What Sales Leaders Need to Know About Marketing Strategy


Amazingly, SBI discovered that 39% of sales leaders have no sales strategy. Without a sales strategy, aligning with the marketing strategy is impossible. But this strategic alignment is critical to hitting your number in 2016.


The sales team needs leads from marketing to be successful. And the marketing team needs feedback on those leads to improve quality going forward. The two strategies are perpetually connected.


You must have a sales strategy that is aligned with the other functional strategies in 2016. It’s the only way to systematize revenue growth. After creating your strategy, aligning with Marketing should be one of your highest priorities. Here’s why.Creating harmony between the Sales and Marketing plans is a smart move.


What Marketing Brings to the Sales Table:

All of the connections in the revenue growth chain are important. This includes the bond between sales and marketing.


The sales team relies on Marketing to provide valuable leads. They also rely on Marketing to provide effective tools. These tools help sales reps communicate the unique value proposition of their product.


From content strategy to sales enablement material, Marketing provides a lot of value. But communication between the two teams is critical to bringing this value about. Creating harmony between the sales and marketing plans is a smart move.


Why Marketing Needs Sales:

Besides the obvious, Sales is responsible for revenue, Marketing needs the sales team. When you share your sales strategy with Marketing, they understand better how to help.


Communication between sales reps and the marketing team is powerful, too. From customer-facing sales reps, Marketing learns which campaigns are working and which aren’t. They learn what content customers need to feel confident about making a purchase. They learn what sales reps need to convince customers to make that purchase.


More information gives campaigns a better chance at success. It also makes the campaign more likely to be embraced by other company leaders. “Working with our merchandising team and our sales team, we will try to identify what appear to be the best opportunities,” said Richard Doggett, the vice president of product and field marketing at Sysco. (Source: SBI Magazine, Summer 2015, page 54)


How to Work Together With Sales to Execute a Winning Strategy:

Schedule weekly alignment calls between Marketing and Sales. Review both strategies and keep an eye out for where there may be misalignment.


Also, conduct quarterly strategy reviews and determine if last quarter’s assumptions were validated.


Find out how Joel Trammell, CEO of Khorus, keeps Marketing and Sales aligned.Check out this podcast with the fascinating case study.


Aligning Sales and Marketing is an ongoing process. Our SBI strategists can show you how top performers are making this happen. And they can teach you how to stay on track going forward. Register for our “How to Make Your Number in 2016” workshop today.


Mike Drapeau

Makes data and analysis come alive so clients can understand the “what” and “why” and design solutions that fit the environment.
Learn more about Mike Drapeau >

Once the leader of SBI Delivery, Mike is now head of the firm’s internal talent development, so he has had the fortune to help some amazing sales and marketing leaders. He starts by earning their trust. Much of this comes from his deep base of experience. With more than 25 years in sales, sales management, pre-sales and sales operations, he’s never met a challenge he didn’t like. And with backgrounds in sales leadership, marketing, and sales operations, he shuns the idea of being a desk jockey and relishes the idea of living in the field.


Mike maintains, develops, and leverages SBI’s library of emerging best practices for sales and marketing, which leads to evidence-based solutions, custom-fit to each client. Maniacally focused on execution, Mike does not believe in giving clients fancy deliverables with no operational details. He knows that field adoption is key. After all, if behavior doesn’t change, the lift doesn’t come. Likewise, if those closest to the field adopt the solution, the client wins.

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