Once you understand the sales process and match your marketing content to it, the teams should set goals that are specific, measurable and timed. The overall goal is to find out what marketing channels yield the most closed sales and revenue. Connecting actual sales dollars to marketing campaigns is crucial to developing a credible and sustainable marketing strategy. Salespeople should use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to track the sales process. There are also tools for marketing management to make data capture easy and actionable. These tools show where leads come from and how often they convert to customers. This information can give your team insight into how to optimize your marketing mix and, ultimately, make your sales process more effective.

Finally, each group needs to agree on what they will deliver. Define what constitutes a marketing qualified lead and what needs to happen for it become sales qualified. Just because someone downloads one of your company’s e-books does not mean they are ready for a salesperson to call. Marketing professionals help make sales more efficient when they determine that the lead is a good fit (meets the criteria established when defining the ideal prospect) and is interested in your particular solution.

Two key habits for successful marketing and sales alignment are for salespeople to review leads with marketing and for the marketing team to sit in on sales calls. When marketing hears directly from customers and the sales group can communicate the attitude and outcome of incoming leads, you will be closer to a proper sales and marketing alignment.