The Unfortunate Disconnect Between Sales and Marketing

Your company has an aggressive sales team, strong management, and a great product with demonstrable value. This product can, without question, provide solutions for your clients. Regardless of maintaining these keys to success, you may continue to find yourself asking, “Why do we keep falling short?” The typical response when faced with struggling performance is to blame employee performance for shortcomings in revenue generation. This common managerial attitude unfortunately shifts the focus to individuals and ignores larger, structural issues, resulting in solutions that do not address the root of the problem.

A recent study performed by Forrester Research revealed that only 8% of business-to-business companies maintain a tight alignment between their sales and marketing departments.[1] This indicates that a massive 92% of companies have sales departments that are out of sync with their marketing departments. This lack of alignment has shown to be incredibly detrimental, or even fatal, to generating expected revenue. Why is this the case?

1. No common objective exists. The marketing team has one plan and the sales team has another. This is an efficiency deflator. When the two departments do not share the same goals, how can they hope to smoothly turn a lead into a closed deal?

2. Instead of collaborating, it is much more common to pass the buck on issues of revenue generation. Both sales and marketing claim to be doing their respective jobs, and when there is an issue it is more frequent to blame the other party. This is a common attitude across the board when the company is not meeting profit projections. When there is inter-departmental strife, further productivity is wasted on pointing fingers.

3. There is no common ground, and a noticeable lack of integrated understanding. The marketing team needs to be fully up to date on how the sales pipeline is functioning, and the sales team must be equally aware of how the product is presented. This will allow for far more effective collaboration that both parties can agree on and respond to accordingly.

While the departments may remain separate for efficiency purposes, the individuals in both sales and marketing must have a fully developed understanding of each other’s goals, strategies and practices. Set a common goal so that marketing efforts match sales techniques. Require interaction to ensure that individual or departmental goals do not deviate from the overarching objective at each stage of the branding and sales process. An integrated company culture ensures alignment and alignment ensures more efficient revenue generation.


[1] “Strategies and Tactics for better Marketing and Sales Alignment.” CorporateVisions Corporate Visions, Inc. N.d. Web 9/20/13

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