They Ask, You Answer Mastery

A coaching & training program that drives unmatched sales & marketing results.


Sales Performance Mastery

Improve the competencies and close rates of your sales organization.

Web design

Website Mastery

Web design, development & training for your team.


HubSpot Mastery

Everything you need to get the most from HubSpot.

AI Mastery

AI Enablement Mastery

Unlock the power of AI in all aspects of your revenue operations.

Discover how IMPACT’s services can help take your business to the next level. Book a free 30-minute coaching session Book a free 30-minute coaching session
Learning Center
Learning Center

Learning Center

Free resources to help you improve the way you market, sell and grow your business.

Discover how IMPACT’s services can help take your business to the next level. Book a free 30-minute coaching session Book a free 30-minute coaching session

Free Assessment: How does your sales & marketing measure up?

Get Started

Free Assessment:

How does your sales & marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.
Get Started
Brooklin Nash

By Brooklin Nash

Jul 24, 2020


Sales & Marketing Alignment Contributor Inbound Sales
Join 40,000+ sales and marketing pros who receive our weekly newsletter.

Get the most relevant, actionable digital sales and marketing insights you need to make smarter decisions faster... all in under five minutes.

Thanks, stay tuned for our upcoming edition.
Sales & Marketing Alignment  |   Contributor  |   Inbound Sales

The marketer's 5-point guide to thriving in a sales environment

Brooklin Nash

By Brooklin Nash

Jul 24, 2020

The marketer's 5-point guide to thriving in a sales environment

Sales and marketing goals can sometimes seem to be paddling the canoe in slightly different directions. If you work for a sales agency, sales enablement tool, or in sales-centric work culture, this one is for you.

Quick question: If you’re a marketer, how much of your marketing strategy is directly aligned with sales efforts? If you’re a sales leader, how much of your sales activity utilizes marketing materials? 

As a marketer, I’ve spent seven years creating content on everything from ad spend data to employee advocacy on social media. Now, as of 2020, I’ve taken on an audience I’ve never written for before: salespeople. 

This has taught me to be concise. It’s taught me to get specific. It’s taught me about the customer. More than anything, however, it’s taught me that both sales reps and marketers have a ton to learn from each other. 

Even better yet, it’s taught me you don’t need a VP of sales enablement before jumping into sales and marketing alignment

I’m no expert (but you should listen to me anyway) 

I recently started as head of content at Wiza, a bootstrapped startup focused on lead generation. 

In my first 60 days, I doubled our traffic, quadrupled our backlinks, and captured snippets, but it’s not necessarily the metrics I’m most satisfied with; It’s how much I learned about the sales space.  

I was the second hire here. 

The CEO started his sales career before launching a cold email agency and the head of growth ran his own cold email agency before joining the startup.

Then came lil’ ol’ me, with plenty of content marketing experience but very little experience aligning those efforts with sales. 

(Read: None. Zilch. Zero). 

In the past few months, I’ve learned a lot — both from Wiza’s small team and others in the space (including this blog). 

More than anything, I’ve learned that alignment means more closed deals and more marketing revenue. Pure and simple. 

Without aligning sales and marketing efforts, you risk:

  • Losing out on revenue
  • Mixed messaging
  • Wasted budget
  • Unclear targeting
  • Increased customer acquisition costs

Both marketing and sales teams will run into plenty of barriers to sales and marketing alignment. In the long term, you’ll need to set up formal processes for overcoming those barriers.

But you don’t have to have the perfect plan to get the ball rolling. I’m not here to talk about formal processes and KPIs and MQLs (we’re a bootstrapped startup, remember). 

I still have a long way to go, but here’s what I’ve learned so far about leading a sales and marketing alignment initiative. 

5 informal ways to align and thrive in a sales environment 

Even if you’re not a team leader, these are a few ways you as a marketer can help build sales and marketing alignment into your team, from the ground up, and thrive in a sales-focused environment.

Here are my top five. 

