Actions to bridge the GAP between Sales and Marketing

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When you search for “the gap between sales and marketing” you get 117 million hits… Why is that?  

In most companies there is an overweight on marketing. Marketing starts as high up as global/regional brand teams with diversified mini managers in satellite teams. Sales often does not start until you reach national sales managers’ level. This results in a mismatch or GAP since sales usually focus on customers, S&T, SFE etc. The brand teams focus on delivering the right message and run their campaigns.  

So where does it all come together, or doesn’t it? 

Now this is not a new challenge and I have faced this for the last 20 years. Alignment always seems to be hard, but none the less, there are some easy ways to get the process going. 

Collaboration and communication 

Collaboration is the basis for Alignment to work as we already know, but why don’t we collaborate then? Funny that we have these big communication departments and yet we  are so poor at communicating internally. Clearly defining the objectives for both parties are essential. The basis for the communication is the understanding of what each area wants and need. You need to set objectives also for communication. 

One Leader 

The organizations that do succeed are the ones where there is a high-level manager like a S&M manager, Business Unit Director, or Commercial Excellence Director responsible for the required collaboration.  

Top to bottom 

Now, combining these 2 gives us the possibility to align strategy and objectives. Securing information flow 0via cross functional meetings, coaching, development talks and checking for strategy leakage are steps to take.  

Linked objectives and Aligned Plans 

Top level strategy is cascaded down through the organization. For each level, it can be interpreted differently. A typical cascading is: 

strategy in slag and marketing

The miss-alignment that we can see above results in the GAP we talked about earlier.  Having 2 lines gives us a system of push or pull. Marketing wants to push campaigns and materials on to the field force while the field force asks for certain content and detail aids based on the requests from  customers. Quite often we also tend to misunderstand the usage of Segmentation & Targeting. Correctly used, this is a grid created by S&M together. The field force executes, as in identify, secure and report customer insights and profile data and the marketing department is then using this data to define content needed set objectives for provided materials.  Here we often see that the last step is NOT taken. An example or use case would be: This cycle, the material is addressing C-customers and aim to drive +20% of these to B-customers.  Somewhere in all this we need to remember that it’s the field force that is in contact with our customers. 

Easy to set goal, easy to follow up

That said, goals are not always easy. They should be challenging yet achievable. Setting impossible goals does not drive anything. 

Account plans 

By using account plans on KOL’s and/or Stakeholders, and set up weekly follow up sessions, you can secure action and delivery. 

Data capture 

This is an important part but can or should not be used if you do not actually act on the collected data. When collecting data, we must have a clear purpose. We also need to identify the recipient of the output and the expected routes of action based on the data.    

Reports and Dashboards 

Today, actionable insights can be delivered directly on the iPads of the reps in real time. The issue is not collecting nor reporting but filtering the vast amount of information collected and presenting insights that sales & marketing can ACT on! We have all had to many reports set up that are never looked at and not given feedback on.  

Monthly Challenge Meetings 

Things change… 

You need to have frequent meetings to evaluate progress. By evaluation and challenge you will be able to take proper actions when needed in due time. 


Apart from TATA ( Train, Adapt, Trust, Achieve) we also need to ensure momentum. This is obtained by communication, focus, discipline, and accountability. This is partly the weekly and monthly meetings but should also be linked to personal performance and incentive systems. 

Some questions to address

Are your sales and marketing aligned and working together towards the same goals? 

Are you taking this step by step or are you over complicating things? 

Have you ever tried to test strategy leakage? 

Do you have a digital roadmap that covers sales, marketing, and IT? 

What can we do to help, from Promeasure? 

Apart from our tool called DOT – Digital Operational Transformation, that is a complete 360 health check of your setup of CRM, Promomats and Business processes, we are also business consultants. We have been there and done that. So, if you need to have an external check and help to set it all in motion, we are happy to help. Start by calling us today, and we will see where you want to go. 

You can also benefit from reading this article: 16 Ways To Bridge The Gap Between Sales And Marketing Departments

Actions to bridge the GAP between Sales and Marketing