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5 Steps to Align Sales and Marketing – Part 1


It’s fundamental human nature to point fingers. If you’ve been around sales and marketing at all, you’ve definitely seen it. When the revenue numbers aren’t at or exceeding plan, sales blames marketing for terrible leads, and marketing blames sales for poor follow-through.

Why do we care? Other than an unpleasant, high-turnover working environment, the greater danger to the organization is that the real problems become very difficult to discern. Marketing may be the real problem. Sales may be the real problem. Worse than that, marketing and sales may be operating reasonably well, but the business’s strategy is flawed. In an environment where the sales and marketing functions are squabbling, uncovering that the real problem is the business’s core go-to-market strategy will take a lot longer, and the financial impact will be much greater. And that’s bad.

We want to prevent the unproductive part of “blaming,” and get to the more productive part of “solving” as quickly as possible – especially in emerging companies that don’t have the luxury of multiple financial misses.

So how do we stop the blaming and start solving?

The answer: Align Marketing and Sales.

You’ve heard that before but what does that mean and how can it happen? In this 5-part series, we’ll talk about the 5 steps that take you from blaming in silos to solving together.

1. Set Clear Goals

Each function needs to know what it needs to achieve for the company to hit its revenue goal. The goals need to be relevant for the individual’s daily job execution and roll up so the individual sees how their performance impacts revenue. To set these goals, you need a model that translates marketing performance to sales performance to revenue performance. A model that contains:

  • Revenue target
  • Historic close rate of opportunities to closed deals
  • Value of opportunities in the pipeline
  • Number of opportunities in the pipeline
  • Average deal size of opportunities
  • Historic conversion rate from lead to deal
  • Number of marketing leads required to hit the revenue target

When marketing has their lead target, they know what they need to get sales to hit plan. There are many metrics marketing may use to translate that lead goal to campaign performance.

Be sure to check back next week for Part 2 of this series: Define and Agree on Terms and Process.

Can you identify all the elements within this model today? If not, contact us today.