"Smarketing" Tips For Aligning Marketing and Sales

Inbound Marketing smarketing

Modern businesses know that bridging the traditional split between marketing and sales is essential for growth, especially in B2B organizations. A recent study by the Aberdeen Group,  showed that companies with optimized marketing and sales team relationships grew revenue 32% faster. One of the core tenets of successful Inbound Marketing is to establish an effective sales and marketing partnership, often called smarketing. However, it's hard to maintain alignment once established. Issues often creep up, even if the unified goals of increasing revenue remains the same.

In this post, I’ve put together a list of 3 key reasons (and Movie GIFs) why your marketing and sales team are misaligned and how to best solve these problems.   

Failure to Communicate


Poor communication is the bane of every business function. Marketers are gathering leads and passing them to sales, and sales are getting on the phone and closing deals. Does sales know where those leads are coming from? Do your marketers know how the deal was closed, won or lost? Often times, the sales team doesn't understand the marketing message or methodology, and likewise, marketing doesn't understand the sales cycle.

Using a marketing tool and CRM is the first step. However, the people on your teams are an important resource. Afterall, your sales reps are speaking directly to your potential customers and have great insight into why a deal was won or lost. Marketing can then formulate messaging that better fits your buyer personas.

Your marketing and sales should meet regularly and interact, in-person if possible. You should have a weekly meeting open to all team members and a monthly meeting at the management/team leader level. This would enable an open dialogue and an opportunity to learn from each other. You’ll even find that the sales team are not so ego driven and marketeers are not so flakey.   

What is the dollar value of marketing?

How often have you heard from a sales executive or c-suite that marketing does not generate revenue? Yes, sales brings in the money, but that happens at the end of a long process. Presenting your marketing activities as a monetary value would translate better for more revenue oriented organizational roles.  

Lets use a white paper as an example. First create a segmented list of all leads generated by downloading the white paper, then calculate the average revenue generated per customer from that list. Find the average close rate per MQL that was passed to sales. You then multiply the average revenue generated per customer by the close rate per MQL. Take that number and multiply by the number of MQLs. The result is the dollar value of the white paper.

500 Leads

Content Asset

Avg. Revenue per Customer

Close Rate %

Value per MQL

Value of Content Asset

(Per 500 Leads)

White Paper






Not Sharing Reports


Companies with poor marketing and sales alignment most likely don’t integrate and analyze historic data to monitor progress, calculate projections, or measure ROI.  These companies are most likely not experiencing effective growth. Using data is essential to monitoring progress, analyzing leads, and track ROI. How else do you know if you're meeting your goals?  

Companies need to have complete integration of data from both your marketing tools and CRM to take advantage of proper reporting. Hubspot calls this Closed Loop Reporting. Marketing can then share with sales all of the insights gathered during the buyer journey, and set up lead alerts, to notify a sales rep of important buyer activities. This allows the sales team to focus their activities on decision ready leads. The sales team then has the important task of sharing vital data with marketing, such as the number of contact touches, sales cycle progress, closed won revenue. This gives marketing the insight to identify winning campaigns and focus their activities on what works.  

What’s Next   

We’ve identified several issues that can cause marketing and sales misalignment and how best to address those issues. So what’s next? If your business is not already evaluating leads and assigning a number to them, Lead Scoring might be a great project to get the marketing and sales team to work together. It would give them an opportunity to meet to assign points and dollar figures to leads, and sharpen up closed loop reporting metrics. Now go grow your company.


Take a look at our White Paper on Lead Scoring to get you started.


The Penguin Team

by The Penguin Team on April 14, 2016

As a leading B2B digital marketing agency, We help B2B Technology Companies, enterprise software, and hardware companies increase brand awareness, reach more qualified leads and close more customers. Penguin Strategies is a Diamond Partner of HubSpot.