Sales and marketing alignment is critical to business success

Sales and marketing alignment is critical to business success



“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.” – David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett Packard.

Sales and marketing alignment is more important than ever. This statement is more true today than every before. Back in 1960s, marketing was mostly about advertising and selling. The strategy was to “Push, promote, and persuade.”

Marketing has recently changed

One study shows that 76% of marketers believe that marketing has changed more in the last two years than it has in the last 50 years.

In 2022, the function of the marketing department in many companies has evolved to a push/pull strategy. For many small and mid-sized businesses, and those with minimal budgets, marketing still plays a limited role in the firm’s strategy.

In particular, consider the responsibilities of website management, marketing communications, sales support, product marketing, events. While these are important functions, there is more to marketing than this.

Sales and marketing alignment includes all parties

For modern customer-focused companies, marketing should include every element that contributes to the customer experience. This means that nearly every function in the company should have some input to and engagement with the marketing department.

Liaisons from sales, customer service, engineering, operations, finance, and other non-customer-facing functions should be asked for input on topics relevant to their roles. This is sales and marketing alignment.

Team members should ask these questions

“How does this ____ positively impact our customer’s experience?”

“What can we do differently?”

“How can this ___ be improved?”

“How can we do this better than our competitor (or the alternative)?”

To receive input from other departments, the marketing team can:

1. Invite a non-marketing team member to attend your meeting as a guest.

2. Ask them to present on a relevant topic that their job function impacts.

3. Conduct surveys of other teams or just ask casual questions about the topic of interest.

4. Ask to listen in to or attend customer calls to observe and learn about their experiences and perspectives.

5. Invite a customer to speak at one of your marketing (or company-wide) team meetings.

6. Survey a group of customers about their customer experiences.

7. Read customer reviews and NPS surveys.

Collect and share insights

After your marketing team collects these insights and incorporates them into a plan or process, share the outcome with the broader organization. By sharing back, they know how their inputs were put into action and they will feel motivated to offer more input in the future.

Your company’s executive leadership may communicate to the entire organization that “we are ALL responsible for delivering a delightful total experience to our customers. Therefore, we are ALL in marketing.”

Focus on the customer experience

How the phones are answered, how products are packaged and delivered, how invoices are sent, how service calls are completed:

Every decision and behavior that touches the customer experience can contribute to the company’s success.

This is modern marketing. Can you see the importance of sales and marketing alignment?