How Sales and Marketing Alignment Is Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Sales and marketing is like Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Sales and marketing is like Chocolate and Peanut Butter

There’s a sort of sibling rivalry between sales and marketing in many companies that can be solved through communication using a CRM like Hatchbuck. 

Miscommunication between the two teams can slow your company’s growth rate and diminish overall sales. A study by the Aberdeen Group found that where businesses have a healthy relationship between sales and marketing, teams saw sales growth of 20% in 2010, while companies with poor sales and marketing alignment saw revenues decline by 4%. If you are in the business of selling high-cost items such as real estate, architecture, landscape or interior design services, this can represent a tremendous sum of lost revenue. 

The 24% difference is a reason alone to work hard to improve communication between the two departments. Unfortunately, if your effort isn’t ongoing, the traditional rifts can reopen over time.

Creating a lasting sales and marketing alignment requires a strategy that treats both teams as a single, revenue-generating component, or smart marketing department! The key to the smart marketing approach is data and analytics. Implementing a framework of data-driven tools and practices will help your sales and marketing teams work better together. By using hard numbers to define key stages of your funnel and creating a clear outline of each team's expectations, there is a lot less room for arguing about each other's performance. The results become easy to see.

Let’s take a look at a few key elements of the smart marketing or “Smarketing” framework that can help you achieve strong sales and marketing alignment!


Data is crucial to maintaining sales and marketing alignment. Monitoring up-to-the-minute data streams can measure progress towards stated goals; analyze lead quality and measure marketing ROI. There are two key components to setting up a closed loop system, they are:

Marketing software – Put in place a closed loop marketing software package that can help with lead generation and management

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – A CRM system will help you to track and measure your team’s sales activities.
Any system put in place should be fully integrated so data for every lead from creation to close can be shared. This will help determine which marketing channels are most effective.


Sales and marketing alignment includes defining your lead funnel. Have clear definitions of each stage in the process. For example:

  • Visitors are encouraged to enter information, and then become leads.
  • Leads are defined to determine their origin. If the are marketing driven, they are classified as Marketing Qualified Leads or "MQL's".
  • MQL’s are passed to sales
  • Opportunities are defined by your sales team and finally
  • Closed to become customers

The important step is identifying MQL’s. This is the crucial hand-off point between marketing and sales so it’s important to have a clearly defined terminology. Examine each lead for both interest and fit with your company’s goals to determine qualification standards.


Defining the MQL is the first step in sales and marketing alignment. The next is to define a two-way SLA process. The SLA is a formal commitment that your sales and marketing teams make to meet shared goals for revenue growth. It’s a two-way process. Your marketing team commits to delivering a particular quantity and quality of leads each month to sales. Your sales team determines to follow-up those leads promptly and makes a number of contact attempts before dropping the point.

To learn how a CRM and Hatchbuck Automated Marketing software can help your built environment business, click here to schedule a call.

About Michael Conway

I'm the owner and strategist at Means-of-Production. My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one marketing tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition.

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