Jul 27, 2021
On today’s episode of Aligned, Sean is rejoined by President of
OHD Luke Allen to discuss the sales and marketing
relationship. The two departments are often thought of as
a water and oil mixture - two necessary components that don’t work
well together. In today’s episode, we’re going to find out why (and
how to change it.)
It isn’t just one half of the equation - both sides
- Luke has seen marketing create imagery around a product where
it doesn’t fit the audience the product is marketed towards.
- On the other hand, Sean has seen sales staff not understand the
role of marketing and the benefits marketing provides while still
taking 100% attribution for the sale itself.
- Overall, the difficulty with sales and marketing alignment
comes from sales lack of trust in marketing.
Aligning sales and marketing is a multi-step process.
But how can you start?
- The first step is a common understanding of the way the
consumer goes through their buyer’s journey, and then creating a
common language between sales and marketing.
- Marketing gets thrown under the bus if something doesn’t work
out, but marketing has a critical role in moving potential
customers through the initial stages of a pipeline without sales
having to interact.
Developing communication doesn’t have to be
- You can categorize the strain between sales and marketing and
two big camps: economic and cultural.
- The two functions attract very different types of people -
marketing attracts an intellectual or “creative” person. In
contrast, the salesperson is the chameleon able to be molded into
whatever they need to be.
- One way to create marketing and sales alignment is to have
shared revenue and attribution in early stage goals. Get the groups
together to determine the goals, KPIs, and how those goals will be
Sean’s secret? Don’t undervalue marketing.
- Imagine a company has one million dollars to invest in its
sales and marketing. Typically, you’ll see sales get 80-90% while
marketing is left with 10-20%. If you flip those numbers, do you
think sales could perform with only 10% of its budget?
- You can't undervalue something and then be surprised when they
aren’t able to do much.
- Overcome this hurdle by implementing incrementalism. If you
start with $100,000 to achieve a specific result, that then allows
you to go back and ask for $200,000 next time. And then
Different types of marketing and sales
- Undefined group - smaller companies who don’t even think about
how sales and marketing work together.
- Aligned sales and marketing group - companies with defined
boundaries but with joint planning sessions that create a shared
- The highest level is a revenue and operations group - fully
integrated, breaking down the silos of sales and marketing and
structures everything within one unit.
Sean and Luke’s advice to executives and working
- Begin measuring some of the hard questions discussed in the
episode, like your marketing/sales split.
- Marketing should get out of the office. Get them in front of
customers to learn fresh perspectives and thoughts they would never
- Look at your budget from the customer journey perspective and
see how much you’re allocating for each stage in the customer’s