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Sales & Marketing Alignment

Sales and Marketing Alignment Best Practices

One of my favorite movies of all time is Shrek–the story of an antisocial ogre and a fun-loving donkey who work together to save a princess trapped in a castle.

Shrek, an extremely independent ogre, loved to do things his own way. A solo journey to the castle would have been ideal, but somehow, Donkey convinced Shrek to let him tag along. Shrek was absolutely annoyed and irritated with Donkey, but their teamwork was the only way they were able to make it to the castle in one piece.

Know of any other duos with doubts about working together?

Take sales and marketing, two groups who are notorious for working in silos. They’re fairly set in their ways, but deep down they know that an aligned approach would lead to more success.

Shrek and Donkey were by no means a powerful duo in the wave of a magic wand– it took a lot of patience, trust and collaboration. The same goes for sales and marketing to align.

Consider these 5 best practices to help achieve an improved sales and marketing alignment that would make Shrek and Donkey proud:

  1. Develop Shared Goals. Ensure that sales and marketing are working towards, and measured on the same set of goals. Examples include increasing monthly revenue by 10%, decreasing customer turnover rate by 5% or saving a fairytale kingdom.
  2. Share Pipeline Knowledge. Take time to inform both sales and marketing of the current state of the pipeline, so that both groups know what gaps exist in meeting shared targets.
  3. Experiment with Joint Planning. Engage both sales and marketing when developing campaign tactics and G2M approaches. Not only will this align the different teams towards business success, but it will also unify the two teams on a human level.
  4. Create a Common Lead Taxonomy. This refers to a shared naming and categorizing system that is used by both sales and marketing to keep order and avoid confusion. A lead most likely means something different to each group, so focus on what criteria really matters.
  5. Coordinate the Timely Handoff of Leads. Work together to create an efficient process for passing leads from marketing to sales. A timely handoff avoids lead decay and has the potential for higher engagement.


In the span of three movies, Donkey and Shrek rescued Princess Fiona, they defeated an evil Fairy Godmother and they saved the Kingdom of Far Far Away. If Donkey and Shrek can put aside their differences and achieve all of this, imagine what your sales and marketing teams can achieve in your organization. Try out these best practices and be prepared for sales and marketing alignment magic.

For more, check out our Guide to Successful Sales and Marketing Alignment Whitepaper.

Alison Pratt

Alison is a full time paralegal student, a part time revenue marketer, and a recently certified Hatha Yoga teacher. She is passionate about making positive change in both her local and global community.

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