Should Marketing & Sales Departments Align?


Teams are multi-tasking units that perform goals to accomplish a task (Marks, Mathieu, & Zaccaro, 2001).  Teamwork is extremely important among marketers and sales departments.  Historically, marketing and sales departments operated independent of each other.  Statistics show organizations with marketing and sales teams that work in tandem are more profitable, make more sales and retain more existing customers.  Organizations with marketing and sales teams that are aligned perform better than organizations that do not integrate marketing and sales functions.

Marketing & Sales Teams Should Collaborate

Teams are the support structures for organizations.  Teams can be found across every level within most organizations.  Teams exist both horizontally and vertically within organizational layouts.  Businesses have executive teams, project teams, and marketing and sales teams among others.  Furthermore, teams can exist outside of individual organizations.  For example, businesses can work together in teams to facilitate creativity and innovation en-route to bringing products and services to market.  Business teams are expected to perform as effective groups.  Marketing and sales teams collaborate to conceptualize products and services to bring to market (SHRM, 2017).  Marketing and sales teams’ primary goals include increasing sales, improving marketing performance, lowering costs and improving service (SHRM, 2017).

Kevin O’Connor of Fast Company ( says that businesses can have great ideas; however, acknowledges teams of talented people organized strategically are necessary to succeed (O’Connor, 2012).  Within marketing, structured marketing and sales teams can make all the difference between success and failure.  Successful organizations get marketing and sales departments on the same page.  Marketing generates leads that the sales teams later converts into customers (Glynn, 2017).  Marketing and sales departments that collaborate versus working in silos are much more productive.

“Smarketing” is a popular phrase used to describe the successful coordination of marketing and sales teams (or departments).  Companies with sales and marketing teams working in tandem report seeing 36% higher customer retention, 38% higher sales win rates and 208% more revenue from marketing efforts (Ye, 2017).


Marketing and sales teams often have different goals.  Great organizations are tearing down barriers to coordinate efforts between marketing and sales teams (Marketo, 2017).  Leading sources state that marketing and sales team alignment can improve Return-on-Investment (ROI), sales productivity, and top-line growth.  In addition, some statistics suggest that an inability to align sales and marketing departments teams around the right objectives costs Business-to-Business (B2B) companies more than 10% in lost revenue (Murphy, 2015).


Marketo. (2017). What is Marketing and Sales Alignment?  Retrieved from August 7, 2017 from website

Marks, M., Mathieu, J. & Zaccaro, S. (2001).  A temporally based framework and taxonomy of team processes.  Academy of Management Review, 26, 356-376.

Murphy, A. (2015). 10 Stats on the Business Impact of Marketing Marks, M., Mathieu, J. & Zaccaro, S. (2001).  A temporally based framework and taxonomy of team processes.  Academy of Management Review, 26, 356-376.

Glynn, F. (2017).  7 Experts Share How They Make Marketing & Sales Collaboration More Effective.  Retrieved on August 8, 2017 from website

O’Connor, K. (2012).  9 Ways Great Companies Organize Their Teams For Success.  Retrieved on August 7, 2017 from website

SHRM. (2017). Developing and Sustaining High-Performance Work Teams.  Retrieved on August 8, 2017 from website

Ye, L. (2017). 20 Stats That Prove the Power of Sales and Marketing Synchronization.  Retrieved August 7, 2017 from website