1. Leverage your sales leaders’ voices

Marketers tend to write most of the content at any given company, but that doesn’t mean everything needs to come from the head of content. 

A prospect wants to hear from the person they’re working with; the experienced sales rep they’re building a relationship with, not a content marketer.

Plus, sales reps likely have first-hand insight into the customer’s needs that marketers typically don’t. 

So turn to them for guidance! 

Look at ways to incorporate your sales team into social, collateral, and articles. Posts from your sales lead or founder will add credibility and variation to your content. 

I’ve split our content into a handful of categories: SEO, thought leadership, and “get to know us” articles. The only posts I’m listed as the author on are SEO-focused. 

For the remainder, I take some extra time to talk to our founder or head of sales. In some cases, it means simply asking a few clarifying questions about use cases, user questions, or positioning. 

For other posts, it means asking them to outline the most important bullet points. Then they get the byline because they are the subject-matter experts. 

2. Absorb sales content like crazy 

When I first started at Wiza, I asked Stephen and Hans for their go-to sales blogs and resources. Then I spent 60 minutes every day for my first month absorbing posts, podcasts, and webinars from those horse’s-mouth sources. 

Here’s what they recommended:

Choose one of these resources and spend just 15 minutes a day reading through the content. 

Five hours a month should lead to a better understanding of sales language, motivations, and priorities. It may not impact your marketing activities directly, but it will certainly impact your relationship with the sales team. 

3. Join sales conversations 

As a marketer, you can learn a lot from Intercom chats or sitting in on a sales demo. 

No, it’s likely not in your job description, but you’ll get a quick and firm grasp of common user questions, critical lead objections, and the unique use cases of your product. 

Before we brought on our first sales rep at Wiza, I spent a lot of time in Intercom. 

Without having to put pen to paper, I learned a lot about our users and market position in those first 60 days.

I quickly came to know the competitors our visitors were considering, the pain points our users were trying to solve, and (most importantly) why users were choosing us. 

And don’t forget to ask questions! Why and how go a long way to building understanding. 

All of this knowledge is invaluable when it comes to aligning your marketing efforts with sales needs and goals. 

4. Share the love

Eventually, in your alignment efforts, you’ll get to the point where sales can determine the metrics for an MQL and marketing can contribute conversion rate optimization efforts to outbound, but if you’re not there yet, there’s no need to wait to get started. 

Share the metrics you’re using, the successes you’re seeing, and the hiccups you’re running into. As marketers, we have both a lot to offer sales and a lot we can learn from sales.

Is sales’ cold email seeing high open rate but low conversion? Offer to get on a call to discuss messaging from a marketing perspective. 

Are your pages seeing high traffic but reduced CTR? Talk to sales about what they use as their top value prop and test it out on your organic efforts. 

Numbers don’t have to be 100% formalized to be valuable. By being open to receiving and giving feedback, you’ll likely see a lift in your metrics.

5. Downplay the differences 

Don’t forget: There isn’t a huge difference between marketing and sales these days. 

Many popular business maxims are true for both marketing and sales: 

  • “sell benefits, not features!”
  • “get to the point!”
  • “it’s all about customer success!”
  • “be empathetic!” 

Instead of talking about a specific project or deliverable as either sales or marketing, treat it as a collaborative effort (even if one person owns it). 

Everyone is bound to learn something in the process. If you learn more about sales and your sales team learns more about how (and why) you create marketing content, alignment will follow. 

At the end of the day, both sales and marketing exist for the same reason — to generate revenue for the business.

If you keep that in mind and strive to understand one another, you will be much better equipped to achieve this goal in the long-run. 

Take your first step

You don’t need the perfect plan in place for sales and marketing alignment. You just have to take the first step.

Each month, Wiza’s CEO walks us through the month’s challenges for each of our respective areas: sales, content, growth, and product. 

By taking the time to understand each of these areas, I can create marketing materials that accomplish all of our goals — supporting sales, capturing the value of the product, and building a foundation for growth. 

