Syncing Success: The Power of Marketing and Sales Alignment

Marketing and Sales Alignment

You might think that marketing and sales alignment only applies to lead generation. You might think that passing nurtured leads from the marketing department to the sales department is the only time these two groups interact. You might think that one department can be successful while maintaining independence from the other. 

But times have changed. 

You must align your marketing and sales departments to be a viable competitor in your industry. Both departments want to see growth and revenue increases, right? To achieve the same goals, they must build each other up instead of tearing each other down. 

Identifying alignment points will enable you to uncover more areas of your business that will benefit from marketing and sales alignment. Here are 4 steps to sales and marketing alignment:

What we'll Cover:

    1. Aligning for Company-Wide Success

    Your company’s success relies on the relationship between your sales and marketing departments. Unfortunately, there’s an age-old rivalry between the two departments due to a hindering disconnect. The marketing team claims that the sales team doesn’t follow up on qualified leads, while the sales team claims that marketing drives unqualified leads for outreach. 

    In a recent SugarCRM research report, it was revealed that the top technology forward-thinking enterprises are integrating with their CRM are marketing automation and email marketing (46%), and one-third say collecting customer feedback to align marketing and sales strategy is a key priority. 

    Without sales and marketing alignment, an information gap causes qualified leads to leak out the sales funnel. Now that you have the case for driving alignment, how do you get started? 

    We have reviewed some of the most common issues leading to misalignment between sales and marketing teams. It’s essential to remember that the sales team gathers information on leads by speaking with them, while the marketing team collects information from digital data. 

    Both teams have insightful perspectives that can be used in conjunction to develop the perfect prospect plan, ultimately driving conversions and increasing revenue. Which, keep in mind, is the ultimate goal across all departments. 

    2. Share Definitions and Goals

    An excellent start to developing alignment is making sure everyone speaks the same language. Ask each department to draft a definition of your target customer and ensure sales and marketing share a common understanding of critical terminology and goals.

    • Get the two teams together and review every touchpoint a lead has with your company, across departments and channels, in chronological order.
    • Pay close attention to the flow chart you’ve just created and brainstorm your target audience or buyer persona. Maybe this fictional buyer works at a mid-sized company and engages with your website content through organic search. What comes next? Decide together.
    • Once your buyer persona is in place, it’s time to create a company-wide set of definitions to ensure consistency for everyone.

    From here, begin measuring sales and marketing by the same metrics. If you measure sales by opportunities, then marketing must be as well.

    Your CRM is more than just a rolodex of customer contacts. It’s a strategic place for all of your go-to-market teams to align and strategize. In fact, according to recent SugarCRM research, 60% of respondents cite using CRM as a centralized communication hub as their top priority (#1 response). Get all of your teams on the same page by prioritizing the data, processes, and tools needed to help aid them meet that goal.  

    Marketing is busy, sales is busy, we’re all busy. Your marketing automation platform can help marketers and salespeople support each other through more than just a CRM integration. As you become comfortable with your platform, take the time to set up a series of email campaigns to aid sales representatives with their follow-up cadences. 

    Email Template Management | Marketing Automation CX Platform

    These emails or nurture campaigns support your mutual goals of quality lead generation and save everyone time down the line, especially the last week of the month when panic sets in. 

    More recently, organizations have been using generative AI to help assist with this piece of the puzzle. Check out the video below to learn how modern companies are using this new technology to help assist with marketing campaign creation: 

    3. Refine Follow-Ups

    Murky follow-ups stem from sales and marketing approaching pipeline separately rather than through a coordinated team effort. If your teams align, your messaging will resonate. To avoid disconnect in messaging, marketing should know what sales’ cadence consists of, and sales should know what a marketing nurture entails.

    Rely on AI graphic | SugarCRM insurance industry CRM

    With marketing automation, both teams have greater visibility into what the other is doing. Sales can see the emails their leads receive, while Marketing can access CRM notes to understand lead quality.

    Just like we called out above, Generative AI is also being used in tandem with marketing to help sales reps with lead management and follow-up schedules. The video below highlights a hypothetical journey with SugarCRM’s new generative AI capabilities to showcase how customers can easily align marketing and sales efforts when it comes to the customer journey: 


    4. Adopt The New Standard in Marketing Automation

    Sugar Market is the all-you-need marketing automation solution built to work for you. With Sugar Market’s native CRM integrations, your sales team also has visibility into all activities tracked through the Sugar Market platform—form entries, page visits, ad clicks, emails opened and more—to keep Sales and Marketing aligned.

    If you would like to learn more about aligning your sales and marketing teams, we highly recommend these resources:

    AJ Traver
    AJ Traver As a professional and successful marketing manager, AJ has a strong foundation and experience in lead generation, customer marketing, marketing operations, strategic content management, branding, creative development, public relations and journalism in a global company supporting international objectives. With a data-driven approach, AJ thrives on the fusion of creativity and strategy to engage and excite every audience with which she engages.

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