Join 40,000+ sales and marketing pros who receive our 4x a week insights, tips, and best practices.
Thank you! You have been subscribed.

Free Guide: The Beginners Guide to Inbound Sales

Download the Guide
Fill out the form to get your guide
Thank you! You have been subscribed.
[Playbook] Inbound Sales Guide Cover

Free Guide:

The Beginners Guide to Inbound Sales
Read the Guide
The Beginners Guide to Inbound Sales
Free Inbound Sales Guide
View The Beginners Guide to Inbound Sales
[Playbook] Inbound Sales Guide Cover

Free Guide:

See faster close rates and happier customers by shifting to inbound sales.

In this guide, you'll learn:

  • Inbound Sales vs. Outbound Seals
  • 5 Steps in the Inbound Sales Process
  • Getting Started and Troubleshooting

5 Proven Tips for Stronger Sales and Marketing Alignment

By Megan Tonzi

Megan Tonzi also recommends this free guide, The Beginners Guide to Inbound Sales.

5 Proven Tips for Stronger Sales and Marketing Alignment

As Marketing Director at QuotaFactory, I’ve faced and solved my fair share of sales and marketing alignment issues.

Free Guide: The Beginners Guide to Inbound Sales

No matter how far we come, the issue of bridging the gap between sales and marketing departments comes up time and time again as a large challenge for many companies.

Unfortunately, sales and marketing alignment isn’t an issue that can resolve itself overnight. It’s something that both teams need to actively and continuously work towards improving.

Why Sales and Marketing Alignment Matters

A recent study found that failure to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes and technology costs B2B companies 10% or more of revenue per year. I’ll let that sink in.

If you’re a $10 million company, that’s a loss of $1 million.

Sales is able to provide marketing with direct insights regarding prospects that they may not normally find. This includes what challenges sales is facing, whether marketing content is helpful or stagnant, how your sales team is using your content to sell, and whether they have enough meaningful pieces for each stage of the funnel.

Your sales team can also help create content in the future by keeping marketing apprised to any changes in the industry or buyer persona. These changes would be a great indicator of current knowledge gaps that could be filled with your content.

In a similar fashion, marketing can aid sales by suggesting new selling strategies, providing tips for social selling, content tailored to the sales process, or even a different outlook on a prospect interaction.

So, what is the current state of your own sales and marketing alignment? Is it where it needs to be in order to bring in new net revenue?

To get a better understanding of where this alignment actually is in 2016, please contribute your thoughts to our Sales and Marketing Collaboration Benchmark Survey here. (You will be sent the final results of our report and also entered into a drawing to win an Amazon Echo.)

Now, to strengthen the relationship between sales and marketing (and generate more revenue), I’ve outlined five steps below to get you and your organization on the right track. Use these tips to develop a more efficient process and unite your marketing and sales teams like never before:

1. Conduct Individual Meetings with Each Sales and Marketing Team Member.

Sales meetings are great, but personal meetings are even better.

Collaborative meetings are useful when effectively run, however, not everyone may speak up.  Some people may be impatiently waiting to leave so they can prepare for their next conference call, or don’t feel comfortable bringing up their opinions.

Having one-off meetings allow people to be more open, perhaps less defensive, and more attentive having only conversation to focus on.

During these meetings, speak with your sales team members and sincerely ask them, “How is selling going? What challenges are you running into? Are there new titles that we should be focusing on or different content you may need? Is there anything more that marketing can do to help you?

The main objective isn’t only about merging sales and marketing together and seeing how the two can help each other, but identifying if the process is still working.

Is your lead hand-off process still efficient and are you all communicating the right information to each other? Is there a process or strategy in place that could use additional organization or clarity?

2. Re-Shift Your Focus to What’s Working

After you’ve met with a handful of sales team members, it’s time to really think about the feedback they’ve given you.

How can you use their insights to help drive your marketing efforts? What kinds of questions are your prospects asking? How is your sales team using the content you provide, and where can you fill a gap or supplement existing content?

Is a recently-published eBook receiving great reviews or is it a bit confusing to your prospects? You won’t know until marketers have those conversations with sales.

Use your marketing knowledge and forward thinking to help create marketing efforts that are relevant, but don’t forget to consider insights from sales, as they’re on the forefront speaking with your buyer personas on a daily basis.

Remember, feedback is only useful when it’s being put to action and used to capitalize on your efforts.

3. Don’t Just Assume Everyone is on the Same Page

It’s important to notify everyone throughout the company about marketing’s efforts and strategies, but don’t overlook communication with management.

