Gaining alignment between marketing and sales teams

Shonna Bairos
April 6, 2023

This episode we chat all about sales and marketing alignment (and why there’s misalignment), evolving ABM, intent data and more. And this week we’re joined by Megan Maskill, VP of Customer Success here at Tourial.

Megan’s worked with hundreds of B2B marketers between her time at Oracle, Atomized and most recently, Terminus and has seen firsthand how unlocking the data between sales and marketing is key to reducing internal friction points.

Sales and Marketing Alignment

Marketing is no longer lead-gen machines solely focused on generating leads and sending them to their sales team. Instead, marketing is and should be involved throughout the entire buyer’s journey, from top of funnel all the way to won revenue. 

And historically, sales may not have had any idea what marketing was doing beyond giving them account lists but they weren't really bought in on the entire marketing strategy. But these old ways cause a lot of friction between the two teams leading to misalignment on process and goals. 

Three factors causing sales and marketing misalignment:

Change management

This can be most difficult because of the risk, especially in larger enterprise organizations. For many leaders, initiating that change also means a risk of failure and so it doesn’t happen. There's a real "fear of messing up" and so sometimes it's easier not to do it than try and not be successful.

No top-down approach

Ensuring alignment between sales and marketing can’t happen in siloes. If C-level executives are not on board with change then it won’t happen. There has to be buy in across the board and everyone has to be willing to participate to see lasting change and sucess.

Different KPIs and metrics

Similarly, sales teams can’t be working toward one set of KPIs while marketing is goaled on others. 

To truly create alignment between sales and marketing there has to be a mapped out strategy and an understanding that any big change will require time and resources. 

Any new strategy and mindset takes iteration. It can’t just be a one and done project. But the teams that take the time to continue to iterate on their alignment strategy are the ones that come out on top. 

ABM and first-party intent data

In the early days of ABM, the framework was really just marketers getting ads in front of their top target accounts and then personalizing them at a departmental or maybe title level. 

As ABM technologies and data evolved, it wasn't just marketing teams that wanted it. Sales teams started seeing the value because it could show that an account was really engaging with a specific website page, or a piece of content. Now, sales could use that information as a buying signal and then act quickly by reaching out.

It's that sharing of data and information that began bridging the gap between marketing and sales teams.

But with stricter privacy policies and the eventual demise of third-party cookies, we’re now seeing more buzz around first-party intent data and owned media becoming a big priority for companies.

Your buyers want information and they want it fast, so beyond researching on their own with review sites, product tours, etc., revenue teams have to be able to act quickly when someone shows a high level of intent or raises their hand.


Keeping it simple is key. First-party data can be very valuable in highlighting signals so your team can act, but start with focusing on whether you’re giving your buyer the experience they want. Start with transparency. Transparent value propositions, what your solutions does, how it solves a problem, and how it leads to desired outcomes.

The best marketing teams, and revenue teams in general start with empathy. At the end of the day, you have to put yourselves in your buyers’ shoes and think about the experience you’d want.

Intent data can be super valuable but you won’t really see that intent if you’re not giving your buyers everything possible to ensure they can self-educate during their research phase.