Trend for 2020: Sales & Marketing Working Together


Throughout 2019, I heard from several business leaders looking for new solutions and new ways to scale their businesses. The discussion often included how adding another salesperson or two just isn’t viable as a long term solution for many reasons, one being with the talent market as competitive as it is. Leaders are asking how to grow the business without simply adding headcount.

When companies are just starting out, adding a few sales people was a quick way to grow so it focused most of its resources on Sales. Over time as those companies grew, Sales teams acted like the rainmakers. They (and they alone) were celebrated when they closed the big deals. When new marketing resources were added, they had to fight for every dollar. Small marketing teams were asked to prove their mettle without having nearly the same budgets compared to their counterparts; the mile-high sales budgets.

Today, many of the marketing leaders I know are eager to do bigger and better things; “We can do more than make the sales powerpoints prettier. With a real strategic focus, every stage of the sales funnel works better. I just need our CEO to understand that,” say many CMOs.

The biggest trend for 2020: CEOs are investing in marketing more equitably to the sales budgets of the past.

Equality between these previously contentious teams sends a very clear message for sales and marketing to begin to “play nice in the sandbox.” First, the two groups need to develop and implement shared metrics. When resources are combined and metrics interconnected, budgeting becomes more flexible and less contentious. A “rise or fall together” culture develops. By creating shared scoreboards (like setting appointments for demos that come from marketing campaigns, as well as revenue goals), sales and marketing come together to determine their shared fate. The groups work together because they understand their roles and how they play for the same team. Both groups cease jockeying for resources to work together on strategic goals.

When sales and marketing work together, companies see substantial improvement on shared performance metrics: sales cycles get shorter, and the overall cost of sales is lower. Everybody wins!