Managers also have very busy days and always seem to be tight on time, so it’s important that you make a conscious effort to interact with them about future marketing content and any changes in your strategy that may affect their processes. Even if they’re scrambling throughout the day, they will appreciate you popping in to give them an update every now and then.

4. Be Available and Approachable

This last tip seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes it needs to be said.

As I mentioned before, I know marketers are busy, but they shouldn’t be so busy that people can’t stop in and have a conversation regarding a new sales idea, a new marketing effort, or whatever it may be.

Sometimes people forget how important it is to listen to other people’s ideas, especially people who are not immersed in the same daily activities as you are. They may see a better solution that you may be overlooking, or may have a different approach to something that you may have completely forgotten about.

You never know who or what will inspire an incredible marketing effort that yields quality MQLs for your sales team!

5. Communication is Paramount

When involved in any part of marketing, clear, effective communication is a necessity -- even on those days when you belong back in bed with the covers over your head.

Marketers always seem to be running in a million different directions at once, but throughout your daily interactions it’s imperative that all members of both sales and marketing teams are kept in the loop.

If you publish new content, send an email out to the company letting everyone know what was published, where they can locate it, and, if applicable, whether they should share it.

Another way to ensure everyone in the company is always receiving your content is to have them subscribe to your blog.

Communication is essential to generating qualified MQLs and SQLs. To ensure that both teams are hitting their goals, sales and marketing need to agree on what makes your company’s prospects qualified. This is where a detailed SLA comes into play.


As an industry, we need to find a way to align our sales and marketing team so that this challenge is a thing of the past. If you haven’t already, I urge you to take the survey conducted by QuotaFactory and The Marketing Advisory Network to help benchmark 2016 sales and marketing alignment and determine where improvements need to be made.

[Playbook] Inbound Sales Guide Cover

Free Guide:

The Beginners Guide to Inbound Sales
Read the Guide
[Playbook] Inbound Sales Guide Cover

Free Guide:

The Beginners Guide to Inbound Sales

See faster close rates and happier customers by shifting to inbound sales.

In this guide, you'll learn:

  • Inbound Sales vs. Outbound Seals
  • 5 Steps in the Inbound Sales Process
  • Getting Started and Troubleshooting


Inbound Sales
Published on April 25, 2016

Recent Articles

What is repelling content and how can you use it to increase sales?
May 21, 2021 • 7 min read
From brand MVP to rebranding: 7 lessons from rebranding our startup 3 years in
March 22, 2021 • 11 min read
How to have a great first sales meeting: the 3-step preparation process
March 17, 2021 • 9 min read
Do you need a sales mentor?: 5 reasons the answer is yes for B2B sales pros
February 18, 2021 • 5 min read
3 ways B2B sales managers can set their teams up for success in 2021
January 22, 2021 • 6 min read
5 B2B sales tips for selling in December and ending the year strong
December 17, 2020 • 5 min read
6 training exercises every B2B sales pro needs to practice today
December 1, 2020 • 7 min read
3 key focus areas for becoming a more effective account manager
October 28, 2020 • 6 min read
4 ways brands can use social media appropriately during COVID-19
October 16, 2020 • 5 min read
3 ways sales pros can make a great first impression (while selling virtually)
September 16, 2020 • 5 min read
5 ways B2B sales pros can increase influence with c-level buyers
August 20, 2020 • 6 min read
The marketer's 5-point guide to thriving in a sales environment
July 24, 2020 • 5 min read
7 savvy tips to boost conversions in your retail e-commerce store
July 17, 2020 • 6 min read
Managing a Remote Sales Team? 6 Tips for Creating the Right Communication Cadence
June 26, 2020 • 5 min read
The 11 best blogging platforms for publishing content
April 20, 2020 • 7 min read
Selling in times of crisis: 4 tips to use today to ease uncertainty
April 15, 2020 • 6 min read
Turning customers into fans: The truth may hurt, but customers appreciate it
April 8, 2020 • 4 min read
4 behaviors to get your sales reps thinking like CEOs
March 19, 2020 • 7 min read
How to use mirror neurons to win fans with your marketing videos
March 18, 2020 • 5 min read
6 ways social media can help for the greater good
March 5, 2020 • 8 min read
4 easy ways to deliver a sales experience your customers love
February 19, 2020 • 4 min read
[New Data] 3 ways to win more revenue from the 2020 State of Competitive Intelligence
January 29, 2020 • 4 min read
5 tips for building a world-class remote marketing team in 2020
January 21, 2020 • 7 min read
3 tips to propel your sales productivity in 2020
January 15, 2020 • 4 min read
9 innovative chatbot examples from top brands [+ how to build your own]
January 8, 2020 • 9 min read