Strategy Matters: How to Align Your Sales and Marketing

Marketing leaders, ask yourself this: Does your marketing department drive direct revenue for your business? If so, how much?

Now consider asking your sales leaders the same questions. Do they consider marketing a cost center or a driver of growth?

According to research by The Pedowitz Group, only half of marketers currently track direct revenue accountability (PDF). That means one in two marketers still have no idea what the impact of their activities are. It’s no wonder most sales teams consider marketing a drain on resources; not even the marketers themselves are putting up the numbers to determine if their efforts are a success.

Marketing point products or services are only effective when they are used to enable a business strategy. If your sales team members aren’t taking the marketing team seriously, it’s probably because they don’t consider you a partner in the growth of your business. That kind of mindset is going to keep sales chugging along without really taking marketing into account, while forcing marketing to continue making decisions without any real grounding in revenue, data, and true success.

So how can marketing leaders overcome the misconception that marketing is only costing sales money and get a seat at the decision-making table? Here are three ways to shift the thinking of the sales team–and your own department–to create strategic plans that complement the strengths of both departments.