Customer Acquisition: 5 Strategies for Sales and Marketing Alignment  



Customer acquisition costs are rapidly rising. Competition is fierce. And sales prospecting has never been harder. The only way to combat these growth headwinds successfully is to ensure sales and marketing alignment is tighter than ever. 

Yet many sales and marketing departments are still operating in silos, leading to higher costs, longer sales cycles and lower conversion rates that ultimately crush growth. At the same time, marketing teams must make every dollar count, as many struggle with an ROI problem, unable to demonstrate how they contribute to sales success. 

The key to overcoming these challenges is ensuring close sales and marketing alignment around shared goals with consistent communication to deliver on your customer acquisition goals. By viewing sales and marketing as two sides of the same coin, businesses can streamline their approach to sales funnel activities, from brand awareness to deal closing and retention. The Fletcher Group works with clients to follow five key strategies to bridge the gap between these two essential functions and foster a collaborative environment that yields measurable and shared success.  

1. Get Together

The first step towards sales and marketing alignment may seem obvious, but it will set your collaboration up for success. Start by establishing robust communication channels and routines between the two departments. There may be informal or ad hoc collaboration today, but that’s not enough. Teams must meet regularly—either in-person or virtually, including joint planning sessions, using shared collaboration and measurement tools. The key here is consistency: the two departments can’t collaborate if they only chat at the water cooler.  

B2B firms with high levels of alignment across customer-facing functions like marketing, sales, and product report 2.4x higher revenue growth and 2x higher growth in profitability than those without alignment.

Forrester Research: The Customer-Obsessed Growth Engine, February 2023

2. Focus on the Buyer

As acquisition costs rise, the right targeting is essential to maximize both marketing and sales resources. Understanding your buyers is paramount, and there is buyer data to capture, analyze and work from at each level of the funnel. This is where collaborative efforts between sales and marketing can truly shine. For both B2C and B2B businesses, defining the total addressable market (TAM) or marketable universe and co-creating detailed buyer personas (or Ideal Customer Profiles) are great places for this collaboration to blossom.  

Sales and marketing teams must combine intelligence to create profiles that highlight prospects’ firmographics, demographics, pain points, decision-making habits, preferred content, online behavior and more at every stage in the buyer journey. Marketing will have quantitative data from social, website and content engagements and from primary targeted research campaigns or secondary research.  

Sales can contribute valuable qualitative data from direct customer feedback and on-the-ground insights. Together, the two teams can zero in on the buyer segments most likely to convert and identify personalization strategies to bring them in and progress them through the sales funnel.   

“Sales must be part of the marketing strategy to achieve a mutual understanding.
It’s ‘us and us’ not ‘us and them.’”

Anne Hay, EVP and CMO, PayNearMe

3. Share Goals

The next essential step in strategic alignment is identifying shared goals, KPIs and measurement and reporting protocols. This involves setting shared deal and revenue targets, lead generation goals and other customer acquisition and retention metrics. These are not marketing channel indicators like impressions, average page views, time on site, etc. (although all those KPIs are important, too). These are shared sales funnel metrics such as: 

  • Total Addressable Market (TAM) 
  • Defined lead sources 
  • Acquisition cost per lead 
  • Criteria for marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs) 
  • Conversion rate targets for each stage of the funnel 
  • Value of each closed deal 

When marketing performance is tied to sales conversions, lead quality will likely improve. Similarly, sales teams can use key learnings from marketing campaign results to better resonate with leads and understand their decision-making process, which helps them nurture those leads and move them through the funnel.  

Tasks may be divided along departmental lines, but by working toward shared goals and KPIs and co-reporting to the C-Suite, both departments take responsibility and credit for deals closed. 

“We work together as a team. And our strategies are aligned.
My success is sales success and vice versa.” 

Wendy Ward, CMO, UATP

4. Expand Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is an important aspect of sales and marketing alignment success. Sales enablement supports the sales team’s one-to-one efforts by highlighting a brand’s valuable owned content and media wins, credentialing a brand, and building trust with new and existing customers. These materials are created by the marketing team and used by the sales team to advance prospects through the funnel and maintain existing customers. Salespeople share these digital assets via easy-to-personalize email and social media, with trackable links driving back to the website.  

It’s important for marketing to create this type of thought leadership content that showcases valuable knowledge and insights beyond what the company sells. It’s mutually beneficial to both teams, for several reasons:  

  • It often generates higher-than-average website traffic and boosts social engagement.  
  • It gives marketing another set of data to improve content and understand what resonates with prospects at various stages of the buyer journey. 
  • It serves as a valuable nurture tool for sales. 

5. Embrace Ongoing Collaboration

Ongoing collaboration is the cornerstone of sales and marketing alignment. The two teams should have continuous feedback loops to discuss progress from high-level goals to specific campaigns and the state of the collaboration itself. Each team has a unique vantage point on the sales funnel and can report on what’s helpful or unhelpful in the partnership, further streamlining the collective effort. 

For example, at the start of a content campaign, the sales team is uniquely positioned to advise on specific messaging that resonates with target buyers to help guide the content creators. Once the campaign is running, the sales team should provide timely feedback on the quality of the leads and takeaways from the nurture experience, including any customer pain points or feedback on the marketing materials.   

Conversely, marketing can offer insights into market and competitive trends, customer preferences and the ROI and effectiveness of marketing campaigns, including helpful data about audience engagement.  

Ongoing sales and marketing alignment is also hugely helpful when business priorities change, which is inevitable. Close collaboration ensures these two teams can quickly share learnings and adapt their strategies to be the first mover when an opportunity arises or market conditions change. This continuous evolution helps both teams remain agile and responsive. 

“In B2B, marketing and sales are connected like twins. You cannot have success without incredible alignment, respect and camaraderie between the two teams.”

Sheri L. Chin, CMO, Galileo Financial Technologies

Sales and Marketing Alignment: A Unified Front for Business Success

Sales and marketing alignment is not just beneficial; it’s essential for businesses to thrive in any competitive environment. Through regular communication, a shared focus on the buyer, sales enablement and ongoing feedback loops, businesses can break down the silos that have traditionally kept these teams apart.  

At The Fletcher Group, we specialize in creating content that helps sales and marketing teams achieve their goals while anticipating future trends. By fostering a collaborative culture between sales and marketing, we help businesses achieve their growth objectives and drive meaningful results. 

Let us help you bridge the gap between your sales and marketing teams, creating a unified front that propels your business forward.