How Can Marketing and Sales Collaboration be Improved? Views from Both Sides

December 20, 2021

This article is included in these additional categories: Analytics, Automated & MarTech | B2B | Business of Marketing | Customer-Centric | Industries | Internal Collaboration

AscendConvinceConvert B2B Marketing Sales Collaboration Improvement Areas Dec2021

For years, creating alignment between sales and marketing has been a priority, and that is expected to continue to be the case for B2B organizations’ go-to-market strategies into the future. That’s not to say that there hasn’t been some success in aligning sales and marketing. Per a report from Convince & Convert and Ascend2, more than two-fifths of B2B marketing and sales professionals say their teams are strongly integrated and that most technology and goals are aligned. 

While this is encouraging news, it does seem that full alignment is still out on the horizon, as only one-third (32%) of the marketing and sales professionals surveyed say that the sales and marketing teams at their organization are totally integrated and work as one team.

So, where do sales and marketing professionals think there is room for improvement insofar as alignment is concerned? Here’s what the report reveals.

Areas of Improvement Vary by Team

Research from The CMO Survey shows that marketing leaders are more inclined to say they are more aligned with their counterparts in sales than in finance. Nevertheless, sales and marketing teams are not necessarily aligned on where collaboration between teams needs the most improvement.

For marketing respondents, most cite feedback between groups (32%), regular joint meetings (29%) and lead quality review (25%) as the areas they think need the most improvement when it comes to sales and marketing collaboration. On the other hand, sales respondents believe that collaboration needs the most improvement in areas such as target accounts (29%), content planning (28%), and budget planning (27%).

For the most part, marketers and sales professionals do agree on what is preventing their teams from aligning. They both say that lack of time, overall strategy and resources are standing in the way of alignment. However, marketers are far more likely than sales professionals to cite a lack of cooperation from other teams as a hindrance to alignment.

Most Are Sharing Responsibility for Management of Success Metrics

When asked to describe the way their organization manages success metrics, the largest share (48%) of all respondents report that sales and marketing share responsibility for the management of these metrics. While a plurality of both marketers (49%) and sales professionals (48%) agree that the responsibility is shared, it appears that for those who do not say their departments share responsibility, marketers (21%) are more likely than sales professionals (12%) to say that marketing mostly fully manages success metrics, including over sales, and sales professionals (24%) are more likely than marketers (10%) to say sales mostly fully manages success metrics, including over marketing. 

B2B marketers and sales professionals alike are confident in their own teams’ success. Nearly all sales professionals and marketers perceive that their own teams are at least somewhat successful. What’s more, the majority of both sales and marketers believe that the other team is also at least somewhat successful.

About the Data: Findings are based on a September survey of 346 B2B marketing and sales professionals, 184 of whom are part of their organization’s sales team and 162 are part of the marketing team.

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