Integrating Sales and Marketing

by Helton Haddad Silva / February 3, 2021

Any sales or marketing professional will tell you that there is often an ‘atmosphere’ between the two functions: a silo mentality that often blocks effective communication, relationships and, as a result, performance. Marketers are seen as ‘day dreamers’, ‘too creative’, with a lack of understanding of the real world; while salespeople are labelled as arrogant rebels with an inflated ego and the gift of the gab.

It is becoming increasingly important that sales and marketing work hand in hand to deliver excellence for their customers. There are a number of drivers for this. This article looks at some of these drivers and then suggests ways to integrate the two functions.


5 Ways To Integrate Sales and Marketing

  1. Clearly define a singular purpose
  2. Outline roles, expectations, processes, and best practice
  3. Train both teams in the other's hard and soft skills
  4. Invest in collaborative technology
  5. Define common success metrics for common goals

Change in the Buying Cycle

It has been highlighted by many that customer buying cycles are changing, with sales professionals getting involved later in the purchasing decision. According to research by CEB, B2B buyers are typically 57% on the way to a buying decision before they actively engage with sales.

Rather than the lead coming over the fence from marketing at a very early stage, sales and marketing need to work together to ensure an accessible and relevant message is out there to generate customer interest.


The impact of Social Media

Social media is playing an increasingly important role in business development. Companies are keen to establish social marketing as a route to market, and sales have an important role in localizing the marketing message.

This is more than merely taking generating marketing collateral and pumping it out to contacts – salespeople need to communicate an authentic message that demonstrates a good understanding of specific customer issues. The support of a strong marketing team in doing this will improve the customer experience, and increase the likelihood of a sale.

Making sense of the data

Whilst increased digitalization gives the buyer more freedom to make purchasing decisions, this is accompanied by a mass of data for buyers to wade through in making decisions. A key role for salespeople is in helping buyers to navigate the plethora of different options and build their confidence in making the right choice. Marketing, in turn, have an important role in equipping sales teams to provide that insight by providing relevant, timely material.


Watch Helton talk more about aligning sales and marketing in this episode of Chat With Matt



previous post The New Salesman Part 5: Focus
Next Post Growing Your Business in the Pandemic Bubble
Helton Haddad Silva

Helton Haddad Silva

Helton is a Marketing Professor, Management Consultant and International Sales Trainer, holding a PhD in Marketing.