Improved B2B Marketing and Sales Alignment Bodes Well for Growth

September 8, 2023

B2B marketing and sales leaders appear to be more confident in their teams’ alignment with each other this year than last, according to research [download page] from Demand Gen Report in partnership with Demandbase. Some 51% of marketers surveyed agreed that they’re aligned with sales, up from 44% last year.

Moreover, 53% of salespeople surveyed for the report agreed that they’re aligned with marketing, which is up from 42% last year.

This is an encouraging result given the need for alignment when considering growth strategies. In fact, when asked what their top priorities were to drive growth this year, respondents pointed first to improved alignment (66%), ahead of increasing win rates (63%) and increasing marketing investments (56%).

Recent research has shown that it’s important for B2B marketing and sales teams to co-own the revenue growth metric. In this latest study, marketers reported that the primary metric they’re measured on is total revenue (18%), followed by MQL (16%), marketing-influenced revenue (12%) and marketing-sourced revenue (10%). Last year, total revenue was at the bottom of the list, which the analysts note “indicates that companies are pursuing more aligned GTM strategies and likely adopting a more account-based focus.” (Most marketers actually report an increase in marketing and sales alignment after implementing account-based marketing.)

Meanwhile, the research also indicates that marketing and sales leaders are taking a more comprehensive view of go-to-market (GTM) and what it means. Indeed, when asked how to define “GTM,” there was virtual parity between the definitions of “how we take a new product to market” and “all revenue-generating activities, including marketing, sales, product and account retention/growth.” Last year, fewer respondents indicated that they defined GTM as all revenue-generating activities.

Additionally, while a product-led growth approach is the foremost approach for GTM strategies, lead-based approaches and account-based approaches aren’t far behind.

In other highlights from the report:

  • The biggest challenge faced by organizations with respect to marketing and sales alignment is looking at different data and operating in different systems.
  • Sales development / business development reps (SDRs and BDRs) are far more likely to report to sales (55%) than to report to marketing (20%) or to report inbound to marketing and outbound to sales (19%).
  • SDR and BDR success is primarily tracked by activity and opportunities and much less so by meetings.
  • The top data challenges that organizations are facing are data quality (55%) and missing or incomplete information (50%).

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 200 high-level B2B marketing (56% share) and sales (44% share) leaders. One quarter (25%) are at companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenues, and an additional half (49% share) are at companies with $100 million to $1 billion in annual revenues.


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