Do Your Marketing and Sales Teams Need Couples Therapy? Use These Steps to Improve Alignment

August 8, 2019 | Kirsten Lyons

Some people might say that sales and marketing are from different planets. Today many teams measure themselves against misaligned goals, barely communicate, and then wonder why they aren’t driving the kind of results they want.

Tightly aligned sales and marketing teams…

  • Generate 208% more revenue from marketing
  • Improve their sales win rate by 38%
  • Drive 36% more organizational growth overall than companies without strong alignment

But we also know that across the board, sales and marketing relationships with results like these are the exception, not the rule.

  • 74% of marketers say sales has a negative opinion of leads they deliver
  • Sales ignores 50% of marketing leads
  • Only 8% of companies report strong alignment between sales and marketing

But just like a good therapist can revive a failing marriage, with the proper support, sales and marketing can partner to drive incredible results for the business. Most teams today just need some extra help to see eye-to-eye and get their relationship back on track.

A good couples therapist will help you…

  1. Establish open communication
  2. Build better habits
  3. Reinforce positive change

Let’s take a look at how these three steps can help get your marketing and sales teams back into the honeymoon phase and working together efficiently.

Step 1: Establish Open Communication

The disconnect between marketing and sales starts from a fundamental mismatch in the “Q” factor. In organizations with poor marketing and sales alignment, the “Q” for qualified in MQL isn’t the same as the “Q” factor in an SQL.

This mismatch in understanding of quality means marketers need to hustle to deliver more MQLs so some actually convert, while sales is left wasting valuable time searching for a viable lead in a pile of nothing names. Ultimately, nobody wins.

But like a couples therapist would start by getting both of your perspectives and problems out in the open, the first step in getting marketing and sales aligned is to work together to hash out what actually makes a high-quality lead for your business.

Once you’ve mutually established what factors make a great lead, marketing and sales can work together to create qualifying questions that help surface sales-ready leads that are likely to convert.

Step 2: Build Better Habits

All of that communication and work to mutually define what makes a great lead, and develop key qualifying questions, doesn’t work if marketing and sales can’t establish better habits to collaborate more effectively.

The next step in this process is to put the improved communication to work, which will help drive the impressive results tightly aligned sales and marketing teams are capable of. Building these two types of healthy habits within the marketing and sales relationship ensures that communication can thrive.

Process Habits:

Keeping communication open requires having multiple touchpoints built into your organizational processes. Explore setting up monthly editorial meetings to share ideas and make sure content is aligned with what sales is hearing and saying. Move teams physically closer together, if possible, to facilitate bonding and more conversation. Communication and interdependence are critical to success.

MarTech Habits:

Marketing and sales can work together to leverage technology to build a more transparent lead-to-deal process. This allows marketing to track leads and prioritize future activities that have produced high quality leads in the past.

Step 3: Reinforce Positive Change

The last step in the (therapeutic) sales and marketing alignment process is making sure that all of this work to improve the relationship sticks.

In practice, this means setting up your marketing and sales processes in a way that laser focuses on lead quality. For many teams, this ultimately means leveraging their tech stacks to help uncover leads that most reliably convert. When both teams have access to this information, marketers can scale the campaigns and activities that produce winners for sales.

But this process requires the flow of data across your MarTech to develop insights into what your lead-to-deal process actually looks like.

For many organizations, this means using your marketing automation to track MQLs from specific activities over time. That information can be combined with data from your CRM to understand which MQLs made an impact, and can help you track KPIs like marketing’s contribution to the sales pipeline, opportunities, or closed deals.


Marketing and sales may seem like they’re from different planets, but that doesn’t mean their differences are irreconcilable. With the right support, teams can open communication lines by focusing on what makes a quality lead, build better habits that support alignment, and leverage their marketing technology to focus on scaling quality leads.

Take a deeper dive into how to get marketing and sales off the therapy couch and onto the same page in our free guide!

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