B2B Marketing Experts Spill Their Secrets to Marketing-Sales Alignment

July 22, 2021

We all know alignment is essential for a well-oiled revenue team. Sales needs to trust and understand marketing in order to have the best chance to win. And marketing needs to be in lockstep with sales to understand how to best educate and persuade customers … so that sales has the best chance to win. In fact, well aligned revenue teams grow their revenue 24% faster than teams that are misaligned.

And yet, sales and marketing alignment is elusive. Whether it’s because we’re using disparate sources of data that keep us from agreeing on priorities and goals, or because we lack insights into each others’ day-to-day realities, a united sales and marketing force can feel like a pipedream in a lot of organizations.

That’s why when we see our customers attaining the seemingly unattainable — true marketing and sales alignment — we insist that they spill their secrets. What follows are some golden nuggets from three of 6sense customers who are living the unified rev team dream.

Missi Carmen, Director, Global Marketing, Digital Strategy at SYKES

“I am so proud of the relationship that we have with sales. We look to understand what makes them tick and where are the gaps that we can help improve — whether it's training or just even listening, or more collaboration. Partnership between sales and marketing starts with us living the brand, and that's having an interaction with each other. That interaction builds opportunities. We need to be on the same page so that we understand the campaigns that are being executed, the brand voice that's being put into the market, and also supported by sales enablement technology. That's going to have an impact throughout the entire cycle from ideation to creation, to execution, and then follow-up from sales.”

Listen to our full interview with Missi Carmen on the Difference Makers Podcast:

Lauren Wagner, Director, Marketing Technology at Okta, Inc.

It all starts with a plan and having clear alignment around how we go to market in marketing, how sales is aligned to their territories, and how marketing influences those theaters. If your sales team is aligned in an industry-focused approach, you want to make sure that you’re mirroring that in marketing and have a joint, agreed-upon plan of action for those theaters. For Okta specifically, we have a strong pod structure around territories. Each pod has a marketer, a sales development rep, AEs, and CSMs. And this pod meets on a regular basis to talk about the strategy for that territory. That pod structure, that regular communication, that cadence and approach really helps to foster that alignment.”

Listen to our full interview with Lauren Wagner on the Difference Makers podcast:

Jennifer McAdams, VP, Demand Generation and Field Marketing, Progress

"Sales really lets me behind the curtain in terms of how forecasts are set, how quotas are set, what their processes are. I'm on their forecast calls. So when they run down the deals, we hear what people are experiencing, what people are trying to solve for, when it works, and when it doesn't.

Our KPIs and our bonuses are based on sales attainment. So we're not incentivized to do MQL stuffing, or to just generate a bunch of opportunities that may not pan out just to be able to put the marketing source stamp on them. So we are responsible, but we are also in partnership with them. At the end of the day, everyone's ultimate goal is to make sure that the sales team makes their goals.”

Listen to our full interview with Jennifer McAdams on the Difference Makers podcast:

Making Alignment Look Easy

Sales and marketing alignment is different within each organization, as these B2B leaders can attest. But the teams that do it best are the ones in which the sales and marketing departments share the same intelligence and insights. Instead of butting heads over opinions and hunches, these teams pave a data-backed path to revenue. And when everyone is on the same page — and seeing the impressive successes that result — alignment comes naturally.


[1] https://business.linkedin.com/en-uk/marketing-solutions/blog/posts/sales-and-marketing/2018/Are-you-scaling-the-right-buyer-experiences

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