All it takes is a 60-minute conversation. The point is: you don’t need a big initiative to get sales and marketing alignment off the ground. 

These are a few ideas that take minimal effort, but can get the ball rolling: 

  • Ask for a 30-minute meeting with a teammate that fits your ICP. Come with a handful of questions ready.
  • Look at the emails your sales reps are sending. Identify one way you can improve them from a marketing perspective and one way you can use them to improve your own content.
  • Sit in on a demo. Take notes on the prospect’s questions and the sales rep’s answers. 
  • Ask one or two sales reps if they would like to work with you on increasing their presence and engagement on LinkedIn. Treat it as a pilot social selling project.
  • Use sales’ lead generation efforts to create your next retargeting or ABM campaign. 

Which step will you start with? 

Free Assessment:

How does your sales & marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.

Related Articles

How To Align Your Sales And Marketing Teams In 2024

October 14, 2023
John Becker John Becker

The Key to a Better Sales Process? Pretend to Be Your Own Customer

August 23, 2023
Chris Duprey Chris Duprey

How To Create Sales Enablement Content Your Sales Team Will Love

August 17, 2023
John Becker John Becker

Need More Results from Your Marketing Content? Give It To Your Sales Team

August 16, 2023
Zach Basner Zach Basner

Focus on Sales Velocity and Solve the 'Danger Points' in Your Sales Process

March 1, 2023
Nick Bennett Nick Bennett

Check Your Ego and Understand the Metrics that Matter

December 28, 2022
Chris Duprey Chris Duprey

How Does They Ask, You Answer Benefit Sales?

December 7, 2022
John Becker John Becker

How to Convince Your Boss You Need a They Ask, You Answer Workshop

October 18, 2022
John Becker John Becker

Miscommunication is Limiting Your Businesses — Here Are 4 Ways You Can Fix It

October 10, 2022
Marcus Sheridan Marcus Sheridan

Sales and Marketing Friction is Hurting Your Bottom Line – Here’s What to Do About It

August 4, 2022
John Becker John Becker

5 Features of a Sales Enablement Strategy That Actually Works

June 27, 2022
Ramona Sukhraj Ramona Sukhraj

How To Be a Great Subject Matter Expert for Your Content Team

January 13, 2022
John Becker John Becker

IMPACT+ Free vs. IMPACT+ Pro: What's The Difference?

December 25, 2021
Connor DeLaney Connor DeLaney

Sales Enablement Checklist: 5 Questions Marketing Teams Should Regularly Ask Sales Teams

November 30, 2021
Bob Ruffolo Bob Ruffolo

Free Inbound Marketing Courses and Training

November 5, 2021
Paul D. Grant Paul D. Grant

What is the Value of a Digital Marketing Consultant?

November 4, 2021
Chris Marr Chris Marr

4 Signs Your Revenue Team Is Slowly Failing

October 23, 2021
Will Schultz Will Schultz

Sales and Marketing Alignment: How To Shorten Your Sales Cycle

September 17, 2021
Kimberly Marshall Kimberly Marshall

How to Get Great Sales Content from Your Marketing Team

May 3, 2021
Liz Murphy Liz Murphy

What Does Almost Every Business Leader Get Wrong About Sales and Marketing Alignment?

April 7, 2021
Chris Marr Chris Marr

In a Thriving They Ask, You Answer Company, What Role Should the CEO Play?

January 27, 2021
Marcus Sheridan Marcus Sheridan

Marketing and Sales Alignment When Using HubSpot and Salesforce [Infographic]

January 16, 2021
Joe Bachir Joe Bachir

Sales goals: 5 costly ways you're leaving money on the table (+ video)

November 27, 2020
Liz Murphy Liz Murphy

How do I get my old school sales reps to buy in to They Ask, You Answer?

November 18, 2020
Marcus Sheridan Marcus Sheridan

6 most common revenue team meeting problems (and how to fix them)

November 18, 2020
Eric Dunn Eric Dunn