Alignment between your marketing and sales teams is essential for the overall health and growth potential of your business. Yet, too many organizations simply don’t make sales and marketing alignment a priority. 

Because of this …

  • 1 in 4 companies say their sales and marketing teams are either “misaligned” or “rarely aligned.” (Source: HubSpot)
  • 50% of sales time is wasted on poor prospects. (Source: SalesHub)
  • Misalignment between sales and marketing costs B2B companies 10% or more of revenue loss annually. (Source: HubSpot)

While there are some major obstacles that inhibit sales and marketing alignment, most of the time it’s small breakdowns between the two teams that create the greatest frustration. 

3 Small Missteps That Fracture Sales & Marketing Alignment

Here are three miscues that might not be major issues, but each can make a significant impact on the alignment between sales and marketing over time:  

  1. Differing Thoughts & Opinions on Lead Goals & Definitions

Most of the disagreements and finger-pointing between sales and marketing happen when teams aren’t aligned around what makes a lead qualified enough to follow up. Marketing will send over leads, but sales never follows up with them. In their minds, they probably won’t result in anything because the person isn’t really in buying mode. 

To curb this, it’s important to ensure that everyone has the same definition of a lead and are aligned around the same goals. You need to make sure both teams are in agreement on things like quality vs. quantity and velocity vs. volume. Agreement on what is a marketing-qualified lead is the first step in the marketing-to-sales handoff process. 

  1. A Disorganized Lead Flow Process

After you properly define and qualify inbound leads, the next step is to decide when they should be routed and to whom. From our experience, this can be an issue when sales teams are unaware of the process that’s in place for follow-up and which steps need to be followed in order for activities to be logged.

If you want to create alignment between marketing and sales, it’s important to make sure there’s a consistent process in place for identifying leads. You’ll also want to explain how leads should be prioritized for follow-up.

  1. Inconsistent Communication Between Two Teams

It sounds simple because both teams are focused on leads, but if you look under the hood of your lead generation engine, you may find that marketing says “Here!” and sales says “Where?” Over a few weeks, this breakdown in communication can create serious fractures in your new business pipeline. 

One solution we often recommend is to establish a weekly 30-minute stand-up meeting between marketing and sales. These stand-up meetings don’t have to be complicated. Taking the time to connect at least once a week is one of the most important things a company can do to create alignment and foster face-to-face collaboration between the two teams.  

Marketing sales alignment is a never-ending process because it is ever-changing. However, the best way to consistently meet business demands is to make incremental improvements for the small breakdowns in the process and constantly evaluate how you’re building processes.