Synchronized swimming is a beautiful thing to watch. A team that excels at the sport is the living incarnation of a well-oiled machine, with each member performing their part perfectly while being acutely aware of how they fit in with their teammates’ pace and movements. Every swimmer must be perfectly aligned with the group, or else the whole performance will look disjointed and sloppy.

Businesses have a lot to learn from synchronized swimming teams. Each employee should be working towards a key organizational goal and doing their part to drive growth. If one team isn’t carrying their weight or is out of step with the rest of the company, you could be missing out on customers or an opportunity to grow.

Access Now: Sales & Marketing SLA Template

This is especially true when it comes to sales and marketing. In an ideal world, sales and marketing processes would be built with the other team in mind.

Marketers should be attracting and nurturing leads with targeted content so that qualified prospects can be passed onto Sales, while sales reps should convert those prospects into customers.

To execute on these goals, both teams need to be aligned on what it means for a lead to be properly qualified and what your company’s target buyer looks like. 

It’s all well and good to tout the virtues of smarketing in theory, but what about the hard data supporting synchronization? Here are some numbers that just might convince you of the value of Sales and Marketing alignment:

Sales and Marketing Alignment Stats to Know

Smarketing Benefits and Opportunities

  • 87% of sales and marketing leaders say collaboration between sales and marketing enables critical business growth. (LinkedIn, 2020)

  • Almost all (94%) of the top-performing salespeople surveyed by LinkedIn called the marketing leads they receive either “excellent” or “good." (LinkedIn, 2020)

  • Marketing and sales teams that take an ABM approach together can be up to six percent more likely to exceed their revenue goals than teams less ABM-advanced. (Forrester, 2019)

Smarketing Tactics

  • 86% of marketing professionals spend their efforts on accounts that sales is targeting. (LinkedIn, 2020)

  • 62 of marketers say they can measure a positive impact since adopting ABM. (Forrester, 2019)

  • 80% of marketers say ABM improves customer lifetime values, while 86% say it improves win rates. (TOPO, 2019)

  • 85% of marketers with an SLA think their marketing strategy is effective. (HubSpot, 2020)

  • The most common measurement of success for content marketing programs is Total Sales. (HubSpot, 2020)

Smarketing Challenges & Needs

  • 60% of global respondents in a LinkedIn survey believed that misalignment between Sales and Marketing could damage financial performance. (LinkedIn, 2020)

  • 90 percent of sales and marketing professionals point to a number of disconnects across strategy, process, content, and culture. (LinkedIn, 2020)

  • Only 7% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were very high quality. (HubSpot)

  • Only 28% of salespeople said marketing was their best source of leads (HubSpot)

  • 43% of sales and marketing people said "lack of accurate/shared data on target accounts and prospects" was the biggest challenge when it comes to aligning sales and marketing departments. (InsideView, 2018

  • 23% of salespeople said the thing they need most from their marketing team is "better quality leads", while 15% ranked "more leads" as their top need from marketers. (InsideView, 2018

  • 30% of marketers ranked "consistent use of systems" as their top need from their sales teams, and 22% said "better lead follow-up." (InsideView, 2018

Embracing Marketing Sales Alignment

As more and more companies are going nearly or completely virtual, marketing and sales alignment could be crucial to your brand. If the stats above have inspired you to build on your smarketing strategies, but you aren't sure of how to start, check out this helpful guide.

If you feel like you've nailed in-office marketing-sales alignment, but want to transition your strategy to remote work setting, you might enjoy these expert insights

Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published in April 2015, but was updated in September 2020 for comprehensiveness and freshness.

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Originally published Sep 30, 2020 2:15:00 PM, updated September 30 2020