most of the sales leaders we talk to wouldn’t), then sales and marketing are not in alignment.  

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...and Learn About How to Make Data-Driven Accountability a Reality at Your Organization.


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