Friends, foes or frenemies? How to get marketing and sales to align.

What’s the dynamic of marketing and sales at your organization? Is it a team or one versus another? Are they friends or foes? Maybe they are frenemies. Sales and marketing, the peanut butter and jelly to any company. Each is tasty on their own but blissfully complement each other when brought together. That is the case for many sales and marketing teams working together today. It is better to have them exist and work together than to have them apart.

Here are four strategies that companies can implement to bridge the gap.


Recognizing the common goal

“There is no I in team,” wasn’t just the motto we used in our high school sports teams. This is something both internal departments should abide by. Every team you were on growing up had one common goal. Perhaps the goal was to make it to the state tournament or earn a high rating at a band competition.

When you enter the real world for a company with a product or a service, having a goal and objectives to meet that goal is no different. Rather than drawing a line in the sand and sending the two separate teams on their way to create their own goals, have sales and marketing work together as one team to identify goals, vision and objectives. This allows everyone to come to the table to offer ideas, work and brainstorm together. It makes the goals stronger and allows every individual to feel heard and more motivated to do their part in achieving the goals.

When these teams come together, recognize the goals, work as one team, understand roles and skills, and collaborate on objectives and strategies — that is when the best work is done.

Get started creating common goals, visions and messaging with your marketing and sales team by downloading our key messaging document.

Recognizing successes

Another old saying that comes to my mind, “We are stronger together,” is true — sales and marketing departments are stronger together, but oftentimes, they celebrate success separately.

We hear this one far too often. Sales teams are always requesting tools from the marketing team that hopefully make their job easier and more effective since they are the boots-on-the-ground sellers of the company product. Or the marketing team needs access to customer lists and insightful product and industry trends that the sales team has because they face the customers daily.

Fingers are pointed if a campaign flops. But if a campaign or promotion exceeds all expectations, then everyone stakes claim to fame for the newfound success. What if we all took a step back and raised that trophy together? You know that iconic sports moment with confetti falling around the champions? Or the tiered podium at the Olympics? What if the marketing and sales teams got to those pivotal success moments and relished in the success together? Celebrating success together can be difficult when teams are divided.

It is challenging to recognize the marketing team for their contribution to sales success because salespeople all have quotas and numbers to meet, and when they hit their target goals, the numbers don’t lie. The numbers show that Jane Doe contributed to the success of the gross profit by exceeding her sales goal by 25%. But where does that leave the marketing team? The ones who created the selling materials, looked into the data to create timely messages and created the overall brand and product awareness ads and messages?



On all successful teams, communication is important (unless you’re in miming — then it’s just nonverbal communication). As a basketball player, I remember defensive drills where each player had to yell out every screen, dribble and pass. Again, this is no different in the business world.

When sales and marketing teams work together they are successful and communicate effectively and ensures everyone is aligned to reach common goals. Finding a platform that works for your internal joint team can aid in the success of communication. Software platforms like Trello and Microsoft Teams can enable the conversation and transparency about projects and tasks across the team. When many sales members are spread across the country and world, these tools can assist in providing the most recent, up-to-date information for the work at hand.

Another tool that aids in the success of a collaborative team is trust and relationships. As humans in marketing and sales roles, we all can have authentic and outgoing personalities. Building trust and relationships with the people you work with can assist in the progress and prosperity of the company.


Leadership alignment

Having one coach who represents the combo team of marketing and sales, aka the Dream Team, can eliminate lines and divisions. It’s crucial to have a director for this team to represent the group when meeting with leadership or executives. We all want someone who advocates for us. The fears of favoritism and picking a side can disappear when the right director of the sales and marketing department is chosen. Having one leader who truly recognizes and celebrates the different roles and skills each individual brings to the team is when motivation, collaboration and execution can reach new levels. Put me in coach, I’m ready to play!


Team inclusivity results in positivity. Instead of drawing lines and picking teams, blend and work as one. Understanding each individual brings something different to the team. I always remember the different roles I had on the teams I was a part of. In the business world it’s the same: Acknowledging the strengths and skills from the individuals in the team can help everyone achieve that goal for the company.