Marketing-Sales Alignment: You Don’t Need a Therapist

It’s an age-old story. Marketers strive to deliver good leads to sales and sales reps say the leads “suck.” (No kidding, that’s what one sales rep told me.) Sound familiar? When it comes to lead quality, the two groups seem to engage as warring kingdoms. A study illustrates this point.1

  • While 59% of sales leaders said they source higher-quality leads, only 17% of marketing leaders agreed. Conversely, 58% of marketing leaders said marketing sources higher-quality leads, but only 14% of sales leaders agreed.
  • 67% of marketing leaders want sales to follow up on leads within 5 hours, but it usually takes salespeople up to 24 hours.
  • 63% of sales teams aren’t consistently made aware of current marketing campaigns. 64% of marketing teams aren’t consistently made aware of current sales initiatives.

The study’s results make it very clear that in most companies, marketing and sales teams are glaringly misaligned. So, how do you change a paradigm where these two groups act like mortal enemies when it comes to judging lead value and quality?

TW’s Take

Our experience also has confirmed that sales and marketing alignment is a big challenge for most B2B and life science companies. We have found there are five key issues that must be reconciled for sales and marketing teams to work together effectively.

  • Definition of the criteria for MRL, MQL, and SAL lead classifications
  • Alignment on sales lead volume and conversion objectives
  • Agreement on lead scoring methodologies and qualification processes
  • Creation of marketing/sales rules of engagement
  • Establishment of key metrics

Better communication and engagement between the groups are key enablers in improving teamwork. As the study said, “If both departments can have real conversations about how they individually approach lead generation and follow-up, then actual progress can be made towards alignment and ROI.”

P.S.  At least there was one thing that B2B marketers and sales reps agree on: on average, marketing-sourced leads take 3.6 months to convert to a purchase while sales-sourced leads take 3.6 months to convert to a sale.

For a copy of the study, email

1 Source: PureB2B, 2021 Sales and Marketing Alignment Benchmark Report, June 2021